In Madison for the evening, the hubby and I stopped in at Chapala for dinner. Located out on County Line Road, it is in the same shopping center as Sakura and Famous Joes, which seemed to bode well.
When we walked in the hostess working the register was also busing tables so we had a brief wait before being seated. Chips and salsa appeared almost immediately.
The chips were thin, crunchy and unsalted. All was fairly standard until after the first few bites when I became aware of an odd after taste. I couldn’t quite identify it, but it persisted through several more attempts to enjoy the chips. The salsa featured chunks of onion, bits of cilantro, and pepper seeds suspended in a tomato puree. The flavor was a bit zippy but faded quickly, making it overall a mild and fresh salsa.
As we munched our chips we realized that we seemed to have been forgotten. Eventually a harried server appeared and quickly took our orders, one Burrito Enchilada Dinner and one Steak Fajita. Our drinks were rushed out and we were once again left to wait.
Nearly 20 minutes later our food finally appeared.
My Steak Fajitas are shown at the top of the post. The beans were creamy and salty, the rice was fluffy with a bit of a tang. The “guacamole salad” consisted of a small bit of guacamole sitting on a bed of shredded iceburg lettuce. The guacamole itself was runny, tasting mostly of salt and cilantro.
The meal came with 4 tortillas instead of what seems to be the more usual 3. Thin and stretchy, they were tasty enough. However, the fajitas themselves were inconsistent.
The onions were sweet and the green pepper was crisp, but the beef strips were chewy and the tomatoes mealy. Suspended in the thin sauce were small particulates which gave the beef and vegetables a slightly grainy texture.
The hubby was equally unimpressed with his meal.
As our meal was wrapping up, the check arrived promptly and we were able to pay in a reasonable time frame.
Given the harried nature of the staff, it’s entirely possible this was an off night. That said, our experience was not one I am eager to repeat. The spotty service, the odd aftertaste of the chips, the strangely gritty fajita seasonings, the runny guacamole, and the heavy handed application of salt all left me cold.
Total for the meal: $25.46 (Includes two dinners and two soft drinks)
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