For many years I have “boycotted” Margarita’s restaurant in Ocean Beach. I felt that when they opened their doors, they were unethical in the way they left another establishment that employed them for many years. As I heard it from the former employers, the new owners of “Margarita’s” left taking original recipes and staff from their establishment, and, if fact, set up the menu and environment similar to the one they had just left.
My husband and I frequented the original restaurant for years, only glancing in the store front windows of Margarita’s or looking at the very similar menu board propped up on a chair outside the doorway.
After my husband passed away, a neighbor asked me out to breakfast with he and his girlfriend and, without asking where we were going, I agreed to go. Imagine my surprise when we went to Margarita’s. I was greeted warmly by the staff, particularly Sandy, one of the former employees of the other restaurant and now one of the co-owners of Margarita’s, and Daniel, who was the “bus boy” at the previous restaurant and works in the same capacity here (although he does a lot more than just “busing” tables.)
I have been back several times since the initial outing with my friends, but have never gone with anyone other than with them. Today I went there with Joe, a friend I met on-line, for breakfast.
As always, Daniel greeting us with a smile; asked if we wanted coffee, and quickly filled our drink order and brought us salsa and chips. A few minutes later he came back with water for both of us. A waiter I had never seen before, Jesus, handed each of us a menu, and asked if we had any questions. We did, and he answered them quickly.
If you have not been to Margarita’s, you might be surprised to know that they have a very extensive menu, beginning with appetizers ($3.50-$8.00); three vegetarian plates ($7-8); a breakfast menu as well as breakfast combinations ($4.75-$7.50); American breakfasts – ($4.75-$8.50); Omelets ($7.25-$8.25); Pancakes and Waffles ($4.50); Oatmeal ($3.00); and a listing of Breakfast sides. There is also a Lunch/Sandwich menu; Lunch Specialties; Combination plates; ala carte plates; Salads; Kids menu; beer and wine, and many different beverages to choose from.
Joe had a #10 special – two sausages; 2 pancakes; and 2 eggs while I also had the #10 special, but had two pieces of bacon instead of the sausages. Both of our meals were very tasty and at $6.75 we were pleased with the meal. Well, almost pleased with what we had, because the basket of chips was rather “icky.” Half of the chips were wet. I could not see what they were wet from – it wasn’t salsa because there was not any color on them, but, none-the-less, not edible as far as I was concerned. The salsa was very good, but I put it on my eggs, not on the chips.
There is another thing that has always bothered me about the service here and at the previous restaurant. Daniel and Jesus were very friendly and made us feel welcome. I have come to realize that if I am not sitting at Sandy’s table, she ignores us entirely. No smile; no acknowledgement of any sort. I don’t really care if I am a “regular” or a “newbie”. No one likes to be ignored, and there is no excuse for not giving us a smile, or a nod, or some other form of recognition. If I do not feel welcome at an establishment, I will not be back. Even though the food was good and there was plenty of it the lack of welcome is not an inducement to return. And…to clarify, that when I have sat at a table that is Sandy’s, I feel welcome and look forward to a return. Such a simple gesture would make a world of difference.