>I should have known better. Going to a restaurant in a tourist area rarely bodes well, but I decided to take the chance. We went with some friends to the Old Town Mexican Cafe in, you guessed it, Old Town. This area is, by reputation, the quintessential place to go for Mexican food in San Diego. It consists of a street lined with restaurants, all but a couple serving Mexican cuisine, and freshly made corn tortillas. It can be difficult to determine which restaurant to patronize, but this time we decided to go with the classic, thinking that it would offer the best food.
We were seated quickly, having reserved a table, but without a reservation, plan on waiting. The restaurant was very busy, and it showed with the service. We felt alternately rushed and expectant throughout the night, with our server only showing up to take the order and deliver the bill (our food was served by a runner).
Our table ordered the carnitas and the enchilada combo, along with margaritas. The margaritas arrived in good time, but one of my dining companions had requested no salt, and because the server never came to the table again, we were unable to rectify the situation.
After a sizable wait, our food arrived in a staggered fashion, creating the predicament of whether to be polite and wait for everyone to have their food before eating, or to eat the food while it is hot. Choosing decorum over animal instinct, we waited until everyone had food before eating, which resulted in a dinner that was stone cold. Mexican food is not delicious cold. Mediocre Mexican food is even less delicious cold.
The carnitas were mostly good with good flavor and texture. The enchilada platter was less than stellar. It not only cooled from the waiting, it obviously had sat out for awhile getting cold before it was brought to the table. However, even hot these items would have lacked flavor, with minimal meat and cheese to fill the tortillas. The portions were plentiful on both dishes, which would have been a bigger plus had the food been a little better.
Perhaps it was an off night — they were overwhelmed, but it seems that the restaurants on this street are always busy. Unfortunately, I will not be returning to find out if it was just an off night.