Norfolk >Food & Dining > Colley Cantina
1316 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA | Directions 2351736.866921 -76.298472
Rude/Lying Waitress, Horrible Food, False Advertising – On Cinco de Mayo, 2 friends called ahead about reservations for dinner (first time guests). Neither were warned about the kitchen construction or limited menu.
We were immediately approached by a hostess informing us about a "limited menu"~ NO Chicken & NO Pork (Why had neither person on the phone told us?) Their kitchen is under-construction (a website warning would be helpful if the employees aren't). We cabbed it there (intending to have several margaritas) so we decided to stay. Once seated we realized the "No Pork and No Chicken" was an understatement. ON CINCO DE MAYO- No BEANS, No Chicken, No Pork. Only Beef Tacos, Salad or Nachos. BTW, a "large" margarita comes in a pint glass~ 1 friend even had a glass much smaller than the rest of us. All tacos were supposed to come w/rice & beans. I asked our waitress (who was too busy talking w/another male employee) if we would be given anything in place of the beans "NO. Just rice." I said "Could I possibly get a little guacamole then, since I can't have beans?" She sighed audibly & said, "Yaa... I can give you a little dollop." REALLY?! You could be troubled to give me a "little dollop" of guac when you've made me sit here for over 10 min waiting & you're out of almost everything? I was in disbelief.
The chips & salsa were bagged & jarred~ nasty. When our food came I had no guac & the waitress was mad when I reminded her about the "dollop." 1 friend ordered the guac & chips- & wasn't given any chips so she had to use the leftovers from the chips & salsa. Her guac looked disgusting. Like it was squeezed from a bag onto the plate. The other 3 of us ordered tacos. My hard-shelled tacos were stale & the cheese on all of our meals tasted horrible. @ one point our waitress said they were having food "catered in." I don't believe that for a min. The food was horrible. I've had better tacos & fresher ingredients in my own home. Our glasses~ empty for the entire meal.
When we finally got our waitress back we requested the check. SHE CHARGED ME FOR THE GUAC! I was furious by this point. I reminded her again & she said, "No, I didn't say that." Enraged, I repeated our entire conversation to her, word for word & she waved me off saying "FINE, I'll take it off."
When she returned I asked her if there was a manager on duty.
Me: "You mean to tell me there isn't a manager here tonight? No one is supervising?"
Waitress: "The owner? No..."
Me: "I didn't ask you about the owner. I asked you if there was a manager on duty."
Waitress: "Yes...why? Do you want to speak to her?"
Me: "YES! Yes, I really would."
She disappeared & another woman showed up @ our table & started apologizing...I hadn't even said anything yet.
I explained our grievances w/our experience there & told her how the waitress was rude & lied directly to my face. She said she was sorry & it's been like that all night & she's had trouble with this girl before. She said she wanted to offer me a voucher or something & disappeared for a min. She said she spoke to the owner & he said to do something for us & that we could come back when the kitchen is running & she will cover our tab. She didn't seem like she was gone long enough to have had that conversation & I'm not sure I would ever step foot in that place again. The "manager" seemed nice, but very scattered. We left w/nothing but her name, cell phone # on a scrap piece of paper, & a promise to email us when the kitchen is open so she can pick up our tab.
In my opinion, the owner needs to be more aware of how his/her business is being run. I would be embarrassed to have had that kind of food service & employee behavior, especially on Cinco de Mayo! We should have been notified about the kitchen when we called earlier in the day. The extent of the "limited menu" should have been more clearly defined at the door, & they should have never served bad food. It would have been better to close early & cut your losses than ruin your reputation.
Always a favorite – Whenever I get back to Norfolk I can't leave without stopping by to get some fish tacos and a margarita (or two). Its a fun bar with an electic crown of journalists, musicians, and business sorts. It won't disappoint a first time visitor. One of the best patios in Ghent!
Absolutely LOVE that place – I moved from the Ghent area in 1998, and I miss the Colley Cantina like CRAZY! That place is absolutely the best. The food is fantastic (guacamole dip is a must) & the margaritas are superb! I highly recommend it.
A great no-frills spot to grab a fish taco and enjoy a few margaritas. – The Scene
Colley Cantina is unpretentious. The small bar at the front is packed with people in T-shirts and jeans, slamming back beers and downing margaritas. Overhead TVs feature sports. Conversation and flirting fills the air. In favorable weather, the sidewalk tables offer a nice escape from Colley Cantina's smoke-filled interior.
The fish tacos are a permanent and delicious house specialty. Quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos and other hearty Mexican entrees populate the majority of the menu. The plates are filling and affordable and orders are promptly delivered, even when it's busy. Not in the mood for Mexican? Try one of the large burgers. Whatever you order, be sure to wash it down with one of Colley Cantina's potent margaritas.
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