January 10, 2007
Even the mint was bad... *edited*
Last week, on the house-hunting excursion, Husband and I were blessed with some time without kids (thanks, L and D!). My second night in town, we decided to explore a bit in downtown Baltimore. Husband had been there a few times, but not since he started working in the area.
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I have never posted about a bad restaurant experience on my blog before, and if I have, it was never in as great detail as I am going to go into here. But this evening was a total disaster, as far as the restaurant goes. I offered to go to the sushi place at Inner Harbor, but Husband insisted we should go someplace I would enjoy too. We thought the tapas place sounded fun and it was something different. [We should have just gone to The Cheesecake Factory where we'd have gotten a predictable, but delicious meal.] Here is my review of La Tasca, Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant:
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I drank water, which came without the lemon wedge that I'd requested.
Husband drank a 16 oz. glass of Bass, $5+ (correction, I initially reported that the beer was 10 oz., it still wasn't worth more than $5)
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We asked the server for suggestions on an appetizer and settled on the Pan de Ajo Con Queso [which arrived as two slices of far overdone toast with some cheese on it, no taste of garlic (ajo) at all]. $3.75
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We asked how many tapas we should order to constitute a meal for the two of us. She suggested three would be plenty.
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*1) Queso Manchego [6 ultrathin slices of cheese with 3 wedges of tomato - the tomato was small and bland and not-quite-ripe, the wedges totaled less than one half of a tomato; drizzled with olive oil] $5.45
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*2) Chorizo [4 bite sized pieces of spicy sausage, served with a small lump of red cabbage, nothing special or savory] $5.45
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*3) Pollo Al Ajillo, with white wine and garlic [3 bite size pieces of chicken that was overcooked in a soy sauce-like liquid, no taste of white wine or garlic] $6.25
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Not once after our food was delivered did the server check on us. My water glass sat empty from the time we'd been there 10 minutes until we left. We were not provided with a receipt after we paid with cash for our "meal". We felt that we'd just gotten robbed, we spent $30 plus $5 for parking and we'd really only had appetizers.
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On the way out the door, Husband grabbed a mint from the host stand and was disgusted at the taste when he popped it into his mouth. One final insult.
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If you ever visit Baltimore, please take your money elsewhere. Though this place had a great view of the Inner Harbor, the food was terrible. The service was even worse. I am happy to pay higher prices for an experience of savory food with a view, but this took it to a whole new level of awful.
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Definitely a night to remember. Not in the way we were looking for...
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La Tasca, Baltimore: 4 thumbs down
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**Updated to add: After this post was published, I received an email from the assistant manager apologizing for our experience. Even though she insisted we come back for an opportunity to experience this restaurant at its best, I think we shall decline. The fact is, even though the service was rotten, the food wasn't great either. And I also learned that the server should have recommended that we each get three tapas to constitute an entire meal, so for food that expensive, it should have been delicious. I commend the manager's attempt to lure us back, but there's no fixing disappointing food. And that mint? It was supposedly Key Lime flavored.**
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