Sunday, November 18, 2007

Reverend Chico's: A Local Restaurant Not Worth Supporting

Auditions are being held for Kitchen Nightmares.

Even though, Reverend Chico's has been open only for a couple of months, they would, no doubt, benefit from Chef Ramsay's forceful help.

Reverend Chico's is located in the Main Street area of Bowling Green, Ohio. From the outside, it appears to be fresh, hip restaurant & bar with raised tables and classy barstools for window seating and modern tables and booths for seating in the bar and dining section. Several wall mounted plasma TVs provide decoration throughout the dining section and bar. Doesn't sound so bad, huh?

Remember, looks can be deceiving.

The bar side is sleek in a martini-bar way with its spotlight on the bottles, black granite, and candle center pieces on the high-tops, but all four of the TVs give it a sports bar atmosphere. It felt the owners didn't know what kind of bar they wanted it to be, so they senseless mashed together several kinds.

The dining area is clean, but it feels void of any personality or unique characteristic that related to the food, which is Latino. Within the first several minutes of being seated, I couldn't decide what kind of dining experience I was supposed to have at Reverend Chico's. The decor did nothing for the restaurant other than make it look brand new, even though it is part of the old hotel that takes up several blocks in downtown Bowling Green.

And I had plenty of time to be confused about the decor while my party and I waited 15 minutes just to be approached by our waitress, who proved to be consistently slow, inarticulate, and unfriendly. Without giving us a menu, she impatiently tapped her foot and demanded our drink order. After explaining to her, this was our first time at Reverend Chico's, she brought us a photocopied drink menu. Yes, photocopied; what a disaster! When we said we wanted to eat, she went back to the back of the house. Meanwhile, in her absence, to further add to the unprofessional customer service, the manager approached our table, not to ask if we had been helped, but to ask if there was "only going to be three of you tonight." When we all looked appalled, she said, "You didn't do anything wrong. Stop looking at me that way" and just walked away. Still miffed by the manager, we hardly noticed that it took our waitress 10 minutes to reemerge with an atrocious stack of paper.

The menu at Reverend Chico's is a beyond a disaster! Upon getting the stacks of paper (which, to point out, was completely wasteful and not environment-friendly!), I asked the waitress to explain the menu to us because none of us understood why on earth we each needed 6 pieces of paper that looked like bubble form tests with various meats and ingredients. Our waitress even said, "Yeah, the menu is really confusing. I don't even really get it. It's like a test."

When a waitress can't sell a menu, there's a big problem.

Basically, Reverend Chico's has one sheet of paper for each of their menu items: Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Paninis, and something else that got lost in the shuffle. Each item's menu serves as the order ticket. A patron checks the meats, veggies, and other ingredients he or she craves, puts his or her name on the top of the ticket, and hands it to his or her waitress. Is this because their waitresses can't be trusted to take orders beyond drink orders? I wonder...

If I wanted a dining experience like the one Reverend Chico's menu encourages, I would go to Qdoba or Chipotle. I expected a folding menu that I selected a dish from. And by dish I mean the kitchen creates the meal, not the patron. Based on the decor, I expected to see a new spin on Mexican food. Sadly, what we got was some bland chicken Quesadillas and Tacos that were soggy, salty, unoriginal, and, to boot, over-priced ($7.00 for Tacos, $11.99 for Seafood Tacos).

The only two things keeping me from walking at Reverend Chico's were my party, who were quite enjoyable, and the tasty Sangriatini and Mojito Reverend Chico's offers.

In other words, go there to drink, not eat. Or drink so much you don't care what you eat.

In order to succeed, Reverend Chico's must, first, step up their customer service. The waitresses working the bar seemed really friendly; why not have that same attitude carry over in the dining section? Also, they MUST simplify their menu. If they would like to be more of a bar than restaurant, then just offer some contemporary hor'dourves that would compliment the drinks rather than some below-average, amateur Mexican food. The TVs probably cost more than the ovens in the kitchen, which only proves how little thought goes into the food.

Until Reverend Chico's puts more effort into their food, I refuse to go there. I support local businesses with all my heart, especially those in BG, but this is one restaurant I can't endorse.

1 out of 5 Thank-God-for-Sangriatinis Hello Kittys.

(For new readers, Hello Kittys are equivalent to stars. And Hello Kittys is an intentional typo.)


Amanda said...

Thanks for the resturant review! I won't be going there to eat then. =) have a good break if i don't see you!

Anonymous said...

I happened to LOVE the quesadilla's when I went there! My experience seemed to be a lot different than yours, because I WILL definitely go back!

Anonymous said...

My entire party really enjoyed our food and will go back! As a self described skeptic, perhaps you need to give it another chance. I also thought the atmosphere was quite appealing and a great addition to Bowling Green!

Amanda said...

I'm happy to hear others' perspectives on this restaurant. Maybe I will give it a second chance...I'd be more likely to, though, if I had some incentive, such as a free meal. ;)

And I would like a guarantee for better service.

Seriously, you are right, 3rd commenter, as a skeptic, I should give it a second chance. Good way of getting to my conscious! LOL! :)

Evil Webqueen said...

I agree on all counts; my first time there was yesterday. Plus thanks for the link, as I was just blogging about the "dining" experience and needed a bigger description to link to!

Anonymous said...

yeah, the service was slow... i completely agree with the article, there was nothing authentic about this restaraunt that set it apart form any other FAST FOOD place. The management could use some help...sadly...very unprofessional.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you get off trying to ruin a great new restaurant, but that article couldn't be more wrong. Reverend Chico's has a great atmosphere for all age groups and the menu offers something for everyone. This is the type of place that cares for their customers by preparing the food made to order and the takes the time to make one of their great specialty drinks. Make sure to make it out on thursdays for karaoke, friday and saturday for live music!

Amanda said...

I'm not a fan of the comment made on Jan. 23. The tone is a bit ridiculous. This is my blog and I have every right to share my experience as accurately as possible. Therefore, I won't be "making it out thursdays for karaoke, friday and saturday for live music!" Seriously, I'm not going back until I get a free meal for three from Reverend Chico's. Jan. 23 comment, it sounds like you have some inside pull--make that useful, why don't you? And take a look at evil webqueen's and Jan. 8's comments for affirmation that Reverend Chico's isn't all that.

Amy said...

Well, as a young professional not a college student used to beer, urine and vomit odor infusing a local eating establishment in Bowling Green, I found Reverend Chicos refreshing, I also found the staff to be helpful and informative. yes the food has a latino flair but BG needs to be infused with some culture. not to bad mouth BG there are many good qualities, but our experiences at Reverend Chicos are that it is a great place for upscale professionals as ourselves to have a drink (in a very clean, nicely decorated place) and to have a bite to eat that isn't fried cheeze or pizza!!! the bar is enticing, the food is homemade, and the atmosphere is nice.... a new concept to BG???

AMR said...

Are you serious, Amy???

Seriously, my husband was just there for drinks and he said that the service was still horrible.

Does it not matter to anyone in BG that food from local markets and smart service is worthwhile.

No matter what self-proclaimed skeptic I am, I NEVER plan to eat or drink there again, and sure as F if I want a margarita I will go to El Zarape.

Reverend Chicos, until you send me 3 free meals and drinks, I will NOT sing your praises or Promote your restaurant.

AMR said...

Amy, also your description of BG restaurants couldn't be more inaccurate: " a young professional not a college student used to beer, urine and vomit odor infusing a local eating establishment in Bowling Green." I've never experienced a urine or vomit odor at any BG local eating establishment. BG is a very clean community with caring citizens of all ages who take pride in their establishments. BG is more than a college town; it's a strong community! Clearly, you aren't familiar with the town if that's how you choose to open your review.

Sure, Reverend Chicos has "flair" but why on earth would someone wanting international food eat at a clearly Corporate restaurant? Additionally, I hate to break it to you, but Reverend Chicos does NOT have homemade food.

Dear readers, I have a distinct feeling Reverend Chicos employees are leaving comments here, which I find quite interesting...

If you, dear reader, are a BG citizen and have been to RC, please feel free leave your comments: agreeing or disagreeing with my sentiments. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

If you are a RC employee, please feel free to STOP wasting time leaving comments my blog and start working on your customer service and food quality.

Rachel said...

*Pinky promises she's not a member of the waitstaff, management, or in any other way associated with the restaurant in question besides as patron*

I like Chico's. I have had crummy service occasionally, although that's not unique to Chico's in any way- most places in town can be hit or miss on service (and food...)

They have "normal" menus now, which are MUCH better. I agree the old sheets of paper were super irritating. I like that they have a more creative and fresher take on Mexican than El Zarape (where I also eat).

I appreciate that you've had a bad experience, but I do think its worth checking out. (Maybe not by you again if you don't want, but others should still try it.) It does feel less "collegy" than many of the places in town, even though it is also a bar.

It also feels more like "home" to me, which is a quality that not everyone is looking for in it- because not everyone is from Colorado.

Love the Hello Kitty rating system!

Anonymous said...

i love eating at chico's. they call it reverend's now, apparently, but it will always be chico's to me.

i think they had to kind of find their way in the beginning... which maybe meant the service wasn't as fast or the menu was weird. well now, the service i've had has always been great, the food delicious, and the drinks really really tasty!

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek said...

Before you comment, please read my newest review.