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Terrible Chantli Mare dinner

Posted by Craig Bell on January 14, 2014, 9:05 am

My wife and I planned a special dinner at Chantli Mare Restaurant. I made reservations via email on January 7th for two for the Rib Dinner for Friday January 13th. Roberto responded the following day confirming the res.. On Friday morning of the reservation we receive another email from Roberto confirming our res. and I respond we will be there at 7 pm sharp.
So we skip lunch in anticipation of the big rib dinner. As we drive down the road we come to a gate with a Chantli Mare sign and pull in. There is a guard station with a radio playing inside. I get out of the car and call for someone to open the gate. No response. Thinking this was not the entrance we drive further down the road to an entrance with a rope across, then continue down the road and encounter two other cars looking for the Restaurant. We drive back up to the first gate and pull in. The other cars gave up and headed back for the main road. Lucky them. So we again call out for someone to open the gate and I finally open it and drive in. I joke to my wife that the guard must have eaten too many ribs and fell asleep. We find the restaurant, give them our name and said we had reservations for the rib dinner. We were seated and ordered a glass of wine and margarita. So we wait and watch as rib dinner after rib dinner is being served. After a while the biting insects began working their way through our 98% DEET bug spray. So I go to the car and double DEET down. And we wait. We are in need of a couple more drinks but cannot get any waitresses attention. Just as the bugs are now working their way through the double DEET, a waitress comes to the table with a small pitcher of delicious looking rib sauce. She has a very odd look on her face and before I can taste the sauce or order a couple more drinks, she grabs the sauce and heads back to the kitchen. So we wait some more. Finally I get up and walk to the bar. The two waitresses were hiding out in the kitchen. One of them sheepishly comes out and I ask her where is our rib dinner, pointing out that several tables had come in after us and had been served. I also order two drinks and walk back to the table. We wait some more and deal with more bugs. Finally a Gringa lady comes out of the kitchen and walks up saying she is very sorry and wants to, “make things right”. I say great bring us two drinks on the house and our rib dinners. She then says they are out of ribs and offers us some salmon. I know the salmon will either be old, freezer burned wild salmon or worse, antibiotic and dye laced farmed salmon - Yuk. I say that is it we are out of here. As we are walking out the women says if we like ribs they are served several nights a week in Melaque. Great. I drive to the gate open it to let us out, the “guard’’ apparently now deep into rib ruminations. Home we go for cold leftovers and bed.
As someone who has been in the restaurant business I can say that someone who is too important to be at his place on a weekend night will not do well. Virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong. From my experience any restaurant that has such top to bottom problems with staff probably also has problems with food handling and sanitation.
There are many great restaurants in La Manzanillla, I recommend folks spend their dollars here.

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