When Chiquitos Poole offered us a voucher to review their local restaurant in Tower Park it seemed a perfect choice – the boy LOVES Mexican food!
It was No.1 son’s 15th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and we wanted somewhere that was child friendly but not one of our usual haunts to take him out for a quick family celebration.
When I rang to book I admit I was amused by the way the telephone was answered…
*deep breath inhalation*
At least I think that’s what she said, I was too dazzled by the speed to take it down word for word!
So we made the booking for 6.30 that same evening, and rubbed our hands in glee.
On arriving at the restaurant we had to wait a few minutes for the people in front to be seated as they seemed quite busy and the staff seemed a little rushed. No problem, that’s a good sign right? Our turn to be seated, and after much frantic scrabbling through sheets of paperwork for our booking there was an eventual shrug of the shoulders and an “oh well, never mind. Sure… come this way”.
So much for the earlier telephone call then!
Seated in our somewhat ‘cosy’ booth for six (slightly elbow-hugging, an adult four would have been comfortable) we settled down and looked through the quite extensive menu choice (too much choice for some in our party I might hasten to add. Including one of the adults. *cough*).
We were soon approached by a very enthusiastic Kieron to take our drink order (who was super-friendly, but spoke so fast I had to keep checking with Mr Laura for a translation!), and once he was back with our drinks we made our food order (yes, yes, I chose in the end. I dither, okay?), Kieron disappeared and we were left alone again to take in the pleasant atmosphere. The children loved the quirky themed decor, and the gentle murmur of talking from other tables was masked by soft music music at a decent background level; nice!
Now I’m not one for hurrying a dinner out, I like to treat it as event, something to savour… but some forty odd minutes after having placed our order there was still no sign of our food. Upon closer examination of the staffing at Chiquitos Poole it looked like just four active members of serving staff (including the lovely Kieron), and one of those was mostly tied to the bar, to deliver a service to (*quick head count*) seventy or so covers! Now I know it was a Tuesday night, but the location of our restaurant on a busy entertainment park I think perhaps the staffing levels may need to be thought over again. They were certainly moving at top speed to get everybody served – though unfailingly friendly and polite.
Eventually (approximately another 10 minutes) our food did arrive and I have to say that generally speaking everything was amazing – really really tasty.
Naturally by this time hunger had overcome us, so the camera was forgotten in our greed. But between us we had:
- child’s Flatbread Margherita Pizza – yes, she went Italian at the Mexican. But declared it delicious.
- Texan Smokestack – double burger which meant we had to roll the boy out the door. “Awesome”
- The Border Hot Wraps – “Oh, so good. SO good”
- The Full Rack. It was his birthday, he insisted he could. And he did. Greedy Chops.
- Chicken & Ribs – I finally settled on this, and it was WAY too big for me. But utterly delish.
- Sweet Chilli Jam Double – the only disappointment of the night. Not that it wasn’t good,m because it was. But the description stated that it was “Our prime beef burger topped with roasted peppers, melted cheese and sweet chilli jam”
Sad to say, no peppers were used in the making of this burger – and the jam was so thin as to miss its presence in the huge burger. Which was a shame.
Overall the experience at Chiquitos Poole was exactly as we’d expected. The whole bill for the 6 of us came to £104.25 – just over £17 a head, which isn’t bad at all. Just the one course mind, and this included one child menu at £4.95, so that does bring the overall value down somewhat.
One thing I am always dismayed about is the cost of soft drinks. Five glasses of Pepsi/Tango etc came to a staggering £15.30 (The youngest’s was included with her meal, which really WAS good value) – our total drinks bill was a whopping £22.95, and that’s 22% of the overall cost of the meal.
Missing peppers and jam aside, our meal was great – the food well cooked, hot and fresh, and the staff were friendly when present.