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