I’ve been walking past Cafe Del Sol in Menlo Park for years and today, I finally got a chance to check it out when we took a co-worker there for a farewell lunch. We went in and we had a very fascinating and confusing consumer experience at the Mexican restaurant.
First up, the food was good. Not incredible, but it was pretty good, so I’d recommend the place based on the food we were served.
The Communication Gap
Ordering was fascinating. My buddies ordered the fish enchiladas, but the waitress had no clue what they were asking for. They needed to clarify their order by identifying the actual name of the item on the menu to our waitress.
We asked for chips & salsa. That took a long time. When we ran out of chips, we asked for more chips & salsa and that didn’t come until a lot later when, while we were in the middle of eating lunch, she asked us if we wanted more chips. We did. We got chips. No salsa.
The Menu Confusion
I ordered a grilled steak burrito. The menu said that the lunch menu items come with rice, beans and a few other things. And it looked like almost any other menu that describes what items come with the menu item. So my presumptions were flying high!
The burrito showed up Ala-cart. It wasn’t huge, nor was it tiny. But I’ve had bigger.
When I pointed out that I ordered the lunch burrito, where it says it comes with rice and beans, the waitress happily brought me rice and beans.
But at the end of lunch, I noticed that the rice and beans both cost extra. When I questioned our waitress, what we learned was that the sides noted noted on the menu, were the ingredients that come IN the burrito. Not as sides. But I looked at the menu a few times and I did not get the impression that what was noted was an internal ingredient.
But it was, what it was.
I think if you go knowing this, this small and intimate place of dining, you should be fine. But you might want to be warned that what the menu says, isn’t quite what you think it means. But now I know!!!
The food at Cafe Del Sol was good but the service interaction was frustrating. Maybe it was just a bad day there. I don’t know. My interactions with the waitress dampened my dining experience afterwards and my crew suggested I should tip, or not, accordingly.
But my experience is in contrast to what I see every day and night because the place is always packed or crowded… looking. But it is a small place.