Atlanta >Food & Dining > Fuego Spanish Grill
1136 Crescent Avenue, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3030933.785705 -84.384292
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Midtown, Northeast
CLOSED – IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES!! SO SAD.. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER PLACE OF ROSWELL RD..
Awful Dining Experience! – My daughter spent a week researching places that she would like to eat for her 17th birthday. She settled on Fuego Spanish Grill because of the live music and her love of tapas. We made a reservation for a party of nine one week prior, and they told us that they did not have a liquor license and we were okay with that. However, when we arrived, we were told that the band was on vacation. We quickly conferred amongst ourselves, and decided that we would stay. This was a decision that we would later regret.
To begin with our waitress was very inattentive and we soon figured out why. A party of 20 or so women came in after us and she spent all of her time with them. We were on the patio and we could see her through the window refilling their glasses and attending to them. However, when she came to our table, she would quickly place the items we ordered on the table and then disappear. Several times I had to call her name to ask her to come back to the table and take care of whatever need we may have had.
Then, to make matters worse, she brought out 6 of the nine dishes we ordered (not including the birthday girls dish) and disappareared without a word. then, about 10 minutes later she brought out two more dishes and tried to disappear without a word. I had to call her back and ask her when my dish would be coming. She said it would be out in a minute. At this point we asked to speak to the manager.
In the meantime, we noticed that my daughters' salmon was burned (charred black on one side) and that the chicken dish delivered to my mother-in-law was not done. When the server finally brought my dish (10 minutes later), I asked her about the burned salmon. She was defensive and stated that it was only the skin that was burned and suggested that perhaps my daughter could eat around it. I asked her if she had served the dish in the past and if the salmon was burned then. She promptly threw her hands in the air and stated that it was not her responsibility to know how the dish should be served and that was the manager’s job. We asked her again to speak to the manager. Ten more minutes passed and still no manager.
Finally, after 20 minutes of waiting, we feared that our server had not relayed the message. So, I went in search of the manager myself. I found her delivering food to the table of 20. She listened to what I had to say and her eyes took on a very condescending and uncaring stare. In the meantime, our server was standing behind the manager laughing at me and shaking her head. When I brought this to the manager’s attention, she simply stated that she did not believe that the server was jeering at me and dismissed the fact. I could not believe the unprofessional nature of the manager and the server.
Needless to say, We informed the manager that we would not pay the gratuity. She also agreed to take 20% off of the bill and to take off the salmon and chicken dishes. This was a small compensation for a birthday dinner ruined. By the way, the manager never once came to our table and introduced herself and apologized for our horrible experience. Neither did she ask if there was anything she could do to make things better.
This was our first and last time eating at Fuego Spanish Grill. I might add that we were the only African American party in the restaurant. The remainder of the patrons (including the party of 20) were Caucasian and seemed to have a wonderful experience. I also might add that I have never left a restaurant without tipping a server. My usual tip amount is 20%. Neither have I ever taken time to write a negative review. However, this experience was so overwhelmingly horrible, that I had to write about it!
Good Location – The food is good, not excellent, but good. It's reasonablely priced. The tables are to close together and when its cold outside its cold inside as well. They seem to have a problem with the heat. The service is good, but not outstanding. The best thing about it is its location on Crescent which is close to a lot of nightlife.
Good bet - $1 tapas happy hour...if you know what to order – The attraction to Fuego was the $1 Tapas Happy Hour-4pm-6:30pm Monday thru Friday, and for those of you who are fans of tapas, you know how quickly you can run up a big tab. The $1 menu has a large selection, but here's the catch...you only get one piece of each item you order, which could be good or bad, depending on what you order. The grouper is great, and made us order a full tapas portion, along with the "Dream Dates", which is their most popular item, though I didn't taste the gorgonzola as advertised...the yucca fries were yum...the garlic shrimp was ok...the tuna was eh, so-so, and the mushrooms were blah (marinated in wine or something that gave them a funky, acidic taste,) and like another reviewer stated, the mojo chicken was subpar. The calamari, which is not on the $1 menu, was mostly tempura fried red and green pepper strips with a few calamari tossed in for authenticity...not my fav...the couples on either side of us had several interesting items that looked good-flank steak with chimichurri and some shrimp dish that intrigued further investigation...
The service was very attentive and informative and the atmosphere is nice (though with an empty restaurant on a Monday night, they seated everyone in the same section in the rear, leaving the patio and the rest of the place empty...I didn't care, as i got to see what everyone else was eating) Depending on how hungry you are, and how many people are in your group, you might be better off ordering full tapas portions, rather than sticking with the $1 specials. But if you've not been to Fuego before, or you are a solo diner, the $1 tapas is a good way to explore the menu, and get a cheap happy hour meal before you head out for the evening.
Laidback and inviting – I have to review Fuego since it became my dining room after I moved in the building above it. So here I am, representing baby! Fuego is a cool place to hang out, whether you're partying, catching up with an old friend or plain wanting to chill. The people working at the restaurant are very nice and they do anything to accommodate for your needs. During the day, it's quiet and that's when I like to go but I think my birthday there on a loud weekend night was fun also. Kudos to Eb and Tim.
Bring me a pitcher of that Sangria! – obsessed. fuego has been a favorite spot for years -- it is locally owned and managed and provide prompt, knowledgeable and energetic service.
neighborhood around Crescent makes fuego great place to stop by for drinks (Sweetwater, Dos Equis, Flying Dog beers ... SANGRIA and Mojitos are amazing .... great martinis) and a few tapas before heading out to Opera, cosmolava or door 44. Plenty of bar seating -- either at the bar or room for parties in the bar seating where smoking is permitted (thank god.).
Tapas look wonderful coming out of the kitchen and satisfy a comfort spot ... Dream Dates, Grouper, Mojo Chicken and maduros (personal favorite), Eggplant-stuffed goat cheese (zam). And Paella is one of the most authentic in Atlanta.
Big parties means a PERON! (basically a classy 'spanish tradition' cava funnel :) ) for the birthday guest of honor -- this is always hilarious.
and meet Sasha, the guitarist who plays live music Thursday-Saturday .... one of the most interesting and personable people you will ever meet.
NOTHING TO BRAGG ABOUT – ive dined here a couple of times in the past three months, the food is ok, not great, but the lunch menu is a deal. just recently i went there for lunch. I came in and was greeted by the bartender, she was really nice and had a warm inviting smile, If im not mistaken i think ive seen the same girl hosting AND serving tables, they must not have too many employees. there was nobody at her bar and as far as i could tell , nobody in the resturaunt. i saw two women sitting down at a table talking ,but it turns out they both worked there. i think one of them was a manager or owner (she wasnt dressed in black like the other two) and the lady she was talking to (or scolding) looked like she was about to cry or something. The bartender asked me where i wanted to sit and i chose a table on the patio, so she immediately came out from behind the bar and sat me and humored me about the empty resturaunt and "lack of seating" she was a hilarious and seemed to brighten up the dungeon-like vibe that i got when i walked in . the lady that looked like she was going to cry was my server, she was really nice and freindly too. she made my experience very pleasant. the food came out on time and was good. the resturaunt is nice but nothing to bragg about.i still cant get over how mean and cold the manager lady was.
Good Tapas, poor customer service – Good Food, equal to the other Tapas places in town. We were a professional business club meeting for dinner. After dinner we wanted to get out of the dark back room and enjoy the music and the pleasant weather on the patio. It wasn't that late, around 9, so a last round before going home to relieve the baby sitter seemed like a great idea. The patio was about half full with two available 4 tops in the middle. We asked if we could seat ourselves, the answer was yes. We pushed the two tables together. There was a loud rowdy group out there but we didn't mind As we waited for a server, the manager came out and scolded us for moving the tables together and wanted the 10 of us to move. So instead of spending a hundreds of dollars more there, we went elsewhere. As we left we saw the droves of people walking the streets and waiting to get in other places and it was not hard to imagine why they weren't going to Fuegos to hang out. The manager must be new and very inexperienced in how to attract and retain customers.
Hairy Tapas!!! Average Paella!!!‎ – We had great expectations for this lively Tapas bar in Atlanta; however, upon arrival, our evening seemed to be destined for a slippery slope of disappointment. We were seated at two unevenly matched and sticky tables, one that had to be balanced. We ordered drinks, mine being sangria, which was watery and lacked the sweetness one expects from sangria.
We then ordered tapas and our night changed forever. Our server recommended the bacon wrapped dates, stating that they were the most popular on the menu. We received our order, along with other choices, and were totally shocked when my sister began to pull a hair approximately six inches long from her mouth. We all sat in disbelief and disgust at what we witnessed. We immediately called our server to the table. He said that he would get the manager on duty. He returned and said that the manager was too busy to see us and that she would take that single order off our bill and give us a replacement order.
My sister did not want to leave...we were celebrating her husband's birthday. We remained and had the Paella that we ordered in advance, which proved to be average, at best. We opted out of desserts, hoping to put a quicker end to our dining experience at Fuego. I finally demanded that the manager come over to our table. After a longer than necessary wait, she showed up and offered us a 10% discount on top of the replacement of the "hairy tapas" that we received.
The lesson here is that the fast-paced Atlanta restaurant business needs to slow down, keep food preparation standards high, give attention to its customers, and never forget how fragile a business this is. When Fuego gives more attention to these matters, they might be able to consider themselves a high competitor in the stellar Atlanta market. Until that happens, I recommend that you visit other restaurants that practice these actions dutifully.
Best mojitos – This place has the best mojitos and they have a variety of them. The tapas and paella are great. In the two times I've been I loved the crabcake, coconut shrimp and calamari. They are wonderful!! Great place to meet up with firends or a romantic dinner for two. The live band adds to the atmosphere. Loved it!!!
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