Not sure if it was first day jitters or a lack of preparation, but my introduction to Schenectady's Mexican Radio wasn't a experience I'd like to repeat. Going to a restaurant on its opening day can be both exciting and dreadful for any restaurant-goer.
I know the opportunities and pitfalls opening day presents to staff, but something just didn't feel right on my Mexican Radio experience this past weekend. Let's go to the tape for further review:
Ambiance: The Schenectady location, which is downtown on State Street, right across from the Bowtie movie theater, seemed massive, not comparable with the stalwarts of El Loco and El Mariachi in Albany. This made it feel less intimate for Mrs. Average Joe and I. While normally I don't put too much weight on this, it did contribute to our overall experience.
Staffing: We sat for 20 minutes without a single server coming over to check-in on us. This is no bueno, especially on opening night. What's more, we had to go to the bar repeatedly to ask for our drink orders and for water refills. I don't like having to play waiter for my own dining experience. Again, no bueno.
Food: For myself, I love chorizo and all of its glory and so I just had to have the Cajun Burrito. Crumbled chorizo and shrimp are a slam dunk for me. While it tasted good, the price tag of $20 for a burrito left me lighter in the wallet. I'm not adverse to paying top money for a meal from time to time, but paying $20 for a burrito is up there. Lesson learned.
Mrs. Average Joe ordered the enchiladas with green tomatillo sauce. The waitstaff got the order wrong and the meal had to be sent back. This was definitely a miscommunication from the waitress, who seemed overwhelmed and confused on her first day. The manager informed us that the meal would be taken off the bill, which we didn't ask for but was a great gesture. However, when the bill came to us, the item still remained, leading us to rehash the conversation again.
Overall, I will go back to Schenectady's Mexican Radio as I don't want to be a curmudgeon and make light of a great opportunity coming to our region. I'm hoping these opening jitters won't be a long-term trend
While Mexican Radio is another option for Mexican fare, I wouldn't be sweating bullets if i was El Loco or El Mariachi.