El Meson Hits A Sour Note

Saturday, February 8, 2014 - by Willie Mae
Steak Fajita dinner at El Meson on Hamilton Place Boulevard
Steak Fajita dinner at El Meson on Hamilton Place Boulevard

My son Jack took me to dinner at El Meson on Hamilton Place Boulevard over the weekend. I try to visit places during a time when not many are dining, so it won’t be so crowded, but Jack was late and we hit the dinner crowd.

It wasn’t too bad and we were seated right away. Jack and I ordered Diet Cokes but didn’t know what we wanted to eat. We weren’t in a hurry and I wanted to relax and enjoy being with my son.

Our waiter said he would be back with our beverages, but we didn’t see him for a while. Jack and I looked over the menu and we heard live singing from across the room. What I thought was going to be an enjoyable evening started out bad and just got worse.

Jack and I listened to the person strum their guitar and sing, “I’m a Cowboy”. I thought it was a girl singing, but Jack asked me why a girl would be singing that she was a ‘cowboy’. I looked again and it was a man with long hair. He didn’t look like a cowboy at all and he didn’t sound country either.

Our waiter finally brought our Diet Cokes and Jack asked for a dish of their Queso cheese dip to go with the complimentary chips and salsa. Then we ordered our meals. I wanted the steak fajitas for $11.99 and Jack ordered a chicken Chimichanga for $8.99.

My attention went back to the singer and I heard the chorus from “House of the Rising Sun” (Jack helped me with the songs' names, but I knew some of them). This boy couldn’t stay on key and Jack said that he had a voice that was a cross between Bob Dylan and Jim Croce.

Just then, a boy came rushing from the kitchen and placed a heated pan of fajita makings on the table with a platter of refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce and he headed back for the kitchen without saying a word. Jack wondered if his meal would soon follow while our entertainer tried to hit the notes to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. All Jack and I could do was shake our heads with how this evening was going.

I was not brought the flour tortillas that come with my entrée and I was not given a plate to eat on either. When we saw our waiter, I asked him where the flour tortillas were and he said, “Oh, you want flour tortillas with it?” Now, I have ordered this dish many times before at other restaurants and that it how you eat them. He seemed to think he was doing me a favor by going back to get the tortillas. He said he would also check on Jack’s dinner. Jack reminded him about the Queso dip as he walked off.

He came back with the flour tortillas and told us that somehow the computer didn’t list the queso dip or Jack’s meal but he would tell them in the kitchen to add it. Jack didn’t buy that, but at that point we didn’t expect anything to get any better.

When I asked the waiter if I could have a plate he said, “You want an extra plate?” This got me tickled, because this boy could not accept that he didn’t bring the things he was supposed to in the first place and acted as if I was asking for something extra.

He brought Jack’s Chimichanga and brought a plate for me. I was finally able to put my fajitas together and start eating now that everything was lukewarm. Because of the confusion, I failed to get a picture of the Chimichanga.

Jack didn’t like the queso dip and I wasn’t fond of the fajitas, but he did like the Chimichanga. I ate less than half of my meal and that same boy that rushed from the kitchen came out with another Chimichanga. And, just as fast as he charged out, he saw Jack already had one and he turned on his heel and went back! I guess the computer fixed itself.

As our entertainer belted out Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” our waiter asked how everything was. I wasn’t going to lie. I just shrugged and said, “Eh.” He didn’t apologize. But just handed Jack the check and asked if we wanted boxes.

They were pretty busy and I thought perhaps it was one of those things where because it was very good most of the time, it was very busy and, because it was very busy it was not very good.

A party of eight or more were seated at the table near our booth and chairs were added and another table. Jack was trapped and could barely get out of the booth. We just wanted to leave. This was not a relaxing or enjoyable evening.

As we passed by the musician he belted out, “Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged…” Jack and I just wanted to get out!

I understand they were busy and people must like this place so take it for what you will. But nothing about our evening was anything that would make us want to go back.

Hours:

Sunday - Thursday: 11am-10pm

Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm


Wizard Needs Food Badly: The Stars Align For Champy’s

Summer thunderstorms had doused our plans to spend the evening at the drive-in. Lionel and I were pretty bummed, since we’d been looking forward to the new Ghostbusters for some time, so we decided to make the best out of our night by going to the theater and out to eat. After catching a matinee at the Majestic 12, we both pretty easily agreed on dinner at Champy’s. I don’t ... (click for more)

Chicken Salad Chick On Gunbarrel Marks 2-Year Anniversary With Community Event

Chicken Salad Chick , a southern inspired , fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept, announced it will be celebrating its two year anniversary at the Hamilton Place location in Chattanooga, on Friday. The restaurant, at 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 200, will mark the anniversary with giveaways on Friday, to thank guests for their loyal support. The first 50 guests at ... (click for more)

Baylor School Tennis Coach Charged With Buying Meth In Whitfield County, Ga.

A Baylor School tennis coach has been arrested on charges of buying meth in Whitfield County, Ga. Philip Johnson, 51, of Ooltewah, was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and use of a communication facilities during drug transactions. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)