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wearechange

Jul 11, 2010, 12:50 PM

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VIPS experience on Saturday

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What has been your experience at VIPS La Huerta? My family and I were their Saturday afternoon between 5:30 and 7:30.
The rundown:
1.- Our order took at least 45 min. in spite of the restaraunt being at about 10% capacity.
2.- My son´s hamburger bun was slightly burnt.
3.- The coffee sucked.
4.- Our drinks were also late in coming...twice! One drink was mistakenly served.
5.- My wife´s entree was on the verge of being cold.

I have never had an experience like that at VIPS. Maybe it was just that shift...I hope.
Any feedback is appreciated.



Peter


Jul 11, 2010, 1:27 PM

Post #2 of 23 (38734 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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That sounds similar to some experiences I've had at just about any chain restaurant I've been to several times. I think overall I've consistently had the best experiences at Sanborn's restaurants though not all have been perfect. This past winter during one of the coldest spells Tere and I visited a well-heated Sanborn's and had one of the best restaurant experiences of our lives. The level of comfort no doubt played a major role in our enjoyment, and the food was excellent too.


Peter


Jul 11, 2010, 1:41 PM

Post #3 of 23 (38731 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Were you speaking of the VIP's on La Huerta in Morelia? I haven't been to that location. I should add that the Sanborn's in Las Americas we enjoyed so much that winter day has moved next door and into the new mall in that location. I'm not too much a regular customer to any of the chains so haven't tried it in the new spot yet. Probably best to let the staff get accustomed to the new layout for awhile first or diminish expectations just a bit.


Papirex


Jul 11, 2010, 4:27 PM

Post #4 of 23 (38708 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I have never had a bad meal or service in any VIPS in several decades since that chain was bought from the original owners in the state of California about 25 years ago. No one is infallible, you probably just ate at the wrong restaurant on the wrong day. Of course, I have never visited the one you went to.

Our favorite mid-priced restaurants here in Cuernavaca are: Sanborns, and VIPS, there are 3 branches of each here, and Pange, it is based in México City with several branches there, only one restaurant here, always great food and valet parking too though. Like Sanborns, you can buy a drink there if you want one, but they never have the makings for a Martini.

There is another good place next to Sams Club here, the name escapes me right now though. Since Wal-Mex owns both VIPS and the one next to SAMS Club, it is a sort of glorified VIPS, a little better though, they make the best burgers in town.

Edited in answer to a private message: Yes, the name of the restaurant next to Sams Club is El Porton.

There is no shortage of restaurants here, from low end to splurge (elegant), and everything in between, and ethnic too. Our favorite Chinese restaurant is the Shanghai Gardens, a little higher priced than Sanborns, but very good food and drinkable Martinis, we like to eat in the garden there. Best if you learn to read a menu in Spanish most places here.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by Papirex on Jul 11, 2010, 7:43 PM)


jerezano

Jul 11, 2010, 4:42 PM

Post #5 of 23 (38705 views)

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Re: [Papirex] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Hello all,

I will never again eat at VIPS in Zacatecas city after two experiences there in which both the food and the service were absolutely lousy.

On the other hand the VIPS in Aguascalientes next to Sams is one of my favoirte restaurants.

I guess it all depends on the franchise operator.

I have always found Sanborns to be consistent both in level of food, breadth of menu, service etc, no matter where I have been. Not outstanding but always just a bit better than good. Prices high.

As ever, jerezano.


chinagringo


Jul 11, 2010, 4:49 PM

Post #6 of 23 (38697 views)

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Re: [jerezano] VIPS experience on Saturday

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We stopped at that very same VIPS as Jerezano on one of our trips north for a late breakfast. This was the one and only time that I have ever experienced a VERY upset stomach when eating a meal in MX. The drive north to Torreon took far longer than usual due to all of my needed "pit stops"! Admittedly, I already had an aversion to WALLYWORLD and SAMS NOB but I will never again set foot in a VIPS in MX!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Papirex


Jul 11, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #7 of 23 (38680 views)

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Re: [jerezano] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I have found the prices at the Sanborns restaurants to be only slightly higher than most mid-priced restaurants here. There are 3 people in our household, and we can get a good meal at Sanborns for the three of us for around $500 Pesos, including the TIP. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It is usually cheaper than eating at one of the three good VIPS here. The standard amount to TIP in México is 10%. I always TIP 20% or more.


At the Sanborns that we like to go to most often, there is an elderly lady that buses the tables. My wife always calls her over to our table and gives her a $20 or a $50 Peso Tip. The waiters in that place fall all over themselves to wait on us, and we get outstanding service.


I have told my NOB friends, and I did so in a recent post on the technical forum, that Sanborns is a notch or three above a coffee shop, and a notch or two below an elegant dinner house. It is a nice place to eat a good meal for a reasonable price though. Every month they feature dishes from different states in México too. The regional dishes are usually very good. If is is not raining, we like to eat in the garden.

My personal favorite here is Pange. http://www.paneenvia.com.mx/ No garden to eat in though. They do have home delivery. We have ordered hamburgers delivered to our house. They are good and they are filling. They cost about twice as much as the place where we usually order hamburgers for home delivery though.

Edited to add that VIPS does give the discount for the INAPAM and INSEN cards. When we eat at a VIPS, it is usually enough to cover the TIP. I show my INAPAM card and my suegras INSEN card at checkout and we get two discounts.



Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by Papirex on Jul 11, 2010, 7:37 PM)


Anonimo

Jul 12, 2010, 5:56 AM

Post #8 of 23 (38636 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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We are familiar with that VIPS on Calzada La Huerta in Morelia.
We never had a good meal there, but none so bad as you describe. The big advantage of eating there is that it can be convenient when coming from MLM Airport with timid guests, who are not quite ready for the Barbacoa a la penca experience.

It also gives an INAPAM discount. Good thing, because its prices are higher than the average Mexican Mexican restaurant. Other than those two reasons, we have no reason to go there, nor its similar sister restaurant, El Portón. Meh. Double meh.

Sanborn's Plaza Las Américas: had a good Holsteiner Schnitzel there once. It's convenient when shopping (which we don't do much) and it's a better choice than some of the franchises nearby. (Burger King; Subway, Chili's, etc.)



Saludos,
Anonimo


gpkgto

Jul 12, 2010, 6:54 AM

Post #9 of 23 (38627 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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All the comments here just shows how different we expats are--I think both VIPS and Sanborns are ALL horrible. I have eaten at both all over Mexico--always only when desperate. Sanborns has the least Mexican of Mexican food I have ever had in Mexico and probably consistently the worst service (I always end up writing a complain in the comment book--which relly upsets the host/hostess--although nothing ever comes of it). VIPS food is 90% micro-waved (according to a friend who worked at one). I now only go to these restaurants for breakfast and only when traveling. To each his/her own!!


(This post was edited by gpkgto on Jul 12, 2010, 7:18 AM)


esperanza

Jul 12, 2010, 6:58 AM

Post #10 of 23 (38627 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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There are a few restaurants in Mexico that I just won't visit again:

--VIPs. It reminds me of a really low-end Denny's.
--El Portón. Ditto.
--Sanborns. No. I do like the sight of the Casa de los Azulejos, but preferably from the outside.
--Sirloin Stockade. A Mexican friend invited me to eat there once as a misguided 'special treat'--once was enough.
--McDonalds. Wouldn't go there in the States, either, or in Europe.
--Starbucks. Not a restaurant exactly. Better, less expensive coffee is available elsewhere.

Edited to add two more:
--Bisquets Bisquets Obregón
--Subway


There are probably a few others I could add to that list, but it's early and my brain is still waking up.

Don't think I'm a foodista. On many occasions I have happily snarfed down a Burger King hamburger (I confess to preferring the X-Treme). I love trying tiny fondas and cocinas económicas and street stands. But the pseudo-food offered in the chains I mentioned is not for me.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jul 13, 2010, 4:33 PM)


chicois8

Jul 12, 2010, 8:07 AM

Post #11 of 23 (38609 views)

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Re: [esperanza] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I have never had a good meal at the few times I dined ( and I use the term loosely) there, if it wasn't for Waly-mart they would have disappeared years ago.....
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


Corliss


Jul 12, 2010, 8:42 AM

Post #12 of 23 (38598 views)

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Re: [chicois8] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I get annoyed at VIPs because they drop what appears to be complimentary breads at your table as soon as you sit down, then pop you with a 70 peso charge for them whether you eat it or not! I learned if there is a basket of bread or sweet rolls sitting at your table when they seat you, you must immediately ask them to remove them if you don't want them or you get charged whether you touch them or not! I don't know if this is the ritual at all VIPs, but it's the way the one in our town works. They never ask you whether you want things or not. The last time they had two bottles of gatorade set on our table along with the ketchup and salt and pepper and napkin holder. I asked what that gatorade was for, if it was some special promotional giveaway or something. She said no there is a charge. I said we didn't want them and she looked very perplexed. I'm just accustomed to sitting down at a restaurant and they'll bring you chips or some bread or something to keep you busy until you order, and it's just a perk of the restaurant... not a hidden surcharge! I find this a real underhanded way to turn an extra few pesos.


Casa

Jul 12, 2010, 4:36 PM

Post #13 of 23 (38558 views)

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Re: [esperanza] VIPS experience on Saturday

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In Reply To
I love trying tiny fondas and cocinas económicas and street stands. But the pseudo-food offered in the chains I mentioned is not for me.

I agree 100%, give me a torta ahogada or unos tacos al pastor o de lengua from the stand on the corner before going into any of those places you mentioned. (I have not been in a Sanborns in years except to use the restroom and I don’t even like doing that there.)


Peter


Jul 13, 2010, 12:02 AM

Post #14 of 23 (38515 views)

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Re: [Casa] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I mostly agree with the street food and some of the little fondas being the best, but next winter when icicles are forming on the tip of your nose and your own home is not heated you might consider breakfast at a well-heated Sanborn's a welcome break from the normal routine.


Anonimo

Jul 13, 2010, 5:23 AM

Post #15 of 23 (38505 views)

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Re: [Corliss] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Quote
then pop you with a 70 peso charge for them whether you eat it or not!


SEVENTY PESOS! ¡Que barbaridad! Even the upscale and very fine El Cardenal on Calle Palma, México Centro, only charges $25 for bread. (And $25 for a tasty avocado and queso and salsa verde in a molcajete.) I just wish that there would be some previous notice about these hidden charges.

I did think of one chain of Mexican restaurants that generally stands tall above the rest: Bisquets Obregón. Now, I'm talking about the original Matriz Bisquets on Av. Obregón, Colonia Roma Norte. I've had less satisfactory meals at some in the Centro Histórico of México D.F.
I have never been to the Bisquets in Morelia, owning to negative reports from others.

Even so, on our last visit to the favorite, original Bisquets in Col. Roma, the Sopa Especial de Pollo had nothing to recommend it. Maybe the waiter thought we'd said "Caldo de Pollo".

Bisquets is at its best, IMO, for breakfasts, which are varied and excellent. The café con leche is made the proper way: a couple of fingers of concentrated coffee is poured into a glass, then the server pours in steaming hot milk from on high. When done right, it's a sight. When done poorly, it's a trip to the dry cleaners. :-)
(Never had one go off the mark.)

They also give an INAPAM discount, Seniors!

Buen provecho,
Anonimo

PS: One dish I have enjoyed at Sanborn's Casa de Los Azulejos is "Huevos Sanborn". I have seen this in a pictorial cookbook under its original name, "Huevos en Rabo de Mestiza". It's two eggs baked in a mild tomato sauce topped with rajas de chile Poblano and then cheese and crema. Es muy rico.


esperanza

Jul 13, 2010, 12:48 PM

Post #16 of 23 (38471 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Ah yes, Bisquets Bisquets Obregón. When only the original one existed and I was living in Colonia Roma, I had breakfast there a number of times. I loved it. Those were the days: the café con leche was superb, the piles of pan dulce brought to your table were unending, and breakfast was indeed the highlight.

Today, the whole chain is a very poor imitation of its former glory as an individual restaurant. The location on Av. Camelinas in Morelia is horrid, highly unrecommended and should be added to my list of places I do not enter.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









wearechange

Jul 13, 2010, 4:20 PM

Post #17 of 23 (38452 views)

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Re: [esperanza] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Thanks for all your replies. They give a general heads up when it comes to dining. We really need a restaurant guide for the región.


Papirex


Jul 15, 2010, 9:43 AM

Post #18 of 23 (38357 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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I don't think you are likely to find a comprehensive and accurate restaurant guide for any area of México. Any guide will be full of paid promotions, or peoples personal opinions. Personal experience is your best guide.


We do have a Bisquets here. It is OK, a good coffee shop type of restaurant. When my cuñado visits us from Tacoma, he always wants to eat there at least once. He was born in Texas, and raised in México City, he is a dual citizen and has lived in the US for over 40 years. He still loves the Bisquets in Col. Roma.


There has never been a separate charge for a bread basket on our table anywhere in Cuernavaca. Sometimes there will be a couple of bottles of mineral water, or soda pop on the table. We don't pay for them if we do not open them. Sometimes, especially at Sanborns, there will be a price tag attached to them. I think there may have been some mis-communication by a mesera that is not too fluent in English for anyone to believe they must pay for them, even if they don't consume them. Look at your bill to see if they are listed.


I think one of the surest ways to have a pleasant dining experience anywhere in México is to be friendly, not aloof, with the wait staff. This usually requires speaking Spanish.


My Spanish is just past the point and grunt stage. My Mexican wife and suegra make up for me though. My wife is a naturally outgoing and friendly person. Even when we haven't sat in their station, meseras (waitresses) will come over to greet her. She is often treated like a long lost sister by them.


We get outstanding service anywhere we eat often. Often, the mesera herself will say something isn't good, and she will take it away and get something better, or fresher. We always get outstanding service from the meseras and meseros everywhere here. We have eaten in some of the little hole-in-the wall places too. It is catch as catch can in them.


I think we are lucky to live in a good town for restaurants here, we haven't found a really bad one yet. There are very few fine dinner houses here though, I miss The Mansions in México City. Our favorites for fine dining here are The Tequila and Mañanitas, we only go to them for special occasions. Anytime a meal for three with several Martinis for the host costs between $2000 and $2500 Pesos it has to be a special occasion.


Learn some Spanish, stop asking for menus in English, and trust your own nose and gut.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by Papirex on Jul 15, 2010, 9:56 AM)


esperanza

Jul 15, 2010, 5:44 PM

Post #19 of 23 (38319 views)

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Re: [Papirex] VIPS experience on Saturday

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Learn some Spanish, stop asking for menus in English...


Rex, no one has posted that lack of Spanish has caused them a problem in restaurants. Why do you think this? You all but admit that you yourself are pretty much dependent on your wife and mother-in-law for interactions with the waitstaff.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Anonimo

Jul 16, 2010, 3:04 AM

Post #20 of 23 (38293 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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We were in Morelia yesterday and stopped for a couple of coffees and a croissant at Cafe Europa, on Av. Enrique Ramírez. The coffees came quickly and were o.k. The croissant took a while. I wondered what they could be dong to it.
When it finally came, we were more than half finished with our coffees.

The croissant was chocolate as anticipated, but heavy, doughy and tasting of bad margarine or aged butter.

I left most of it uneaten and complained to the waitress. She took it it but brought it back, essentially telling me that there was nothing wrong with it.

We ended up payng for it, only $12 pesos, which is not much. But we won't be back, partly due to the poor quality (we had an earlier, bad coffee experience at the large Cafe Europa in Centro) but mostly because of the attitude that "The customer is wrong."
We'll be going to Starbuck's in the future.

Aside, the advertised free wireless internet essentially doesn't work without the customer jumping through various sign-in hoops, and then hardly at all. Overall, a less than agreeable experience.

And I came there in a very good mood! :-)


Anonimo

Jul 16, 2010, 3:28 AM

Post #21 of 23 (38290 views)

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Re: [wearechange] VIPS experience on Saturday

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This is the best I can offer for a regional restaurant guide. Of course, this reflects my own, peculiar preferences. Pátzcuaro's (and Morelia's) Best Eats
Also, my knowledge of eating in Morelia is much more limited to what I know of Pátzcuaro. Even there, I tend not to eat in high class joints.

It's somewhat further out, but the town of Ziracuarétiro offers some excellent small town dining, notably, La Mesa de Blanca and El Gorjeo de Las Aves En Las Mañanas de Abril, the latter a breakfast only restaurant. The former, very attractive, semi-open air dining rooms; open only for comida Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, has a more extensive and interesting menu of regional and house specialties; El Gorjeo, open every day 9 to 1; with a much more limited menu but wth some of the same dishes, served in a gorgeous setting in gardens with twittering songbirds. It's a very pleasant experience, at any rate.
Slide Show of La Mesa de Blanca



Buen provecho,
Anonimo


mexliving

Jul 29, 2010, 10:31 PM

Post #22 of 23 (37776 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] VIPS experience on Saturday

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sorry- VIPS is nasty!!!!!


Papirex


Aug 11, 2010, 9:14 AM

Post #23 of 23 (37438 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] VIPS experience on Saturday

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When you mentioned twittering songbirds, it reminded me of this Sanborns in México City. I hope this one photo comes through, it has been several years since I posted one on Mexconnect. This photo is on my SmugMug site, so it is online. http://papirex.smugmug.com/...zG7sF#58653054_GaVY6


Our favorite Sanborns restaurant in Mexico City is the Riviera in Colonia Del Valle. Many of the Sanborns in Cuernavaca have garden dining areas, but we haven't found any in Mexico City that have a garden dining area yet. This one comes close though. There are many birds flying in the dining area.

The birds are all donated by people that can no longer keep them. They never fly over the tables in the dining area. They are flying pretty constantly until about 10 PM. They all go to bed after that time. They must have nests in the trees somewhere, we can never see them after it gets dark outside, even though the dining room is well lighted at night.

It is a very unique place because of the interaction between the people and the birds. The birds trust the people, and vice versa.

There are several different species of birds here, Parakeet's, etc. in many different colors. Green, yellow, white, blue,red, brown, etc. They all seem to be friends.

A health department in the USA would have a cow if they saw animals near a dining room area.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo
 
 
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