Margaritas cups from Arribas Mexican Grill

A Not-So Friendly Review: Arriba’s Mexican Grill- Dos

Date night! Yay! And where do you think we end up…I mean, I am a believer in second chances. The words “Arriba’s Mexican Grill” loomed at me in bright red lettering dare I say, ominously?  Maybe it was just my imagination…but lovely Ariel and I waltzed in at around 3:00pm and were promptly seated. I have to say this was a good start.

Oh crap, spoke to soon! Our waiter, a small man with a hurried manner, answered our questions about the menu and drinks rather plainly, like he would have rather been in some sort of boot camp than be serving the two lovely females before him. I usually do not like to have emotional reactions to the attitudes of the restaurant staff, I figure curtness is a symptom of a bad day…(and yes, I know that I am way too nice) so for the moment I chose to ignore it.

I had bigger obstacles to overcome, like the menu that looked very daunting and full of potential “mistakes” if you get my drift. I decided on a chicken enchilada with green chile, because I love enchiladas and figured I could not go wrong. Wrong. The presentation of the food was lovely, but within a minute or so, the cheese covering started to form a thin film that is typical of school-lunch “chili”. So here I am, peeling it off with my fork in disgust, trying to figure out how something could congeal so quickly! The innards of the enchilada tasted alright (though I could have gone without the oozing green sauce that chicken was basting in). Ariel had the fish taco meal which only had one taco in it! For 7 dollars! I was taken aback by the price and the minuscule amount of food that came with it; she finished her food before I even took a sip of my ice water. Bummer, Ted.

Then it was margarita time everyone! My date and I both ordered about 2 each in the course of our dinner, and I also had Bud Light in a mug. I was going to be semi-fancy and order a Stella Artois or Modelo but by that point I was extremely weary of potential surprises and therefore opted out.


As we talked on incessantly and enjoyed our margaritas, the waiter tried his best to hurry us out by bringing the check after every drink and saying something that sounded like “okwouldyoulikeanotherdrinkor areyoutwoalright,yeahwouldyoulikethecheckor…” while putting the check down and picking it up again several times while he was rabbling on. Ariel and I both were at wits-end with the service at this point and about to ask for another waiter, when he returned saying it was time for him to go home and he would switch us to someone else. Thank the Lord Lady.

Too bad that what he said turned out to be a lie, because after he left, no one was appointed to wait on us and we sat there wondering if we had been forgotten; I scanned the place and eventually found a nice gentlemen who refreshed the beverages and cleared the table. My date complained to him about the service, and he profusely apologized for the other waiter- hmmph, ok that’s alright, but you could just clear our tab to show us how sorry you are. Just a thought.

So, I have truly learned my lesson this time. I am not going subject anyone else to Arriba’s Mexican Grill and will certainly be staying out of there myself! I am sure there are many other places in the valley that offer great drink specials and food that you can actually identify!

Just a friendly review: Arriba’s Mexican Grill

I was already fucking grumpy. I had not eaten since I was released from my 5 hour shift at my job and let me tell you: I was ready to take prisoners. After about…2 hours of driving, discussing and finagling; I finally convinced my mother to take me to Arriba’s Mexican Grill on Bell Road, in Phoenix. The place was packed of course because it was Friday and the time read 5:45 pm; apparently everyone in the valley had the same idea as to how to start the weekend.

 I was ready to start it off with a few 99 cent margaritas, so I waltzed in the place and found my mother and I, a bar seat because a booth would take 20 minutes and I did not have 20 minutes of patience.

Perched at the bar-seat, our lovey waitress with her drawn on eyebrows and black, gel-set curls, brought me two salty, wonderful margaritas and a cute virgin margarita for mi madre. She had to drive. In the middle of my second sip, mother decided to leave me to go shopping on the avenue and promised to return within the hour. I have to admit that I was slightly disgruntled but I managed to make my way to the bar which teemed with 30-somethings watching a basketball game on the two separate television sets.

I ordered a beef chimichanga with beans and rice, while I continued to pound 99 cent margaritas. Let me tell you, it does not take very many to get you to where you want to be. After drink #5 and a few bites of my food, I was already over the moon and struggling to keep my composure.

That is about when I started concentrating on eating my $11.00 dollar meal and also drinking water because, come on…who wants to get sick?  I began eating this massive and delicious looking burrito, but came to find it tasted like unseasoned ground beef and ass. I pushed it aside and relied on water and margaritas to sustain me, until my mom appeared at my side an hour later.

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I was speaking clearly and my vision was still favorable, so she suggested I keep drinking, ya know, to get my money’s worth. Who doesn’t like a challenge?  I ordered one last margarita (#7 at this point) and a beer (Corona) just for kicks.

 Meanwhile as I consumed my liquor, my mother attempted to eat my leftover food, which consisted of damn-near the entire plate. But after a few tentative bites and half-attempts at actually eating the burrito, she tossed in the white flag. I was gagging the entire time just watching her try to eat the food. She looked up at me with doe-like eyes and said, “this food is not good”.

I laughed, gagged and then reluctantly signed the check. We left the place without taking the mystery meal with us. I consider it a lesson learned. The only reason to go to Arriba’s and pay $20 dollars would be to drink 20 margaritas…which is not possible because they make those babies STRONG…so my advice is: dine beforehand  (and stick to the complementary chips and dip if you must eat) and focus on just the alcohol-your wallet and stomach will appreciate it.

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