Boston >Restaurants >
Mexican >Zocalo Cocina Mexicana
35 Stanhope St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211642.348417 -71.072958
Mon - Thu, 11:30am - 10pm; Fri, 11:30am - 11pm; Sat, 5-11pm; Sun, 5-10pm
Neighborhoods: Back Bay East, Back Bay
don't waste your time – They say they take reservations but when I called I got this rude man who told me they only take reservations for seatings prior to 6:00 and after 9:30 pm.....
Bland and rude – I do not give one star ratings as casually as a lot of reviewers. And this restaurant was headed for a still poor two stars until the end of our meal. That said, here is a recap of our meal.
My wife and I had a 7:00 reservation. We arrived a few minutes before that and were told it would be about ten minutes before our table was ready. Curiously, there were two tables open which remained open for the next half-hour but no big deal. We headed to the bar and got margaritas. The room was pleasant enough. Modern, simple and clean. The bartendress was very nice, friendly and served us quickly. The margaritas were delicious–not too sweet, not too tart, and just enough tequila to taste but not overpower the mixture.
We were seated within about five minutes. It was downhill from there. From that moment on, everyone we dealt with had an attitude and was downright unfriendly.
We ordered the “made tableside” guacamole. However, it was not made tableside. In fact, it was not even made in sight. Still, it tasted fresh. However, it also tasted like it was simply mashed avocado; there were no other detectable flavors. It was the blandest guacamole I’ve ever had. Like something you’d get in a chain restaurant in a Nebraska mall.
Our entrees arrived in a startlingly short time: perhaps five minutes after the guacamole. My wife’s fajitas were, well, fajitas. Hard to mess that up although they seemed to lack any kind of seasoning or marinade. One of the servers rather begrudgingly brought some extra salsa for her. My poblano mole was not good. It was very sweet. Mole has chocolate in it, I know. But it is supposed to be bitter chocolate. This was more like a hot fudge poblano sundae. It was very sweet and the chocolaty sweetness completely over powered all other ingredients if, indeed, there even were any. The food was definitely overpriced but not absurdly so.
While they were quick to get us our meal, afterward the servers could not be bothered. We wanted a second round of margaritas and simply could not get anyone to come to our table. Our original waiter disappeared for a very long time. And when he finally returned, he made a point of not paying attention to any but newly seated customers. He also pulled the old waitron trick of making sure he always turned away from diners to avoid any eye contact or gestures. Granted, this is a common (and infuriating) waitron tactic but it sucks no less for its commonness. We finally stopped another employee passing our table and got our second round. The waiter, then, brought our check without our asking.
So far: good margaritas, mediocre-at-best food; nice bartendress, waiter with an attitude; rushed service early, neglectful after, Then, came what may be the rudest thing I have ever experienced in a restaurant. They pulled a table up next to ours and actually began to set up our table for six people waiting at the bar. That’s right. Let me repeat. While my wife and I were enjoying the last few sips of our margaritas they moved a table up alongside ours and began preparing our table for the next group of diners! Mind you, we weren’t lingering like a Parisian at a sidewalk café. In fact, because they brought out our entrees so quickly, we hadn’t even been there an hour. The waiter hadn’t even run my credit card yet. We asked if they could wait until we left and they obliged but acted as if we were being completely unreasonable in our request.
That, my friends, is how you earn a one-star rating.
Don't think I'm coming back unless they retrain their host – The rudest host I have ever come across...and I've been a hostess and have worked in the restaurant industry for quite a while. The two of us came in for dinner at 7pm and were told the wait would be 20 minutes because we didn't have reservations which is totally fine and we went to the bar. So 20 minutes turns into 45 and we have still not been seated and have gone over to the host stand and have asked very politely about the situation. Mind you, there are three to four empty tables in the room. When I approach the host the third time, he tells me that he has a few 8pm reservations coming in but it was 7:45pm! (You should seat your waiters before reservations because tables will open up in the 15-20 minutes before they arrive) And we had already been waiting for 45 minutes instead of 20 minutes but have ordered appetizers from the nice girl at the bar. He was very rude and told me to keep waiting. Now I really enjoy the food here which is why I chose to wait. While I'm waiting, the host goes over to another couple who has just finished dinner and was about to leave and he starts pulling another table over to their table and hits it against theirs, in order to make a bigger table. Needless to say they are in complete shock because they had just signed the check and had not even gotten up yet. Then they leave and say that it's the last time they had come there. Other people at the bar noticed it and were so confused and people in a similar situation as us were also very aggravated. FINALLY 55 minutes later we are "invited" to our table. Our waiter was very friendly and the food was pretty good, however the experience beforehand was very unpleasant and made it almost impossible to enjoy our meal. And then when we left, the host did not even say goodbye.
We miss the way it was in Brighton!!! – My friends and I used to go to Zocalo when it was in Brighton and we happened to in Back Bay today, so we decided to check out the new location in the South End. It's now in a somewhat sketchy location near back bay station. When you walk into Zocalo, it has more of a modern, cold feel to it. The one in Brighton had a warm, welcoming feeling. Our waiter, Ethan, was either high and/or drunk. He was nice enough, but slurred his words and kept forgetting things. The food was good, as always! However, our overall experience left little desire to go back. Unfortunately, I am no longer craving to go back to Zocalo and my search for a good, authentic Mexican restaurant continues.
Not to be Missed! – To the dismay of many Brighton residents, Zocalo recently closed it's doors leaving the impression that it had gone out of business - for good. Thankfully, our impression was wrong, and Zocalo has now re-opened at its new location on Stanhope Street in Back Bay. If you like flavorful, Mexican food that also incorporates elements of other traditional Latin cuisines, then you will LOVE Zocalo.
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