Waiting for restaurant delivery is a little like standing curbside and waiting for the Decamp. It’s an act of faith. What happens when they don’t show up when they say they will? Well, here’s what happened to Matthew Frankel and his wife last night when they ordered a late supper from Mexicali Rose:

Tonight we ordered take out from Mexicali. It was rather late…about 9:30 pm when we ordered and asked how long an order would take…they said 30 mins.

After 40 mins I called to see when we should expect our food. They replied someone should be there within minutes.

After another 10 mins, with no one in site, I called again…and since it was getting so late, and way past the approximate 30 mins..I politely cancelled the order, asking if was okay to do so, which they said was fine….and requesting that they call their delivery person, which they said they would.

As to be be expected, about 10 mins later the deliver man did finally show up.

When I opened the door, in the most kind way possible…I told them how late the hour was, how long we had been waiting, and how I had already called ten minutes ago to cancel.

The guy stomped off.

A few minutes later the delivery guy proceeded to throw the two orders of food all over our front yard.

When I called the restaurant to complain, there was no apology…simply someone saying that we must had provoked him.

As you can imagine, I am pretty upset…Its now 11:56 pm and my wife is outside picking mushroom quasidillas off our yard…I just came in to let you know.

Thought I would pass it on.

Ouch! We appreciate the division of labor, though: one spouse cleans up the lawn, the other runs to the computer to write to the Barista. Insert your food delivery horror story below.

60 replies on “Delivery From Hell”

  1. um…holy crap.
    i have no delivery horror stories as bad as the Frankels’, though i did have a delivery man yell at me because the person who made the order didn’t come down right away to get it (i’m at the front desk). there was a language barrier as well, so luckily i couldn’t understand what names he was probably calling me in raised tones. it really made me angry.
    Mexicali’s really goin’ places with this new ownership, huh?

  2. I never order delivery so I don’t have any horror stories but if I did, I’m sure I couldn’t top that one!
    Yeah, looks like since the ownership switched hands, it’s gone south over there, service, food and all.
    You reap what you sow.

  3. I think the food at Mexicali is lousy anyway – for Mexican, it’s Tinga or nothing!

  4. Yep, you hit the nail right on the head Miss M. I have on good authority that one of the first things the “new” owners did a year ago was lay off the crackerjack team of delivery professionals & outsource the work to a bunch of undocumented Freedonians who, as a race, are well known tardy, food throwing assholes.
    It also appears that one of them weaseled their way inside to answer the phone.

  5. Actually we ordered from them Tuesday with no problems.
    But we get lousy, late service all the time from Vinnie’s Pizza.

  6. We had such lousy delivery service from Papa John’s that we stopped using them. Every time we complained, they gave us coupons for free pizza, though. But the last thing we wanted to do was give them more business.

  7. “Every time we complained, they gave us coupons for free pizza, though.”
    LOL…this struck a funny nerve with me. I am not allowed to eat foods with high fructose corn syrup in them (which is about 90% of processed foods!). I regulary write nice letters to food companies telling them that while I wish to enjoy their products, I cannot have HFCS. I also point out no one should really be eating HFCS anyway, would they consider removing it from their products down the road?
    I ALWAYS get form letters back from some corporate honcho WITH COUPONS ENCLOSED! They barely acknowledge that they’ve read my letter but write something lame like, “we take all comments from our customers into consideration, blah-blah-blah…”

  8. I remember when I moved to NJ 8 years ago (from southern CA) reading that the “Best Mexican” in NJ was Mexicali Rose in Montclair. How fortuitous, I thought, my wife and I making a bee line to the place. I found the food to be atrocious, the ambience horrible (I remember big black flies buzzing around the place,) the service inconsistent and the price tag a wee bit more than I was accustomed to having just come from a place where GREAT Mexican places were a dime a dozen. My wife and I joked that we’d like to “fund” one of the owners of a small hole-in-the-wall place we loved in Oxnard, CA to move out to Montclair and show these folks how real Mexican was done. We’dve made a fortune (look at that place who’s name escapes me on 24 in Chatham! More mediocre Mexican and even more expensive than the Rose.)
    On a quasi-related note, anyone notice how quickly Fascino went down hill? My last few times there I have been very underwhelmed.

  9. Rchanin: i’ve already been through “the talk” on good Mexican food with my bf, who is from SoCal and now lives here. after a couple visits to his hometown, i have to agree.
    i’m disappointed to hear about Fascino. i’ve yet to go there…should i not believe the hype?

  10. E. and Rchanin, I hear that Banditos in Belleville actually has good Mexican food. Been meaning to check it out. And by “good Mexican food” I mean, never as good as SoCal, but pretty decent for the tri-state area.
    If anyone’s been there and has tips on what to order, I’m all ears. And stomach.
    P.S. Never been to Fascinos, sorry, but I’m a relative newbie in the area.

  11. If you do to Bandito, definitely order one entree for each two people. Servings are huge.
    I hate to admit it, but I like Chevy’s the best.

  12. For real Mexican food try Los Tapatios, 10 Main Street West Orange. I haven’t been there in a while, but it was very good.

  13. Gotta agree with Rchanin on Mexicali…it sucks…moved here 2 years ago and was really happy to learn that NJ’s “Best” Mexican was right in my hometown. What a joke. At its worst its horrid, its best, totally average.
    Been to Fascino once, about six months ago & thought it was awesome. Best meal in Montclair (though Aozora is really good too). I don’t believe any rumors as to a sudden decline in quality, but hey, maybe the chef was on vacation.

  14. Hear hear RChanin – I am from SoCal and boy do I miss the good hole-in-the wall variety Mexican.
    M’Rose is just plain awful. Even my kids who eat practically ANYTHING, turn up their noses at it.
    I have been meaning to try the other suggestions (these and a past thread) but meanwhile, I agree that Chevy’s will do in a pinch, and it’s relatively cheap!

  15. I know it’s a hike but…..If you’re ever in Red Bank, there are a few dives on Monmouth Street (past the Count Basie Theater) where migrant workers (who have a shape-up daily) hang. The food is authentic and dirt cheap, and if that’s what you want instead of “atmosphere” the next time you’re down the shore, this is the block. Check out the Mexican market there, too, for more varieties of peppers than even Corrado’s carries.

  16. Mexicali is the pits! It used to be OK. But the new management has down sized some things (not lowering the price of course)and the last 2-3 times we ordered the food was so salty that we couldn’t eat it. We called and complained and got $10 off our next order.
    $10 less will not be bringing us back.

  17. We used to order from Vinnie’s every Friday night for years. Then, one week, the pizza was very late, and when it finally arrived was cold, stiff, and disgusting.
    We called to complain and they offered to send us out another one. By this time, it was well after 9 and well past the kids’ bedtimes. So I declined but asked if we could have a credit to be used another time. They told us that they didn’t do that. We have not eaten or ordered from there since, and it has been at least 3 years.

  18. For great mexican, go to Rattlesnack Ranch on Rt. 53 in Denville. Well worth the drive and the food and drinks (full service bar) are excellent!

  19. Whoops, that should be Rattlesnake Ranch! But, no matter how you spell it, its still great food!

  20. (If you’re ever in Red Bank, there are a few dives on Monmouth Street)
    If I’m in Red Bank, I will look ’em up. But I want something I can get to in ten minutes…
    This weekend, I am going to try El Bandito in Orange (Miss M’s fave) and will report back.

  21. I also found Mexicali Rose’s food subpar. Tia Maria in Bloomfield is very good.

  22. Haven’t been to MR in years, had very disappointing meals, the place seemed dirty or dingy and always overcrowded. I prefer Don Jose in East Hanover next to Penang, a Malaysian restaurant. Don Jose is run by a family of really nice people with good tex-mex style food. The service at Penang can be spotty, but the food is cheap and will knock your socks off (for the price).
    Last time I was at Fascino, I found the service to be sub par and the food only OK, and overpriced for the experience.

  23. I’ve only had terrific meals at Fascino; it’s surprising to see a comment like that! While I can’t disagree that there is an occasional service issue, it has never been anything major, and the food is wonderful! The DePersio family is doing a terrific job of keeping a great restaurant going…if you had a bad experience, I bet they would want to hear about it. And no, I have no personal connection to them or the restaurant.

  24. My 6 year old son wanted to celebrate his family birthday at Mexicali Rose, to continue a family tradition of embarrassing my husband who freaks out at all the attention received by the whole birthday sombrero hoo ha. In the past few years they have been charging $11.95 for the dessert and a sombrero to take home. But this time, last Saturday, they charged us but had no sombrero’s. We had to come back to get it. I consider the food always to have been pretty lame but the one thing I could stomach was the chicken garlic gomez covered with thousands of slivers of garlic. This time there was hardly any garlic. We won’t be going back even for next years birthday sombrero.
    As far as Fascino, I tried it once, on Valentines Day. The food was very good but the portions so ridiculously small it was not worth the very high prices being charged. The decor is blah and the service needs to be more professional for the prices.
    Having eaten at many 4 star restaurants in New York City as well as many fine restaurants in Paris and Basel, I’ve had better service and larger portions at smaller prices.
    I worked for five years at a small luxury hotel in New York City as the restaurant manager. When my meal was over at Fascino I wrote a list of suggestions and mentioned my experience and left my email address in case anyone wanted to discuss those suggestions. No one ever contacted me. I don’t really believe they want to hear about it.

  25. And as far as Vinnie’s, we never got a pizza delivered in less than an hour, so we switched to Nauna’s.

  26. And as far as Vinnie’s, we never got a pizza delivered in less than an hour, so we switched to Nauna’s.

  27. I never get take-out delivered. I order it by phone, and then go in my car (or send one of the kids) to pick it up. The food will always be hot; it’s a lot faster; and no tip required.
    I’ve eaten at Fascino several times and it has always been wonderful. The best restaurant in Montclair.

  28. We’ve been eating at Fascino’s about once a month for a year. Find it to be consistently very good. Orbis and Corso 98 are our other fav’s.

  29. I love to hear comments about restaurants now that I work in one. I esp. LOVED the story about the food being thrown all over someone’s front lawn. HAHAHAHA! I wish I had done it! Has anyone ever been to the fabulous Belmont Tavern in the Silver Lake section of Belleville? Where people actually dine with a fork in one hand and a cigarette in the other? Where the bartender may shortchange you saying he forgot you gave him a $20 and not a $10? Where the waitresses will NEVER come back to you once your food has been plunked down? I love that place and often dream about the Pork Chops Savoy. It’s all about experience and a night out – for me anyway. I’ve no time to be a critic or give the staff a hard time to prove I’m right. Life is too short and I want to have fun. If a place doesn’t suit me, I won’t go back or patronize it any more. ( I haven’t been back to Mexicali Rose in years) There used to be a place on the corner of Bleecker and Morton St. in Greenwich Village called Shopsin’s. A diner of sorts. Filthy but the owner cooked up great eggs. A husband and wife owned this quirky, sticky place and he cooked in this greasy, snotty looking apron and his wife provided table service. She literally abused you and would throw you out unless you agreed to order a full breakfast. In other words you couldn’t get away with just toast and a cup of coffee. If you were having a conversation that ran beyond your last bite of food, she’d make you pay the check and get out. A nasty *itch, she was. She’s died now, and I’ll miss her….

  30. Is this Vinnie’s in Bloomfield?
    If so, we switched to the place that took over their former location (Callandra’s).

  31. what kind of an asshole would use the term, “as a race,” anyway? i thought i was in MONTCLAIR…
    anyway, MEXICALI SUCKS! and i will never order from them! BOOYAH!

  32. We tried Tia Maria in Bloomfield and didn’t like it at all.
    I miss the food we had in Phoenix on vacation, but even the stuff we had back in Kansas was better than the Mexican food in NJ/NYC.
    For pizza – we prefer delivery from Villa Victoria’s. Rascal’s bar also has a surprisingly good thin crust pizza.

  33. Vinnie’s Pizza in Bloomfield used to be good until they moved to their new location on Broad street. The pizza went down hill fast. Burnt in places, huge bubbles, over an hour to deliver. We switched to Benitoz also on Broad a few blocks from Watchung. The place is a hole in the wall, menu is kind of ugly, but Pizza and other food is pretty good, also they deliver within 30 to 45 minutes.

  34. Tinga is truely yummy and should have put Mexicalli out of business by now (always thought it was terrible). But is you are looking for a GREAT Margherita then Jose’ Tejas is fab! They are on 46 in Fairfield across from Target. The sign says EAT. Loud, busy place but good house margs.

  35. Mexicali Rose is extremely overrated and those who find its food amazing – must expose themselves to more restaurants (especially Mexican) outside of N. NJ.
    It doesn’t help my last dining experience was two seated and one non-invited guest crawling up the brick wall in the back. The last thing you want to see while eating less than desirable Mexican is a small roach.

  36. When we first moved to Montclair 14 years ago, Mexicali Rose was a good family place. It has never been authentically Mexican, but the food tasted fine, the staff was always friendly and we used to enjoy ourselves.
    We haven’t eaten there in a long time (five years or more) mostly because it became too loud and crowded. Too bad about the food and service going downhill.
    Restaurants we would recommend are:
    Sushi Hana
    Veggie Heaven

  37. Tinga Taqueria 215 Bellevue Ave in Montclair has the best Mexican takeout. Try the BBQ pork burrito, my favorite! It is sweet, spicy, and full of flavor. They deliver to parts of Bloomfield too, it takes a little bit longer… but worth the wait. Try here for takeout, not Mexicali Rose.

  38. Just ate at Mexicali Rose last night BEFORE reading all the reveiws here. Thought it was good, but the service wasn’t. Forgot about our drinks and didn’t know that the chips and salsa were not free. After reading these reviews, however, I don’t think I will be going back. My favorite, all-time Mexican restaurant is a bit of a hike but WELL WORTH the trip. El Bandito in Spring Valley, New York. There are a couple of others (Orange, NJ & Middletown, NY) but I prefer the one in Spring Valley. I wish we had gone the extra miles last night to eat there. Finding good authentic Mexican in this area is not easy. (I, too, am familiar with the California places which are fabulous!) El Bandito is definitely authentic.

  39. Definitely El Bandito in Spring Valley.Great decor, strolling musicians, awesome sangria and family owned. WOrth the trip from anywhere.

  40. After reading all the posts on Mexicali Rose I was not Surprised, All you have to do is go there and eat or order take out to figure it out. I was shocked that nobody knows about SENORITA’S in Bloomfield Center. Great service, awesome place, spacious, and incredible food. I just discovered it last week after reading a review on the Montclair Times. I guess it’s Bloomfields Best kept secret, good! the less people know about it, the less i will have to wait on line.(they have 270 seat capacity anyway)

  41. My husband and I have eaten at Mexicali Rose over 2 years back and thought it awful. Awful food, awful service. Recently, we were referred to Fiesta Hut (Park Avenue)in East Rutherford, and the food and Sangria was great. Reasonable prices, huge servings and a wonderful family business.

  42. Fiesta Hut is a good local place or Mexican food with no frills. But if I’m up for a ride, EL MESON in Freehold is absolutely the best! Its even better than Mexicali Rose was years ago when it was good.

  43. Fiesta Hut is a good local place or Mexican food with no frills. But if I’m up for a ride, EL MESON in Freehold is absolutely the best! Its even better than Mexicali Rose was years ago when it was good.

  44. Tinga’s is great, but they don’t deliver to my end of Bloomfield. Senorita’s was good for lunch, but I haven’t tried delivery yet.
    Vinnie’s is poor with slow service.
    We switched to Calandra’s which has much better pizza!(The cheese at Vinnie’s was so skimpy we always ordered double cheese, but at Calandra’s,we now get the regular!), yummy vegetable dishes, and garlic knots.
    The best delivery place is PatThai. (I once accidentally gave the delivery guy a $50 bill and he came back to tell me and exchange it for a twenty!)

  45. We LOVE Fiesta Hut in East Rutherford, NJ and and have been going there when it had it’s sister restaurant on Rte. 17. The dishes
    are traditional Mexican and the sauces are homemade from family recipes. DO NOT MISS THE MARGARETTA’S made from scratch and truely the best I’ve ever had. This restaurant is worth the trip.

  46. Correction, the original Fiesta Hut was on Route 4 westbound in Paramus for a very long time. It closed and was torn down for a McDonald’s. The Route 4 Fiesta Hut re-opened in Ramsey on Main Street under the name of Mamacita’s. (Mamacita’s is the sister restaurant to Fiesta Hut in East Rutherford.) The dishes are exactly the same including the salsa! Excellent. Being from New Jersey (and not the southwest), I compare all other Mexican restaurants to Mamacita’s, my original favorite!

  47. Mariels
    You are right it was 4 not 17 but Mamacita’s in Ramsey is NOT the sister restaurant to Fiesta Hut. THe owner of Mamacita’s is the sister of the owner of Fiesta Hut. The sister use to be a waitress at the Rte 4 restaurant and then took all the recipes from the Fiesta Hut.

  48. I also used to eat at Vinnies until they moved and after that – like somebody said- they went downhill. The new place Callendras’s is good but one time I had two burnt pizza’s and the woman on the phone was not very nice to me about it. The next day I actually went there with the burnt pizza and the owner or manager apoligized over and over and gave me two free pizza’s.
    I stopped – also – ordering from Papa Johns because they can never find the house and take forever delivering.
    I also agree with Mexicali Rose being over priced and not very good. I would like to try Tia Marie’s in Bloomfield but haven’t been able to get over there yet.

  49. Mamacita’s is one of the poorest excuses for a mexican restaurant that I have ever had the misfortune of trying. I am a big fan of El Banditos in Spring Valley, and while I never expect anything around here to beat it, I would at least hope to be able to choke something down.
    Quick review: wife and I. Appetizer quesadilla – one velveeta (I kid you not) tortilla. Think grilled cheese sandwich without the crispy exterior. Chips were standard…salsa was okay. My dinner was burritos. Three hamburger filled tortillas with more velveeta and some of the salsa on top. Had the telltale signs of microwave…that watery topping of water/grease.
    Wife’s was similarly disappointing. Better off eating from badlands taco down the road (too pricey for me for what they have, but tastes better) or loco mexicana in allendale (who also deliver.)
    I would not go back to mamacitas on a bet. Sorry to sound so harsh, but I cannot stress it enough how dissapointed mexican food fans would be.

  50. The absolute BEST Jersey Mexican food is on Metersville Road in Gilette at a hole called CASA MAYA. It’s a trip…but well-worth the effort…and very reasonable. I ain’t tasted such good eats in a rennovated gas station since the Sunoco/A+ stopped carrying Chipwiches!
    So what are ya waiting for?? Check it out turkeys and stop raving about the SoCal Mexican food. In case you haven’t noticed…your ass lives in New Jersey now fool!

  51. Mexicali Rose fell off years ago. Whay anyone still goes there, or why the business hasn’t shut down is beyond me. By compairison, Tinga is much better and costs less. As far as Pizza ia concerned, Vinnie’s is poo-poo. I moved from Montclair to Bloonmfield and I was looking for some local Italian joints. After ordering pizza and balamic chicken from Vinnie’s, I now order my pizza from Caladras or Naunas and entrees from Naunas or Enzos.

  52. Has anyone eaten at Senoritas in Bloomfield yet? I did once and it was good, but not as good as Tinga. comments?

  53. First off let me say that I just recently heard a similiar story of Mexicali Rose adding on to the tab of a take out order….for that reason alone I’m done
    Secondly, I think the food is just so so, my opinion is it’s worth the ride to Bloomfield to eat at a clean, the ever friendly and authentic Seniorita’s (sp?) The food, service and ambiance can’t be beat!
    Third: I have had THE WORST experience ordering take out from Tinga. Although the food is always fresh and tasty, opt to eat in as the gals answering the phones taking the orders apparently have their head in the sand….3x’s in a row they screwed my order up. And, were not pleasant when I returned with someone else’s order, requesting the one I originally ordered, like I was a nuisance!
    Seniorita’s has my vote!

  54. Anyone who’s ever eaten “real” mexican knows tinga & mexcali are nowhere near the real thing. Montclair seems to be filled with lots restaurants long on decor and short on substance and good service. Perhaps if less people raved about the mediocre fare that passes for food in this town we’d start to see more authenticity in the food.

  55. 1. I’ve never eaten at Mexicali, but I’ve read all about it’s downward spiral…and there seems to be something wrong with over priced Mexican food…
    2. Senorita’s is good, but I would agree that Los Tapatios on Main Street in W.O is much better, it’s more “authentic,” another ballpark. It’s not super nice looking like Senorita’s, but it’s clean and the is food tasty. I like to order their $2 ea chorizo soft tacos. I still need to venture down the road to El Bandito.
    3. Tia Maria on Broad St. in Bloomfield is pretty good too, except their salsa is weak and sometimes there’s slow service in the beginning. Their prices are reasonable. It’s BYOB.
    4. My all time favorite for “TEX-MEX” is Jose Tejas. Yeah, it’s loud and a long wait(the one on Rt. 46W is a little less crowed then the one on Rt. 1&9 by the Woodbridge Mall)…but I crave their Chicken Burros. Their prices are reasonable too!
    5. Chevy’s is decent, but it’s a chain restuarant, a Mexican TGIF.. so you’re not getting that whole “fresh” cilantro thing…It can’t even be compared.

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