1560 Big Thompson Ave
Estes Park, CO 80517
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Grumpy Gringo

Cuisine: Mexican, Lunch, Latin American

Grumpy Gringo is a Mexican, Lunch, and Latin American restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends and paid more than $50.

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elsun photo

elsun

 Denver, CO
 

Worst Dining Experience EVER!!!

Words cannot describe how shocked I am that this establishment remains in business. We dined at the Grumpy Gringo on Saturday evening, 10/1, when we came up with our family and friends to attend the Estes Park Elk Fest. The restaurant was moderately busy, but by no means slammed like one would expect of a restaurant at on a regular Saturday night, much less during a festival weekend.

First of all, the service was horrible. Although it didn’t take long for our party of 9 to get seated, it was about 15 minutes before our server, Antonio, even came by the table to acknowledge we were there. He left to get our chips and salsa, but didn’t bother taking our drink orders while he was there. By the time he finally came back to take our drink orders, our party had already looked over our menus and asked if we could go ahead and place our meal orders. He seemed flustered and unable to keep our orders straight. He also didn’t seem to know the menu very well either, because when asked simple questions like, “Is there cilantro in this dish?” he was unable to answer it without checking with the kitchen first.

About 10 minutes after we placed our orders, another party of 10 was seated at the table next to us. Antonio ended up being their server also. About 20 minutes after the other party arrived, Antonio started serving meals to our table. Unfortunately, all but two of the meals actually belonged to the other table. He apologized for the confusion, delivered the food to the other party, and went to check on our orders. The other table even joked with us that we should’ve just eaten their meals.

About another 30 minutes passed and Antonio didn’t even come by to see if we needed more chips or drinks while we waited for our meals. Carole, the owner/hostess, came back and noticed that we still hadn’t been served and apologized. She took our drink orders and went into the kitchen to find our meals. Shortly afterwards, Antonio finally delivered another round of meals to our table. This time, they were actually for our table, although he still had difficulty figuring out who had which meal. He also forgot two of our meals and it took another 10 minutes before he returned with our missing dinners.

The food was fair, but not fantastic. Some of the dinners were already getting cold by the time they reached our table…I can only presume they’d been sitting in the kitchen waiting for our server to deliver. By that time, we just wanted to eat and get on with our night so no one bothered sending their cold meals back. Carole came by apologized again and graciously offered to comp our table some sopapillas for dessert for our inconvenience. We thanked her and asked her to have Antonio go ahead and get them going because we were about halfway through our meals and were anxious to get going after our dinner.

After we finished our meals, we told Antonio that it was getting late and asked if we could just get the sopapillas to go. To our dismay, he hadn’t even placed the dessert order with the kitchen yet. We were ready to leave without them, but he insisted it wouldn’t take long.

When we finally got our bill, we noticed that there was an automatic 18% gratuity already added to our bill because our party was larger than 7 people. A member of our party complained to Carole about this, Carole’s demeanor went from the kind, polite hostess we met earlier to a rude, belittling, raving lunatic in seconds flat. Not since watching “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” have I seen anyone change so quickly!!! This women should really be on medication. She accused us of wanting to “stiff” the waiter. STIFF?!! Sorry, but where I come from, gratuities are earned for good service. For me, 20% gratuity is standard and customary for average service and it’s not unusual for me to pay 25-30% or more for great service. It wasn’t until our friend said he would pay the bill in its entirety and dispute the gratuity charge with his credit card company did she finally agreed to remove the gratuity from our bill.

As we filled out the corrected credit card slips in the main lobby, Carole proceeded to tell us, “Don’t come back!” Although I tried to diffuse the situation by telling Carole that I was raised in a restaurant (My father was a restaurateur) and that we weren’t necessarily unhappy with her or her restaurant, just this particular server, I never got the chance. As soon as I said, “I was raised in a restaurant…,” Carole quickly interrupted me by saying, “I don’t care if you were raised in H*LL!” Pardon me?! She then verbally attacked my friend and me by calling us, “A**HOLES” multiple times as we were leaving. Fortunately, our wives and children had already gone out to the cars and were spared from this verbal assault.

I am still stunned that Carole, THE OWNER, defended her server so vehemently when his service was so obviously subpar and even more aghast that she chose to go on her tirade right in the middle of the lobby, right next to the dining room and bar where other patrons were still seated. It’s apparent that the old adage, “The customer is always right,” doesn’t exist in her world. Business must be so good that she doesn’t need any more customers. Our experience at the Grumpy Gringo completely ruined what was otherwise a great day in Estes Park!

So, if you like slow service, fair food, and verbal abuse, please dine at the Grumpy Gringo; however, if you are looking for a relaxing, enjoyable dining experience after a great day in Estes Park, I HIGHLY recommend you go elsewhere!!!

Beef Burrito

I ordered a beef burrito and chile relleno from the a la carte menu. It was bland ground beef inside a soggy tortilla. No flavor at all!

To cap it off, instead of charging me $7.69 for the beef burrito off the a la carte menu, the waiter rang it up as a signature Grumpy’s Beef Burrito at $12.49. What a rip-off!

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