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.)