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< Entertainment >

DETROIT RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Ranked #1 on Google & Yahoo!

The Longest Employed Tex-Mex Waiter

by Sheila Franklin
calicutta@hotmail.com

I’ve always wondered about ratings for restaurants. In an area like Metro Detroit, it seems that every other one is labeled “The Best of” almost anything. El Charro, located at 16720 14 Mile Road in Fraser is one of these.

I have been there several times with friends who say “Well, if it was voted best, it must be!” Okay, so the lines are always long on weekends and the parking lot overflowing (which is sometimes a good indication). The first time we tried it we sat in the bar because I am a smoker, but I amalso short, so already I am uncomfortable sitting at a high-rise table.

Our waiter comes over with chips and salsa and seems to be running the entire room (waiting, bussing, tending bar). I am somewhat impressed and ask him just how long he has been there. “Nine years”, is his answer. This must be the longest employed waiter in Metro Detroit. Does it also make him the best?

With every meal, El Charro offers you a choice of salad or nachos. I ask Mr. Waiter (henceforth referred to as MW) his opinion about the black bean soup, for it‘s a special and not on the menu. His reply; “I don’t know. I am afraid of black beans.” Uh-huh.

I order it anyway and my dining companions order the salad and nachos respectively. The soup is excellent. I tell HW this and suggest he try it so that he can recommend it. He nods and still looks afraid. The salad is average and the nachos only fair-looking. They consist of a small plate, a few scattered chips, and overly melted cheese.

We each order basic entrees which vary in price from about $7.00-$10.10. What does $10.10 mean? Being a former server I am assuming this is a price point so that when the bill comes, you have to break a twenty for a tip.

The food is good, but is more Tex-Mex than authentic and a little bland for my taste. Even the hot salsa is lacking in spiciness. The next time we dine at El Charro, there is a waiting list and when seated we are once again blessed by the graces of MW. He doesn’t remember me and I ask him if he has tried the black bean soup (which is not offered this time). See above for his answer. I opt for the salad.

One of us orders their specialty, the soft-shell taco. It’s deep fried, so I go for the fajitas because I notice that it comes with guacamole and sour cream which is often ala carte in Mexican restaurants.

Diner #3 orders a combo dinner and MW asks him if he would like sour cream. My friend inquires if costs extra. MW smirks a bit and says yes. I am assuming that this is an attempt at professional server humor and for the rest of the evening we ask if there is a charge for the extra napkins, salsa, etc.

Fraser’s El Charro offers take-out (586) 294-3520 and accepts most major credit cards. What it doesn’t offer is really great Mexican food and if they have a website, I have yet to find it.

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY