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    51 Reviews
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      26.11.2012 13:19

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      eat here only as last resort, dont use for that special occasion as they ruined it

      We never been to chiquito before , so when one open up at ashford kent , we went along, meal was lovely and service, but sadly this was not norm at this restaurant, as our second visit was slow service and under cooked luke warm food, so we made a complaint and received a vip voucher, well this voucher was sent with letter , not telling us you could not have any change from it , if you say spent £20 and voucher was £25 or fact you could not use with other offers.

      having a vip voucher is like putting a target on ones head, as staff at ashford namely the mangers, will take instant dislike to you and instead making up to you for the poor service , which got you the voucher, they treat you even worse, as to my and husband found out, spoken to so rudely by mangeress and waiter, to point I ended up leaving in tears, all because I queary the bill, we been charged for beers , but neither I or my husband drink beer and we ask for difference on voucher, how was we to know they did not give the difference back.
      how would they like it if they had two people shouting at them in front of joe public, so again head office said sorry and this time gave us another vouchers in small amounts, well manger at ashford treated us like lepers, for having these vip vouchers and again ruined our night, so although head office do seem to care , its at ground level the staff do not, we would not had to complained over and over if they given us good manners and properly cook food, the only good thing was it was not all food was bad our main course was nice, it was dersert look nothing like the picture and chips were badly cooked.

      I like to say go to this restaurant but sadly staff and the mangement have no idea what good manners is or to take on board if they made mistake re the food, so guess happy to continue to serve there food the wrong way and treat customers with vip with utter comtempt!

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      05.07.2012 23:23
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      great for a bite to eat, maybe not for a special occasion

      Chiquito restaurant and bar is a chain of Mexican restaurants around the country. I often find them at those industrial sites with cinemas and pizza huts, but they're not only found there. In total there are 68 restaurants across the country.

      The whole atmosphere reminds me very much of Frankie and Benny's. I've been visiting Frankie and Benny's for years - way before I visited Chiquito and I was surprised at how similar they felt inside despite being completely different cuisines. I have since found out that they are both from the same umbrella company known as "The Restaurant Group" which really shows. They are nothing if not consistent!

      I went to the York restaurant which is situated outside of the City. It was a very quiet Thursday evening, but even so it took a while to be seated. Neither of us were drinking, but I enjoyed looking at all the cocktails - there was a huge selection! I personally hate tequila, but there was a very impressive selection of margaritas and I saw a few go out from the bar and they looked pretty good!
      I was a bit dubious of going because I'm a vegetarian and in my head all that would be on the menu would be chicken and ground beef! I also wasn't sure how spicy it would be for my friend, but I love spicy food. In turns out the food isn't overly spicy and there is plenty for vegetarians! We were brought nachos free of charge with a great salsa dip which was a nice touch - it makes a change from the traditional complementary bread in most restaurants.

      We chose to eat off of the evening menu which is available from 5pm Monday - Thursday. It's two courses for £9.99 which can be either starter and main or main and desert. Unlike a lot of set menus, there was so much to choose from - 7 starters, 11 deserts and a lot of mains! The mains include salads, chicken (with a choice of sauces and sides), American inspired foods like burgers and wraps, tortilla lined bowls with a choice of fillings, Chiquito favourites including Chilli and fish and the 'Mexican Cantina'. The Cantina has four styles of dish (Enchilada, Burrito, Chimichanga, Soft Tacos) with a choice of three fillings (Veggie Chilli, Beef Chilli or Spicy Chicken). Like I say, so much choice - it's a bit overwhelming!

      There is also a similar lunch menu which is £5.99 for one course, £7.99 for two and £9.99 for three which is available from 11am - 5pm Mon-Fri. You can add beer, wine or a soft drink for £1.50 - bargain!
      The main menu which is the only menu available at the weekends is a bit more extensive and the prices aren't too much more expensive. The fajitas are on this menu and one day I will definitely splash out and try them! There always seems to be vouchers for Chiquito online and this is the only menu you can claim on - the special menus are already discounted and therefore you can't use discount codes. All the menus are available in full online so you can take a look before you decide to go. We didn't book; the restaurants are usually quite big, but if I was going on a weekend or with more than two people I definitely would ring ahead.

      My experience at this particular branch wasn't overly fantastic - we felt really quite rushed to leave, despite it being fairly early, but the food came promptly and it was delicious and cheap. I would definitely go again, even to this branch because there are still so many things on the menu I want to try. For me, that is really unusual as most places only have one vegetarian option! In the UK we really don't have many Mexican restaurants so it feels like a change from Italian and Chinese.

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      04.06.2012 19:54
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      Not haute cuisine, but taste,value, ambience, and service were all excellent.

      Introduction
      **********
      Last night I visited Chiquito with my wife. This is part of the chain of Mexican restaurants throughout the UK. The Blackburn version adjoins a Frankie & Benny's and an ice rink,lies across from a Pizza Hut, and is in close proximity to a cinema and retail park. So, plenty of scope for post-eat activity to burn off those burritos. We had been here before, but not for some time, and were curious to see what it was like.

      Appearance
      **********
      The appearance is attractive, with outdoor seating available - although this would be a rare option indeed given Blackburn's climate. You are often assailed by a Latin beat from some distance, which is not always unpleasant unless it's Ricky Martin. The interior is dark, very clean and airy with a nice, plentiful mix of tables and booths. There is a small bar area to your left dotted with high stools which surround a long, diagonally-slung table. They also line the front window, if you prefer counting cars. It is possible just to nip in for a drink, which is not a bad option given the ever-dwindling amount of decent drinking holes in the town.

      Greeting
      *******
      Our acknowledgement and greeting was prompt and friendly, the waitress diverting us to a nice table with a long comfy-looking, padded seat opposite a couple of chairs (guess who got the chair -the clue is in comfy-'looking' grrr!). She did ask us if the location was ok, which is a nice touch often overlooked. I hate places where they march you over to a designated place, where you have to remonstrate needlessly to be re-located. They don't choose your food, so why should they decide where you sit?
      The waitress offered us two menus, a main and a set carte, and told us that our server, Chris, would be over shortly. I know you don't really need to know his name, but I thought it was a nice touch and hopefully gives the servers some ownership, respect and a feeling of responsibility.

      Menus
      *****
      The menus had changed quite considerably since my last visit. We had actually got a voucher for 20% from a recent visit to the Vue cinema nearby which restricted us to the main menu. Nevertheless, the set version does contain a reasonable choice and looks particularly good value - hence the voucher exclusion, no doubt.
      The main menu impressed me with its appearance and diversity. My feeling is that Mexican food is not everyone's bag and has had a rather unfair reputation for being one-dimensional. There is a pre-conception that enchiladas, burritos and fajitas make up 99% of that country's fayre . But there is plenty besides and Chiquito seems to have embarked on a culinary crusade to mix things up and diversify. They proudly maintain the Mexican dishes as the staples, with appealing photographs, painstaking descriptions and choices of fillings. They have also embraced Tex-Mex dishes and even tapas for those who would rather drink Texaco than eat Mexico. I really can't understand the anti-Mexican reaction - my hope is that it is ignorance and prejudice concerning the 'lack of diversity', but I feel Chiquito is on the right track here.

      Some particularly interesting additions since my last visit were the Pollo del Fuego (fiery chicken), Slow roasted lamb shank (within a Mexican twist), and the Aztec Jambalaya. There is a curious fish dish (Mahi Mahi) which combines mango and a light chili glaze. There is also a good range of steak available.
      Vegetarians are well catered for with dishes such as the Veggie Five Bean Chili, and the Jambalaya (vegetarian alternative), being two such examples. Furthermore, you can mix and match all manner of vegetarian fillings with the burritos,enchiladas, tacos etc.

      The kids menu looks pretty extensive too with a Taco Tapas Tray, and mini burritos, and fajitas. I suppose it's difficult for Chiquito to persuade kids to try more adventurous food but they seem to be very resourceful and the kids are well looked after. There were some free colouring packs they could pick up on the way in and the few children that were there last evening seemed to be in their element.
      At the risk of being 'listy' I would urge anyone wishing to view the menus to visit the website at www.chiquito.co.uk

      Presentation and taste
      *******************
      I plumped for the Pollo del Fuego while my wife opted for the fajitas.
      The fajitas was the first dish to arrive, suitably sizzling as it was set down with a cautionary 'don't touch the plate!' heads up. It was delivered on a large wooden block which was topped by a volcanic mound of steaming chicken strip fillets. These were accompanied by pots of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. There was a carefully parcel wrapped pile of rolled tortillas aside a dish of grated cheese and lettuce.The tempting appearance seemed to be matched by the taste as my wife entered the rare zone of tacit satisfaction! Furthermore, she said it was the most enjoyable meal she has had for a while which, believe me, is praise indeed.
      My fiery chicken flew in shortly after and also looked pretty hot, in more ways than one, This was made up of long fillet strips in a spicy coating, atop a bed of brown rice and 'fajita vegetables'. The dish was indeed hot and spicy, so the sour cream that topped it proved to be a welcome cooling device. It wasn't macho-macho hot, but my tongue knew it had been in a fight. My only slight concern was that the chicken was ever so marginally on the tough side, but the piquancy and combination of tender rice and vegetables helped to offset this.

      Part-way through our mains we opted for a large pitcher of Sangria, which was a nice deep ruby red, topped with ice and swirling wedges of fruit. The taste was excellent, and much better than some we had in Barcelona a couple of years ago. I don't know; they can't overcome Chelsea and then they are toppled by Blackburn at sangria-serving!
      It was accompanied by two curvilinear wines glasses and straws, and we easily got six glasses ( three each) out of the giant jug. I know that it's not the done thing to have lager, cocktails and sangria but... what the hell!
      We had no room for dessert and, mercifully , this was not pressed upon us. I think any attempt to do so would have been met by a Roberto Duran-style cry of "No mas!", as we waved the white towel. Having said that, we were pleasantly but not gut-bustingly full. For the sweet-toothed there is no shortage of options.If I did have room for more I think that I would opt for their Chocolate Sizzler. I could attempt to describe it but make no apology for including the Chiquito sales pitch version:

      'The ultimate chocolate luxury! We take a marbled, double chocolate brownie served in a hot skillet topped with vanilla ice cream. Then at your table, we pour over butterscotch sauce & watch the sizzle! A bubbling combination that is heaven for any dessert lover.'

      I needed a good reason not to succumb to that! Otherwise there is a selection comprising fudge waffle, vari-flavoured ice cream, cheesecake, banana taquito, churros (fried soft dough dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with hot fudge sauce) and more. The other standout option is their dessert shots where you can combine anything from one to five mini samples of various desserts.

      The service was attentive throughout, albeit the only time we had a prolonged wait was when waiting to pay - Chiquitos have got that aspect of Latino life off to a tee! The bill came to £52 after our discount (the 20% was only redeemable against food orders). While this was more than we set out to spend, we could not complain given the seldom-ventured savouring of sangria that we enjoyed.
      We ended with another drink at the bar, for a change of scenery. I sandwiched the evening with another San Miguel while my wife went for a Black Russian - not literally!

      Conclusion
      *********
      Although Chiquito is a chain, I truly had a great evening there. Ok, I realise that the food is on the mass produced side of things but, even so, the taste and experience made it punch above its weight. The enjoyment was enhanced by polite, efficient and courteous staff. They were not in your face, but gave us just the appropriate amount of attention. The atmosphere is lively and pretty authentic due to the latino beats that play at a perfect volume. There is none of the chaos of Frankie and Benny's
      where the lights suddenly go out, I stab myself in the hand with a steak knife and, to make matters worse, Cliff Richard airs his larynx to the death knell of 'Congratulations'. I am basing my rating on the overall experience and, while it may not be the best cuisine in the world, the evening's enjoyment was top drawer.
      So, I would heartily recommend that you give Chiquito a go. Contrary to popular opinion it's not all cactus juice and rings of fire!

      Location
      *******
      Lower Audley St Retail Park
      Blackburn
      BB1 1BB

      Contact
      *******
      01254 666270

      Alternatively you can book a table for any Chiquito using the postcode finder via their website at www.chiquito.co.uk

      Online bookings can be taken for parties of 10 or less. If there are any more than 10 people, they require you to discuss your requirements by telephone.

      Access
      ******
      Very convenient, although there is no car park at the front of the restaurant as it sits on a main road. There is ample space on the retail park/ice arena behind or there is a large car park that serves Matalan and Staples across the road.

      Offers
      *****
      It seems our cinema offer was not so exclusive after all. This applies to any visit between Sunday and Thursday. They also have Kids Eat Free and Lunch Deals.
      This can be accessed in more detail on the website but if you do pay a visit they may well hand you some vouchers, as they did with us, when you leave.

      *This review has also been posted on Ciao under the username FLOCKOFSEAGULLS.

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        20.02.2012 11:13
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        Great for kids, average for adults

        2 adults and 2 children visited Chiquitos on the basis that we had never been there before, and I have visited a Chiquitos in Birmingham since.

        Chiquitos serves Mexican food ranging from burritos to nachos, with a few plainer dishes inbetweener to satisfy appetites that prefer plainer food.

        On arrival we were warmly greeted and placed on a corner table with comfortable sofa type seats.
        Although it was very cold outside, the air conditioning units were on, making the dining space incredibly cold.

        However the kids were given activity packs which included stickers and crayons which kept them entertained while we were waiting for the food.

        Food:
        The kids chose to eat off the kids menu, which included a main meal, drink and a dessert for £4.99. Both kids had the burger with chips, with a small orange each. The drinks for the kids are VERY small so if you are on a budget, get them to drink slowly!

        The kids meals are absolutely fantastic, and I tip my hat to them. The portion sizes are very good, with the youngest struggling to eat all of his and the always hungry older child thoroughly satisfied for once!

        The kids followed up their meals with desserts, one having the warm chocolate brownie which looked delicious, and the other having cookie cup ice cream which looked equally as good.

        However, the adults meals are disappointing in terms of portion size.

        I had the Taco Tapas Tray which had 3 dishes of various fillings, along with 4 tortillas to spoon the fillings into. The whole dish looks great on the plate. The dishes are incredibly shallow, and there is very little food on offer here. The second adult meal was a cheese burger, which in all honestly was only marginally bigger than the kids portion, in fact we agreed that we would have been better off having a kids meal each ourselves!

        While the kids went away full, we left feeling like we hadn't eaten and ended up eating another meal at home.

        On the Saturday that we went there were no valid offers or vouchers, and the meal came to £35. It seemed quite pricey for a meal that failed to leave the adults satisfied.

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        21.12.2011 08:10

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        Chiquitos Watford (Woodside) 20.12.11 Ordered a non-alcoholic, cranberry cocktail at £3.29. Judging by the colour (very similar to dentists mouthwash) it must have had at least a teaspoon of cranberry juice in it. In an approx. 200ml small glass i.e. small. A very poor effort. Main course was equally disappointing. Steak, hot chilli sauce + fries and salad @ £16.99. No sauce with the steak (waitress bought me an inkwell-sized pot of sauce straight from a bottle), could count the 'obviously been hanging around for a while' fries on the fingers of one hand and the salad was a pile of leaves with one cherry tomato. Whoopee-do! Didn't hang around for dessert.Value for money 2 out of 10.

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        18.12.2011 01:26
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        Not sure about this one

        On a recent trip to Sheffield to see my sister for her birthday, we decided to go to Chiquitos for lunch. Chiquitos actually wasn't our first choice of restaurant. We really wanted to go to Frankie and Benny's but there was a 40 minute wait for a table due to it being half term and the kids not being at school. As I don't really like spicy food, I had never been before but my sister assured me that there were plenty of other options available and that I wouldn't have to order anything remotely spicy if I didn't want to. The Chiquitos restaurant is a tram journey away from the city centre but it doesn't take long to get there, just get off at the Valley Centertainment stop where Cineworld and the arena is.

        Once we got sat at our table, of which there was a lot of empty ones to choose from, we were asked extremely quickly if we wanted drinks before our waiter rushed off. Our drinks were then placed on our table without a word before the waiter rushed off again. To me, this was pretty rude and bad service to begin with. There were only two people serving/ taking orders and there weren't that many people in the restaurant. We had to wait about another 15 minutes before we were able to place our order as no one came to see us again during this time.

        We chose to take advantage of the special lunch time menu which consisted of 2 courses for £7.99 and our drink would only cost £1.50 which I thought was a pretty good deal. For starters, I had the garlic flatbread which was absolutely delicious. Two oven baked tortillas were placed on top of each other and covered with a garlic powder and herbs. I loved my starter and would happily order this again. My sister had the Mushrooms con Queso and she said hers was fantastic as well.

        For my main meal, I was extremely safe with my choice and had the Chiq Chiq Chicken with BBQ sauce. I was definitely not feeling adventurous when it came to ordering something spicy. As well as my chicken, my meal came with onion rings, fries and coleslaw. The chicken was cooked to perfection and it pretty much fell off the bone. There was just the right amount of BBQ sauce for the amount of chicken whereas in some places it can be too much. As I started to tuck into my meal and enjoy it, my sister was not having the same good experience as I was.

        She had chosen a vegetable chilli Chimichanga which is filled with chilli, rice, refried beans and melted cheese. Having been to Chiquitos before, she knew that she loved this dish so was really looking forward to eating it. As I was happily enjoying my own meal, she started to eat hers. After only one bite, she told me it tasted like chicken which it definitely shouldn't have. My sister has been vegetarian for 15 years now and has never eaten any form of meat during this time so she was a bit freaked out by her food tasting like chicken. As she cut her meal in half, she saw there was actually chicken in it instead of it being the vegetarian option. Disgusted, she got someone over to our table very quickly and stated what was wrong. The guy serving us just looked at her gone out, not knowing what to do so the supervisor had to be called over instead.

        Thankfully, the supervisor was much more helpful and sorted out the problem quickly. He put in another order to the kitchen and explained what was wrong to them and in only 10 minutes, a replacement meal was brought over. My sister was still livid at the point because she had actually eaten some chicken and was disgusted that she had. The supervisor was lovely though and told us that all of her meal would be free and that my drinks and starter would also be free. Even though something quite bad happened, it turned out ok and I only had to pay £5.99 for my meal and my sister's was completely free.

        Although my first experience at Chiquitos was not the best, I would still go again. I doubt this kind of thing happens too often but I would advise vegetarians to check their meal if it is something where you might not see the meat.

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          13.09.2011 10:59
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          experience seems to depend on the day: can be satisfying but sometimes not so much

          This review is about Chiquito in Durham. Chiquito, Durham, is based in the city's Walkergate complex along with several cafes, bars and restaurants near to the central library and Gala theatre. They've had a 'kids eat free' promotion over the summer holidays which has encouraged me to visit a few times recently.

          ~Building~
          Chiquito is part of a national chain that offers Mexican food. The decor in this one works hard at being Mexican, some might say too hard. There's a lot of dark brown wood, clay pots, sun artwork, plenty of plants, photos and rustic folk bits. The colours are terracotta, brown, reds and yellows. Mexican voices sing from the speakers to booths, tables and the bar where comfy looking sofas beckon, (children aren't allowed in the bar side). There's a large downstairs area, a more intimate mezzanine level where the toilets are located, and a handful of tables outside. The toilets are fairly typical of pub toilets - three cubicles, clean enough, nothing especially lush. There are some disabled toilets on the ground floor, but apparently they are not that easy to get into, being located behind heavy fire doors.

          ~Lunch~
          Both lunch and main menu's have plenty of choice. The lunch menu offers a main meal for £5.99 with a choice of soft drink for £1.50, combined with a free meal for a child this seems good value. On my last visit I chose the vegetable chilli enchiladas. These come served on a bed of rice with garnish. I liked the rice which was lightly spiced and chewy, but there wasn't very much of it. The two enchiladas didn't have much heat, but they were still pretty tasty. The filling was mainly beans and pulses. Having had this dish a couple of times I've noticed that the garnish varies with the chef, I preferred the original salad garnish to the coriander garnish on my second visit, ( the ubiquity of coriander distresses me). The enchiladas are quite small which makes for a light lunch, although if you receive complimentary nachos beforehand it's sufficient, I once ordered a side of chips, but was too full to eat them after having had nachos too.

          ~Dessert~
          I have tried the churros for dessert. These are priced at £3.99 and described as: Delicious soft dough fried until crispy, dusted with cinnamon sugar. Served with warm chocolate fudge sauce for dipping. I have to say I was disappointed. The flavour and texture reminded me of sweet waffles, but the shape and the fat I could feel oozing off them made me feel I may as well be dipping chips into chocolate sauce. The sauce was okay but nothing special. I can't recall any other occasion on which I haven't enjoyed a dish that involves chocolate, but in this case by the time I finished I felt I'd been forcing these down for the sake of it.

          ~Kids Menu~
          This is usually priced at £4.99 for a main meal, dessert and drink. My daughter tends to opt for the fish fingers and chips, it's a decent sized plate of food; four fingers with chunky chips cooked in the skin, a few beans or other token 5-a-day effort wouldn't go amiss. The ice cream is generally two scoops in a large bowl and might be sprinkled with powdered sugar, depends on the day. Fruit juices, milks and water are all included in the price, but a fruit shoot or fizzy soft drink has an extra charge.


          ~Service~
          I've found the service to be erratic. On one occasion food was served in a dish which was chipped and cracked, not something that suggests a commitment to a quality service. I mentioned the nachos - a couple of times we have received a complimentary plate of nachos and dip to nibble on while waiting for the meal, another day and no nachos. Also, while the website promises that children will be given an activity pack, my daughter only received this, nice little pack with crayons, colouring in and puzzles, on one out of three visits. One day one of the staff presented all of the children present with a helium Chiquito balloon, this was a big hit, and a one-off. On our most recent visit, in lieu of fish fingers my daughter was presented with a plate of what seemed to be fish nuggets, this may not seem like much of a difference but children can be fussy when something isn't exactly as they expect it to be and my child wasn't impressed. She had previously been impressed by the powdered sugar on the ice cream and she was really looking forward to having it again, but on the next visit the sugar was absent. On the following visit no powdered sugar again, but this was more than made up for in my daughter's eyes by the fact that there were three ice cream scoops instead of the usual two.

          Service time has usually been reasonable, although we had a longish wait on our last visit. Staff members have all been pleasant enough, if a little flustered seeming at times, and it's never been really busy when I've visited. I've also noticed a reluctance on the part of staff to return to the table once the bill has been presented. The last couple of visits I've left money on the table and exited, I'm not entirely comfortable with doing that but I don't want to sit around waiting for someone to come and collect payment and the staff have been either invisible, or else rushing about looking distracted.


          ~Upshot~
          A meal at Chiquito in Durham seems a little unpredictable, with service standards dependent on the latest employee. It might not be a particularly expensive restaurant but I'm not convinced that Chiquito's full priced menu is great value. I've been given a couple of special offer booklet on visits; kids eat free vouchers, money off and so on within a time limit. It seems everywhere has some sort of special offer on these days, who pays full price anymore? Whatever the case, with the kids eat free promotion it's usually under a tenner for me and my daughter to eat lunch in Chiquito's and while the food is nothing amazing, it is nice enough to be considered a treat.


          Chiquito
          Walkergate
          Durham DH1 1SQ
          Tel: 0191 3706470

          website: www.chiquito.co.uk/restaurant/durham-walkergate

          Opening Times: 11am to 11pm daily, (except Sunday 10.30pm closing).

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            19.06.2011 21:09
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            I would advise against dining here

            My wife booked a table for myself and our 4 year old twins for fathers day. I will not be going back. Customer service is an unknown concept it seems. Waited an hour for our main courses to arrive. We brought our wait to the attention of the waiter twice, spoke to the deputy manager (Alex?) who definately needs retraining in customer care, and i quote "it is not my lifes ambition to ruin your day". I also asked to speak with the manager and she either never got my request or declined to speak with me as i got a second visit from the deputy manager trying to tell me he was the manager until my wife pointed out she knew the manager was female. Starters were good but i couldn't rationally comment on our main courses as by the time they arrived i had lost my appetite and so had my wife. i have complained via the www.aboutmyvisit.co.uk site and i will post a copy to their head office but it seems these days the only way to register your dissatisfaction with a company is not to spend your money with them.

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              18.06.2011 09:42

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              Head office was very appologetic but letter that follwed did not match what I was told

              I bring to your attention without any hesitation whatsoever of the entire total dissatisfaction of service that my party of three experienced at the above restaurant which we visited on Saturday 21st May last, which lasted from 7.10pm until the time we left at 9.20pm.

              Arriving and being greeted we were informed that we would have a short 5 minute wait for a table to be available. Given we were seated within the time advised we was impressed, but from that point forthwith everything to ruin a special evening commenced.

              Having given us a few minutes to settle our waiter took our order for three drinks, together with the meal order for both starters and main course.
              After waiting at the table for at least 20 minutes the waiter returned to our table with an apology to the effect that the "Kitchen" had " Lost Our Order" therefore the waiter took our total order again.
              Following the repeated order to the waiter it was some 15 minutes approximately from then that the first of the three drinks arrived, one cup of tea. The remaining two outstanding drinks from the Bar had still not arrived by the time our one member had completely drunk their cup of tea. The outstanding two drinks arrived some 25 minutes after they had been ordered.

              Approximately 40 minutes later and still not having received our starter course the waiter attended out table and asked if we would like any further drinks, at this point a further cup of tea was ordered and when this was delivered to the table within a reasonable waiting time.
              The disgraceful state of the inside of the cup was then pointed out to the waiter who promptly changed it, at this point I would ask is the cleanliness of the crockery not checked before passing on to the customer?

              After approximately 45 minutes of placing our 2nd order with the waiter we received our 1st course (starters).
              Having completed the 1st course and the crockery having been cleared from the table we was anticipating our main course would quickly be with us, but how wrong we were to think that!
              It was now about 8.35pm when the waiter came to our table and made comment to us that he knew we had been waiting some time and it would be with us shortly, as a matter of interest he also made this comment to a couple sitting adjacent to us as well.

              / Still waiting
              Still waiting at 9.10pm, yes 9.10pm for our main course the waiter was approached and informed that unless our food was delivered to the table within 10 minutes we would require our bill to be made up on what we have had so far as we were not prepared to wait any longer.
              Need I say that after waiting for 10 minutes to elapse the food did not arrive and we were not even approached by any member of staff to give us any assurances as to our food arriving and therefore being very dissatisfied and indeed very hungry indeed a request was made for our bill to be made up. At this point the Manager was brought to us by our waiter who in turn simply said three words "sorry about that" this statement in our opinion was delivered with no sincerity at all or even in an apologetic manner it came across to us all as just a "Run of the Mill" statement and consequently we made settlement and left very, very dissatisfied customers indeed.

              My observations from other customers within our area would suggest that possibly you will receive additional letters of complaint if they feel as angered and very annoyed on the service we received as we do given we were not the only group to have taken the action of leaving the restaurant having waited a very excessive amount of time waiting to receive their main course.

              I would say that if the restaurant on the night were suffering from staff shortages or if there were a problem with the equipment within the kitchen area that contributed to the delays we experienced then should it not have been proper and correct and indeed good customer practice and further more a morale responsibly to have at least notified us at the time we was first greeted at the restaurant of the possible long delays instead of seating us to our table and then ruining our very special evening.

              Needless to say our experience encountered will now lead us to be very concerned indeed as to entering your chain of restaurants in the future, as we do not want our evenings spoilt by what appears to be total incompetence to provide good customer service by your team at the Basildon Restaurant.

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              22.02.2011 23:08
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              I would go back in a taco!

              Chiquito is a UK based Mexican restaurant chain. There are currently 65 restaurants nationwide. Chiquito pride themselves in creating dishes that are made with fresh ingredients. My review is based on my local restaurant in Hamilton.

              Palace Towers
              Hamilton
              ML3 6AD

              01698 456250

              The restaurant is open every day 11am - 11pm except a Sunday when they close at 10pm.

              Other restaurants in the Strathclyde area include Glasgow Quay, Braehead and Livingston.

              *~*Hamilton Restaurant*~*

              Chiquito in Hamilton is conveniently located a short walk from the main shopping area. It is directly underneath the Vue cinema and across from Asda with plenty of car parking available. Approaching the restaurant offers outside menus and special offer posters. Through the double doors and the bar sits adjacent to a reception area and resting chairs.

              The Hamilton restaurant is based over 3 levels. The main floor, a raised section in the far corner and an upstairs can seat several diners. The restaurant offers plenty of seating for different sized parties. Specially designed chairs and wooden tables are placed around the restaurant and there are a few booths and padded, round sofa type chairs. High chairs are also available.

              The ambience in the restaurant is Mexican focused as you can imagine. Colourful, bold photos in frames adorn the walls, vases and unusual bottles are placed around the window cills. Upstairs, a balcony area overlooks the main floor and can be accessed up a metal staircase. The toilets are located in the middle of the restaurant next to the bar and offer 3 doors..hombres, senoiritas and disabled. The very back of the restaurant reveals an open plan design kitchen where the chefs can be seen at work.

              *~*Menu*~*

              Ok, so this is a Mexican restaurant so the theme is Mexican. A few other dishes with a more traditional approach are offers. There a few different menus to choose from depending on what time of the day you visit. I will briefly comment on the ones i have read.

              *Main Menu*

              Available all day. Presented in booklet form with informative details and pictures, there any many options to choose from.

              Starters - choose from some nachos, meatballs, prawn cocktail and more. Different filling/coating options on many and prices £3.99 - £7.99. Sharing platters also available including nachos and mixed platters. £7.99 - £14.99.

              Tostadas - garlic flatbreads with fillings £2.99 - £4.99

              Wraps - filled, toasted wraps with fries or salad. Choose from 6 fillings including vegetable, scampi, beef duck etc. £7.99 - £9.49

              Quesadillas (flat tortilla sandwich) - veggie bean, cheese and bacon or chicken and chorizo. £5.99 - £7.99

              Burgers - with relish, fries etc. Opt for chilli bean, chicken, classic or texan cowboy. £8.49 - £11.49.

              Tacos - veggie chilli, beef, vegetables or spicy chicken served with rice. £9.99 - £10.99

              Fajitas - served with salsa and other sauces, opt for roasted vegetables, chicken, bbq beef, prawns and more. £12.99 - £15.99

              Favourites - chilli, fiery chicken, lamb shank and more dishes served with various sides. £8.49 - £13.99

              American dishes - chilli hot dog, belly pork, chicken melt. £7.99 - £14.99

              Steaks with various sauces - rump or sirloin with onion rings/chips and coleslaw. £13.99 + £15.99

              Salads - chicken, caesar etc. £6.99 - £9.29

              Pasta - tomato chipotle, meatball, macaroni and roasted vegetable. £6.99 - £8.99

              Sides - everything from coleslaw to chips and refried beans to spiced rice. £1.49 - £2.99

              You can also create your own dish with enchilladas, tacos, chimichanga or burritos and various fillings.

              *Desserts*

              The desserts on offer can appeal to most. If you go for a Mini Shot Dessert you can opt for minted double chocolate mousse, mango and passionfruit cheesecake, key lime pie, tiramisu or banoffi toffee shot. Presented in little shot glasses, you will pay £1.79 each, 2 for £3.49 or go the whole hog and have all five for £6.99. Other desserts tempting you include ice cream, cheesecake, banana toffee pudding, sundaes and more with prices from £2.99 - £7.19. Or finish off with a a coffee at £1.99 - £3.99.

              *Kids Menu*

              Children can get in on the Mexican heatwave too with either 1/3 off the main menu price for a child portion or their own dedicated menu. Baby food from Heinz is available at 99p. Children can choose from an extensive menu of various pastas, hamburger, chicken bites or macaroni for more traditional, British foods. If your child is the more adventurous type then chilli, nachos, tacos and fajitas can be ordered in friendly, child size portions.

              Children are entitled to a drink of diluting juice, a soft drink or milk and will have to pay extra for Fruit Shoot or Milkshake. They also receive a choice of desserts including ice cream, chocolate brownie, mini milk lolly, jelly or cookie cup ice cream. The childrens menu is £4.99 for the meal, dessert and drink.

              *Lunch Menu*

              The lunch menu is available weekdays from 12pm - 5pm. One course is £5.99, 2 courses for £7.99 and 3 courses for £8.99. Choose from 8 starters including potato wedges, nachos, chowder etc. Mains include saldas, fajitas, burgers, tostadas, wraps and pasta with there being 3-4 options for each item and vegetarian dishes clearly marked. Finsh off with a choice of desserts including brownie stack, churros, baked vanilla cheesecake, sorbet or ice cream.

              *Evening Menu*

              The evening menu is available weekdays Mon-Friday and from 5pm onwards. The price is £9.99 for 2 courses. This menu offers pretty much the same as the lunch menu. Booking may be required for evenings though to avoid disappointment if the restaurant is full.

              *Drinks*

              A well stocked bar offers various drinks including the likes of Malibu, Tequila, Vodka and various wines and champagnes priced by the glass or bottle. Wine prices go from £3.09 - £29.99. Various cocktails tempt you including some unusual blends such as Mexican Milky Way and Key West Cooler. Expect to pay just under £5.00 a glass or £12.99 a pitcher. There are various rum and vodka cocktails around the same price. They also stock beers including Corona, Stella etc around the £3.00 mark. Soft drinks come in at around £2.00.

              *~*Our Mexican Experience*~*

              Recently we were shopping in Hamilton (the next town from us) and decided we would go for some lunch. With there being me, my sister, my niece and 2 toddlers, we need somewhere we can get the buggies in and family friendly restaurants. We normally go to Frankie and Bennys but fancied a change. Chiquito only opened in Hamilton a few months ago and is ideally located for those going to the cinema and wish to have a pre-cinema meal. Being so close to F&Bs though they have competition.

              This is my first Mexican restaurant experience but I do like making various Mexican food dishes at home for me and my fiance. I was worried that there would be nothing to suit my fussy son but the kids menu outside changed my thoughts. We went in around 12.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon and at this time, it was fairly quiet. We were quickly greeted by a young waitress and shown to a table in the back. She took away 2 of the chairs and slotted 2 high chairs in for us. Myself and my niece sat on the padded seat at the rear wall whilst my sister slotted the buggies into a corner.

              The restaurant itself is very well decorated and although I have not experienced a Mexican theme before, it came across as being well thought out. The chairs were unusual and there were only a few alike but nothing looked out of place. The tables being different shapes and sizes did cause an overlap as I squeezed into the corner but some seem to offer privacy more than others for an intimate meal but with 3 kids this is not an issue. I liked being able to peek up at the chefs at work but not being too close that I could smell all the spices they would be using! The restaurant was clean, staff were well presented in black attire and a white shirt and the chefs were wearing crisp white uniforms.

              *~*The Wait Begins*~*

              We were given our menus (lunch and main plus kids) and pondered over what to have. The waitress was quick to take our drinks orders of a glass of cola, a can of Irn Bru and 3 water Fruit Shoots and left us to ponder the menu. Not very busy at this point so we hoped service would be quick. The menus were attractive and although I am not overly familiar with all the dishes, they were displayed and explained well. There were plenty of vegetarian options for those veggies friends but I eat meat so I wanted something meat related.

              We decided to go for 3 courses and when our drinks were brought out, we ordered. The ordering went smoothly and we requested the kids meals be brought out with the starters. Cutterly and condiments already adorned the table and everything was in place. The kids were given a cute goodie back each with paper, crayons and little card games in Spanish. A dish of complimentary tortilla chips with a tangy but runny tomato dip were presented to us and we scoffed them quickly!

              For our starters, me and my sister opted to purchase 2 different dishes and share them. With all the choice, we went for a safe option of nachos and a dish of potato wedges. The nachos arrived heaped with lashings of strong, flavoursome cheese, a few jalopenos, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. It was well presented and melted just right. We did get in a mess but the complete started was delicious with all the flavours smoothing on to the crunchy nachos and creating a satisfying taste. The potato wedges were huge and presented in a bowl with the sour cream and cheese topping and refried beans. Very bubbly inside and cooked to perfection.

              The kids had a 2 portions of chicken bites and chips. One for my niece and one for the boys as they don't eat a lot. The portion offered to them was plentiful and could easily be split between too. The chicken bites were of good quality and a reasonable size. They were cooked properly and not too greasy and the chips were fluffy but crunchy the way my son likes them. We polished off our starters and waited for our mains. 30mins past and by the time our mains arrived, the children had polished off their meals.

              *~*Good Things Come On Large Platters*~*

              So we were peckish again by the time our mains came. Luckily we ordered an extra portion of chips and the kids delved into them leaving us free to enjoy our mains. I was going to select a burger but thought being in a Mexican restaurant, I would order something more Mexican! I opted for the fajitas with a barbaque chicken filling. The picture showed delicious flour tortillas and a bundle of chicken filling with vegetables and dips. Well, my meal wasn't like that at all. Sitting on my plate were 2 tightly wrapped tortillas which resembled enchilladas. They had been slightly overcooked and didn't resemble the Old El Paso ones I make at home.

              Inside, a juicy filling awaited and I nearly burnt my tongue off trying to get at it. The tortilla was crunchy and I much prefer, soft flour tortillas. The chicken was tender and marinated with bbq for a smoky, smooth taste. There was plenty chicken but also a generous amount of red onion and salsa. The taste with everything combined was yummy and I received a salsa dip but would much prefer a sour cream dip. It wasn't a huge portion but was plentiful and filling.

              My sisters face was a picture when the waitress presented her meal. She had opted for the do it yourself taco meal. A massive, wooden platter was placed infront of her with 5 different dishes slotted into place. A large bowl of beef chilli with rice and 3 huge tacos sat at one end. A huge bowl of grated cheese and a little lettuce were in another bowl and 3 smaller bowls containing salsa, guamole and sour cream sat at the far side. This is one huge portion and after polishing off a starter, you may want to reconsider or encourage others to help you out.

              My sister offloaded some of hers onto my nieces plate and ate what she could. I looked like a complete bin and offered to finish the remainer of her meal off for her and it was really lovely. The tacos were cooked just right and nicely warm. They were crunchy and could hold a lot of filling without seperating. The chilli beef was generously meaty and spicy but when mixed with the soft rice, the spice reduced making it more suitable for everyone. Its a weird combination really but the chilli beef, rice and a sprinkle of cheese inside a taco and then a splodge of sour cream works incredibly well but very messy. The tastes combine to create a spicy but creamy and savoury meal that really could do 2 people. I was shocked at the portion considering it was on the lunch deal menu!

              *~*Just Desserts and Run*~*

              We finished our meals and my sister announced she was stuffed. I was determined to have a dessert and the kids wanted theirs which was included as part of a meal. Trying to flag down a member of staff was like waiting for a bus. The restaurant had become very busy and there were 2 female staff members working and one male manager. Eventually I managed to get hold of one and ordered our desserts and bill at the same time. 20mins past and still no desserts. Time was waring on and we had my nephew to pick up from school in 30mins.

              For desserts, we ordered ice cream for the boys and my niece wanted the cookie dough ice cream thing. Both arrived in little bowls with spoons. One scoop of ice cream for the boys gave me a plentiful sweet treat for after their lunch. It was creamy, white vanilla and tasted of high quality. My nieces dessert was equally as tasty but didn't come complete with chocolate sauce as advertised. The cookie dough was in a round blob and was chewy, sweet and plenty of chocolate pieces. It was topped with ice cream and tasted yummy..just the right size portion for a child of 4.

              I am so glad I waited for my dessert..yes 2hours after we arrived in the restaurant. Although I was heavily tempted by the cheesecake staring at me, I took a wildcard choice and went for something I had never heard of..Churros. Described as being dough fried until crispy with cinnamon sugar and a bowl of chocolate fudge dipping sauce, I was immediately taken in. My sister had to run off for a taxi to collect my nephew so as Ryan finished his ice cream, I went into new realms of food pleasure!

              Presented on my plate were 6, large sticks of dough which were crispy yet moist. I half expected dough balls or something like that but these were nothing like I had every had before. The dough sticks themselves were rather plain inside but fluffy and light. The cinnamon was heavily applied and spicy sweet. The bowl of chocolate dipping sauce was high quality and very creamy and indulgent. My diet went out the window as I carefully dunked the stick in covered it in thick, chocolate heaven and devouring each and everyone all by myself..I felt like a glutton but it was worth it!

              *~*Paying Up and Off We Go*~*

              Before desserts came I nipped to the loos. The design in the loo was really cool and modern but rustic at the same time. Fancy sink bowls and tabs with plenty of soap were present. Bold, colourful flowers adorned the wall and the toilet doors had a wood, old effect likes something from a Western movie..very unusual and contrasting but cool. One toilet was blocked but the other was clean and toilet paper present and correct.

              My sister paid using her credit card when she finally cornered the manager and did complain that the service was incredibly slow considering the restaurant wasn't at capacity. He apoligised and commented that one of the chefs had walked out prior to us arriving and they were short staffed..plainly obvious! We received a receipt and the manager asked if we would like to add a tip..my sister replied no lol! Our bill came to a total of £35.20 which included a 2course lunch, a 3course lunch, 2 kids lunches, 3 Fruit Shoots, a plate of chips and 2 drinks. A can of Irn Bru cost £1.99 which I consider extortion. The receipts gives us a chance to win money by completing a survey online and also a free fajita!

              *~*Would I Go Back?*~*

              Despite the ultra slow service we received, I would be happy to return to Chiquitos. They are family friendly, offer a huge choice of Mexican and non Mexican foods and although the main menus are expensive, the lunch and evening menu offer good value for money. I would only return during the week though as they don't seem to offer deals over the weekend.

              When we go back, I would be keen to try something different that I haven't tried before. I will certainly be going for the Churros again and might try the Mini Shots and the cocktails seem really appealing so perhaps I will plan a night out for me and my sister! I would recommend Chiquito if your local restaurant has more staff. It is ideal for lunch or an intimated pre-cinema dinner or night out.

              Thanks for reading x

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                23.12.2010 22:26
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                A bit like Dr WHo's Tardis, nice on the outside, big on the inside, but the helpers let it down.

                My girlfriend and I go out a lot and she loves to go to Chiquito's.

                Its not the best place to go in my opinion, firstly, they are quick to seat you, but coming to take orders and the bill, they are not very good.

                The main one we go to is Birmingham, but have been to Manchester(don't get me started with that one!) also.

                The food is okay, depending on what you order, a lot of the dishes are completely different from the last time you ordered them.

                The main problem I have with the place is that they keep changing their menu. They used to do fries (chunky chips) and now they have introduced the Skin on Fries which taste like they have the sticky bit of an envelope wrapped around them.

                The best thing to have is probably the Fajitas. And some of the starters (if they have them in).

                The music and layout is great, the food comes quite quickly, they always provide free nachos, or olives, but on a quiet day they end up charging you for it, even though they stated "here you go guys, heres some complimentary nachos, while you wait for your food"

                My girlfriend loves the cocktails there. I have tasted a few and from what I can tell the measures are never equal. Sometimes a drink is stronger than the last time or weaker.

                The Birmingham branch is not too bad for people in wheel chairs, there are steps and a ramp, but I cant seem to remember if there is a ramp outside.

                The toilets are usually clean, depending on what time you arrive there.

                The drinks are expensive, but if your having cocktails, a pitcher is better than singles, but you can only get about 3 and a half-4 glasses out of 1 jug.

                If you like the food, but dont mind if its not the same each time, and you like being served by Jack Dee's love child this is the place for you.

                Personally, I think TGI is a cut above this place in many ways. But as I hardly have a say in where we eat, I am forced to eat there :'(

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                  16.12.2010 14:46

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                  Not Good

                  On Thursday 9th November 2010, I and my friends decided to go Chiquitos in Leicester Square, as we had never been. We arrived there around about 5pm and were allocated to our table.

                  Firstly because I am Vegetarian, I would normally look for a V which helps indicate which meals are vegetarian but that was not the case in the Chiquita menus. This made it harder for me to choose a meal and so it took us a while for us to choose. This seemed to frustrate the waiter as she was not happy that we were not ready to order which made use fell as though we are being rushed. And when we had a few questions about certain meals we asked the waiter, but the waiters could not help us and just told us to the description. You would think the waiters would at least be able to give some information about the food they serve.

                  We eventually placed our order, and we had to wait a while but eventually the starters came which were okay but could have been better. We placed our main meal order, and that also took quite a while to come. I had ordered the Tomato Chipotle Pasta which I would describe as quite simply tasteless. After the main meal me and my friend decided to order some deserts and I went for the brownie sundae which was probably the best part of my Chiquitos.

                  It just seemed as though, when we were eating our desserts, the waitresses came up straight away took my friends dishes/bowl, as I was the only one left still eating my dessert. When we were eating our desert, the waitresses came straight away and took our plates as if she was rushing and it felt as though they wanted to get rid of quickly but we didn't think much of it.

                  At around 7 pm we requested the bill and the waitress bought the bill and we told her we were going to pay by card separately. So she went to get the card machine and we all made our payments. We stayed after we paid for the bill as I had not finished my desert and we were all just sitting there for a while and my friends were just letting our food digest as I was finishing my desert. I wasn't really feeling well, so I decided to ask the same waitress who had brought our bill in the nicest way possible if it we could get some more water. And what happened after I did not expect. She firstly rejected me and she said clearly to us that we had paid a while back, and that it was silly that we were still sitting in the restaurant and accused us of just wanting to stay for free water. I felt her behaviour was absolutely rude and felt insulted by her accusation. I told her that she has not right to say that and tried to tell her we have paid for the bill and are just asking for water. She then asked why I was shouting when I did not. The waiter carried on and I told her she had no right to talk to us in that way and requested to speak to the manager and she stormed off.

                  The manager came shortly after and he asked us what the situation was. We all explained to him that we simply asked for water and explained and that this was not appropriate. He apologised and dealt with the situation and was able to give us the water we requested and said that the waiter was wrong.

                  Overall I was completely shocked by the disrespectful customer service we received. I didn't expect to be treated so rudely. I'm not sure if I should take this is a discriminating as it felt like she was trying to get rid of us as if we were not welcome there.

                  I think I prefer restaurants like Nandos because at least the food is tastier, and the customer service is much better.

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                  10.10.2010 15:32
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                  A great place to eat

                  My visit was to the Walsall branch by the cinema. We had noticed it many times before and always fancied going but had never got round to it as its not just round the corner from us. Well on this day we were popping to Ikea and noticed a lunch special (2 course £7.95) so thought we would finally give it ago.

                  We were not disspointed, we arrived just after 12 and were i think the 2nd customers in there. The waitress came over and was very friendly and took us to our table. We were given free chips and salsa whilst we browsed the menu. Now I am not normally a fan of salsa but this home made salsa was delicous and I couldn't help munching and dipping though I was in danger of filling myself up before we even ordered. The crisps too were nice, their own version of a Dorito but nicer.

                  I thought there was a great variety on the special lunch menu so much so that I just didnt know what to choose! So we decided to share 2 starters. We had the stuffed jalepenos with cream cheese and the garlic bread. The cream cheese was deliciously melty and the dip that came with this was amazing, I could have just ate it on its own with a spoon. They are the best jalepenos I have ever tasted. The garlic bread was different to how I have ever had it served in other restraunts. It came in 2 small thin circles which gave it a lovely crunchy texture in places and all the garlic flavour had been absorbed.

                  For my main I went for the roasted vegetable fajitas and my partner went for the chicken fajitas. They come pre wrapped up so you dont make them up yourself and you do not get any side salad or chips, just some more delicous salsa. The vegetable fajitas had a lovely smokey flavour, perhaps not something i would have chosen from a supermarket if I was making it myself but I am glad i tried these as it really worked well and they were very flavoursome. The fajitas were packed full of fillings and were pretty large. My partner said his was also delicious.

                  We were very tempted by pudding but we were just too full after the other courses to fit it in. We had a look at the full menu and thought the choice was great. We will def be going back, hopefully for a full evening meal but if moneys tight then def for the lunch special again. So much choice I just want to keep going!

                  The reason I have gave this only 4 stars if because firstly the decoration needed abit of touching up. I loved the whole theme to the restraunt and the overall look with all the wood and bamboo, however some of the seats were ripped and just needed abit of tlc. The second reason was the service was perhaps abit slow. This really didnt matter to us, in fact as we were having a relaxing day I actually prefered this but other occasions this may be annoying. There looked to be only one waitress and one chef on so this may be the reason for this. I have to say the waitress though was very attentive and very friendly and you couldn't fault her customer service.

                  Overall a great place and one I will be going back too.

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                  13.09.2010 11:45
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                  I would suggest you take your business elsewhere.

                  Our First visit to Chiquito's, but sadly not an experience I would wish to repeat. As you enter the restaurant there is a small statue of a Gecko, accompanied by a sign encouraging you to rub his head to bring good luck. Oh the irony!
                  Once we were finally seated and had gone to get the elusive high chair we had requested, our drinks order was taken fairly promptly. Unfortunately they had run out of several staple items, such as draught San Miguel and draught Stella Artois. We were offered bottled San Miguel at a higher price but they had run out of that as well. This business of asking for something on the menu, only to be told it was unavailable, really set the tone for the rest of the evening and we felt as though we had been drawn into some bizarre re-enactment of the Monty Python 'Cheese Shop' sketch.
                  We had quite a wait for our main meals, when they finally arrived two had been completely omitted. One of the missing dishes arrived fairly quickly, but the other took ages to arrive, so much so that my daughter-in-law ended up eating on her own long after everyone else. Nice.
                  Some of us decided to be adventurous and order a cocktail, you've guessed it, mine was unavailable! What happened to my son's girlfriend was most odd. First she ordered an Iced Margherita, only to have a non iced one turn up. This was taken away and replaced with something which bore absolutely no resemblance to that which had been ordered or indeed anything on earth. Apparently they had run out of passion fruit puree and had attempted to replace it with pineapple juice!
                  Against our better judgement we ordered dessert, once again the item I ordered was not available.
                  The nadir of the evening's delights came with the arrival of the bill. I remain unclear as to whether it was plain old incompetence or some groundbreaking new business model, but every one of the numerous unavailable items had been included on the bill!
                  I was similarly puzzled as to why the desk area around the cash register was being used as a sort of staging area for dirty plates and cutlery. An unoccupied table nearby was being similarly deployed. It did little for the ambience.
                  There were a number of issues with the toilets; the soap dispenser in the gents was broken, as was the light in the WC cubicle, which meant that if you wanted to close the door you had to sit in the pitch dark. There was no fully functioning hand drying facility in the ladies
                  Naturally we complained and the poor waiter, who was doing his best in the light of rampant mismanagement, assured us that the manager would come and speak to us. She made a brief appearance, uttered a few words of broken English and basically left the young waiter to face the music. I shan't be returning any time soon

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                    14.07.2010 21:37
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                    Good if you can endure the service

                    I love mexican food. Out of all the possible food nationalities nothing comes close to the fun or atmosphere created by Mexican cuisine.
                    Chiquitos is (currently) the UKs largest and most obvious vendor for mexican food that's brought to your table. I say currently because Taco Bell has just invaded Britain and will no doubt become as large as KFC and McDonalds. Shame.
                    Chiquitos restaurants are usually very well decorated with a strong hispanic theme, i like the bright vibrant colours and the rustic decor - even the attention to detail such as 'cabelleros' toilets instead of gents. The music varies from restaurant to restaurant and I would choose some Rodrigo y Gabriela over Rhianna any day, but the place seems to be playing to the masses of birthday parties and stag dos that will no doubt flood through the front doors. Nevermind.
                    The Menu is pretty large and varied and caters for those who have never had Mexican before very well. Seperated into the normal starters, burgers, salads, mexican dishes and some rubbish from north of the border. Lets focus on the stuff that this place should be doing the best.
                    The Nachos are good, you get plenty of them and it's a messy affair, brilliant for fun for both kids and adults, they're always a no-brainer for a starter and Chiquitos does well with these. The Jalepeno poppers are also good but they feel a little over-priced.
                    Onto a course that requires some form of cutlery - or does it? Chiquitos is not a place to eat to be sophisticated or posh. Order a wrap or something out of the ordinary! The only reason for using a fork should be spreading the salsa over your meal some more!
                    It's always a bit pointless talking about anything on the menu at a Mexican, because no matter what it is, no matter how good the taste. There's always someone on the other table who's ordered the fajitas. The sizzling plate of meat and vegetables that leaves a trail of pure heavenly aroma that makes it's way to your nose everytime and reminds you that you made the wrong choice, even my girlfriend who is a vegetarian gets jealous over the most meaty of fajita combos!
                    If only the portions were of a decent size, I don't mind paying for a decent meal, but you really do expect to get what you pay for, in Chiquitos the portions for mains do lack a little. But then you're reminded that you brought that 25% off voucher! And all is well...
                    Mains are good if you order something Mexican, the taste is just as you'd expect. Make sure you try the Duck Wrap - a fusion of Mexican and Chinese cuisine that makes for interesting eating!
                    I won't bother with dessert because you should have got completely stuffed after the massive plate of Nachos and the Main course.
                    What do you drink at Chiquitos? Desperados. An imported beer with Tequila essence that goes down the throat extremely easy and at 5.9% should keep the stag party on the table next to you very loud indeed.

                    I go here often with my girlfriend because it is a cheaper alternative to my other local Mexican but please don't make the mistake of thinking it's a romantic venue. Meal waits can be large, and to some extent they should be since a party atmosphere is normal!

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