Not so Fantastic Feasting Essay
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All around town people have been talking about the new Mexican restaurant, El Fogon (The Stove), by the movie theatre on the Interstate Parkway in Green, OH. People are excited to have a new restaurant and are anxious to try it. But take my advice and don’t waste your time on visiting this joint unless you like greasy and grimy food. El Fogon has an unusually clean dining area and a deceivingly inviting and personal atmosphere, none of this corresponds with the staff in the least bit.
Although the workers act and dress conservatively, we waited for our orders to be taken for more than fifteen minutes. The menu was laid out nicely and made it easy to see what food they offer at the restaurant. The print on the menu was small but I personally had no problem reading it. All the items on the menu ranged from four dollars to ten dollars. The food I was served was not fresh and the presentation was sloppy.
I ordered the taco salad but it looked like something my four year old younger sister would make out of mud.
My friend, Shannon, always orders quesadillas when going out to eat. She didn’t like the quesadillas at all; she described them as being greasy and had suspicions that the cooks had cooked her food in old frying oil. We both ordered the two dollar tacos, which were served with your choice of chicken or steak on top of a hand full of lettuce on a store bought shell. They were very disappointing and neither of us finished them; they were dry and tasteless. On a positive note, the portions were extremely large for the prices listed on the menu. I have visited El Fogon once prior to my previous visit. I had ordered the taco salad during my first visit; it was presented very nicely and tasted so good that I had finished my whole plate, leaving nothing behind. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive. She seemed to really enjoy working and greeted us right away. Our waiter during our second visit seemed to have had something better to do for our entire visit at the restaurant and only approached us when we called him over to our table. He was hard to understand, much like many of the other employees and the restaurant, having a deep Mexican accent.
Once or twice we had to ask for our waters to be re-filled, if he heard us he came right over to our table, but many times he just walked away. He didn’t seem too happy to be at work and appeared to have something else on his mind. He did not add to my experience at all. Above the bathroom door reads, Baῆo meaning restroom and above the kitchen reads Cocina meaning kitchen, there is a lot of very strongly Mexican influenced artwork throughout the restaurant that I thought added to my experience. Mexican restaurants should provide their customer with an experience that is relative to the origins of whichever Spanish speaking country it is based from and El Fogon did an excellent job. There was a large bar in the restaurant that was completely empty and made it very easy to see into the kitchen behind it. The kitchen looked very clean and organized. The restaurant is very large and has too many tables for the number of customers at any given time.
The restrooms were very clean and large. The door to the women’s restroom reads niῆas meaning girls or women, and the men’s restroom door reads niῆos meaning boys or men. Ginny R. from Green, OH, has praised the restaurant for the quality of its food, portion sizes and low-priced menu. I do agree that the portions are large and the menu is extremely reasonable, but the quality of the food served at El Fogon is so cheap and bland that it is not worth half the price that the menu claims for it. “Great food for a reasonable price”, claims Aaron H. from North Canton, OH. The only thing that is good on the El Fogon menu is the cheese sauce that you can order for the chips, but even the chips are greasy, bland, and tasteless and not to mention under salted. Another Mexican restaurant in the area, Ponchos, has great food. The prices are a little bit more expensive but the atmosphere and service always leaves me coming back wanting more.
Even though Ponchos is not an authentic Mexican restaurant the food is still much better than at El Fogon. The owner of this establishment must have not done their homework when picking the site for their restaurant. Although it is close to the local cinema theatre, and you would expect a busy out turn of customers into El Fogon, the exact opposite happens. The restaurant is almost always empty. Restaurants in this same location have not lasted more than 6 months without going out of business due to lack of customers. Unfortunately I see the same outcome for El Fogon as well. After an hour visit to El Fogon, I left unsatisfied, hungry, and full of displeasure. While El Fogon is not worth a trip or the money, it was surely an experience regardless of how bad it was.