Sunday, August 27, 2006

Has Paulo's Closed?

Dear Stanley,

Do you remember that new Mexican restaurant, Paulo’s, that I told you about? You know, the one in East Grand Forks that I mentioned was run by migrant farm workers (I guess in hindsight I should have called them “restaurateurs,” but I’m not that familiar with post-WWII terminology.) The place that I reviewed for you twice within the span of one year (I honestly don’t know if I was that excited, or if I just couldn’t remember that I had already written about it. In either case, they kept the same quality napkins for the entire year that they were open. Sometimes I use three nice sturdy ones. You need that with chips and salsa that drips and with most Mexican food.)

In any event, despite my glowing comments for this quality establishment (I really did like it! If I had not, I would’ve used the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” brand of muckraking criticism. Do people really think that there is any power in words? HA HA! Oh, those sillies!), it looks like the place has closed. I, Coffee Guy (CG) stopped by there today with BFD and WTF, and we found the place closed, with the doors locked and a note indicating that the locks have been changed per the building owner’s request! Not only that, Stanley, but I looked through the windows (they always had nice, eye-level windows to look out) and saw that all the tables, chairs, decorations, service areas, chip machine, those nice, sturdy napkins, everything was gone!

I’m not sure how that could be, as I just gave them a nice review, and I have such high standards when it comes to food quality, service, and such. There must be more to the story. Trust me, I’ll get to the bottom of this.

OK, maybe I forgot to mention a few things in my review. Such as how, under the new and improved management, the wait staff never wrote anything down, and consequently got things wrong with our orders every single time we went there. That must’ve been at least a half dozen times, and they got things wrong each time. I even had to beg and plead with the 6 year old in our group that his chicken burrito, which came out as a beef burrito, despite us ordering a chicken burrito, tastes just as good as his chicken burrito would have, if he would just try to imagine chicken whenever he tasted beef in his burrito.

And I didn’t want to mention how the waiter for each of our last few visits looked like he might have spent a few years on Rikers Island. I never knew just how detailed you could make a tattoo with a walkman motor, guitar string, a straw, and the ink from a bic pen. You learn something new everyday, Stanley. There might have even been a few neck tattoos, always a sign of class, but I don’t remember.

I wonder what that weird looking, long haired, too-skinny, tattooed, tattered fellow was doing running in and out of the place so many times and in such a hurry that everyone at our table was too distracted to eat. Let me tell you this, Stanley, the methamphetamine addict look might be hip with all the kids, but I don’t like it.

One time at Paulo’s, we got more on our table than we ordered. The somewhat grumpy waitress, the one I told you used to throw the food onto the table with an audible “CLANG!” put her exposed, pregnant belly onto our table about three times during our visit! Now, I’m not sure if I should start to say negative things in the other pieces I write or not, but this event got me thinking. I’m glad we got “Little Miss Surly,” rather than that skinny guy, because you never know what he might place on our table. People on drugs do some pretty weird things.

Despite this service...oh, I do hate to say negative things...let’s just call it a “steep learning curve,” I found the food to be mostly up to the standards of the past management’s. The chicken fajitas, in particular, were yummy, tasty, and good.

Well, Stanley, I think I’ll wrap up this letter with a word of encouragement to our neighbors. There is a new place opening up soon. It is called the Pita Pit. I’ll let you know all about it after it opens. I’ll give you a complete rundown on everything they offer, the thickness of the padded cushions on the bench seating, the presence and location of handy coat hooks, and if I have time I’ll even comment of the quality and taste of the food.

Your brother,
Coffee Guy

21 comments:

GrandForksGuy said...

That was a hilarious post! Poor Marilyn...I wonder is she ever reads any of this stuff?

So you think Paulo's has really closed? Hopefully they can get something good in that building. Nothing ever seems to last very long there. I think it's worth pointing out that this building is almost literally the only historic building in downtown EGF so it should have something decent in it.

BTW, you should allow anonymous comments! You won't get much traffic otherwise...

Coffee Guy said...

Anonymous commenting is now on. I didn't realize it was off, so thanks, GFG.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! - That was so funny I actually snorted while reading!!

Anonymous said...

Kudos.

Grand Forks needs a Weekly Reader newspaper, so we can parody stuff like that on a regular basis. Every since the High Plains Reader moved to Fargo, they left GF in the dust.

wendian said...

Bravo!

(Do you really think Paulo's is closed?)

I can't believe they actually run her "reviews". It's seriously time for a new food critic.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they'll add the Grand Forks market to the Forum's food writer's responsibilities. He's pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person that sees the irony in the fact that Coffee Guy became "Angry Guy" over a smiley-face post?

The Marilyn parody is well done.

Coffee Guy said...

Thanks for the compliment, but I never said I wasn't angry (although I don’t see where I'm angry, nor do I find it particularly ironic if I was.) But, don't let my e-persona fool you! I’m really a sweet guy that kisses babies and is always willing to put on a pot of coffee for a stranger.

I blog mostly for fun, but a small part of me hopes that something will change, although I'm fighting inertia.

Good Ol' Boy said...

Good one CG. Just like I would do, if I did parodies. I really liked Paulo's food, and recommended them to anyone who would listen, but I always cautioned them that the service stunk. I always hoped they would improved, but I guess not.

As far as your online persona, I can relate. I'm a warm, sensitive, 21st Century kind of guy, but no one picks up on that. Imagine....

ec99 said...

I was told the place was raided by INS people and most of the employees were illegals.

Good Ol' Boy said...

That would lend a certan authenticity to the cuisine. no?

ec99 said...

Yes, actually. The refried beans were homemade, not canned.

Anonymous said...

Funny. I usually find Meth servers highly energetic and eager to please.

WeatherGal said...

My husband and I ate there a while back. Food wasn't all that great, the service was a bit sketchy, and the atmosphere was somewhat lacking.

Anonymous said...

What's going on with the site? No new postings since 8/28.

Coffee Guy said...

The blog is still active. I didn't know there were any rules or expectations with regard to the frequency of posts.

Have no fear, when I get time to write I'll do so.

Anonymous said...

Touche. So, I guess what you're saying is there's no need to check back frequently.

There are always expectations; real or imagined.

Coffee Guy said...

I think Grand Forks Guy has me on his RSS feed. I just don't have the time to write these days (when do I ever?), but I think a weekly check of the blog couldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

They got busted for hiring illegals. too bad... the food was good

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