Gonzales y Gonzales

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It was our first day in New York (Oct. 2003); we had walked through Greenwich Village, enjoying the street market on Avenue of the Americas, and were ready to head to Central Park. We were quite hungry and decided to get something to eat before going down to the subway station. The only (reasonably priced) place we could find to eat at that point was Gonzalez y Gonzalez, so we went there.

The restaurant serves Cal-Mex food. I hadn't realized there was such a thing as Cal-Mex before, and I do wonder how it differs from Tex-Mex (maybe a matter of rice in burritos?). In any case, it offers a basic Tex-Mex menu (similar to Chevy's and El Torito) consisting of fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, etc. at prices similar to chain restaurants.

The menu listed a chicken quesadilla but not a steak one. As they also had steak fajitas, I figured it wouldn't be too difficult for them to serve a steak quesadilla as well, but the waiter told me it wasn't possible. I went with the chicken quesadilla instead, which was pretty good. Mike ordered the steak burrito, but he got a chicken burrito instead! When he pointed out the problem the waiter offered to replace it - but we had waited sooo long for our food (at least half an hour) that he decided to keep it. It was fine, not particularly remarkable. The same can be said about the chips & salsa at the table - we did eat quite a few of them while waiting for the food.

What really made Gonzalez y Gonzalez a place to avoid was the horrendous service. As mentioned above, they weren't willing to make a substitution in my order and it took forever before the food arrived - but the waiter also made himself scarce and only once did he offer to refill our drinks. Although we pointed out the mistake on the burrito order, he still billed us for the more expensive burrito - and it took forever to get our change once we had corrected the mistake. And of course, he never apologized for anything.

Apparently, the mistake was actually ours in going to Gonzalez y Gonzalez to eat. The place is a night dance joint (apparently playing Caribbean rather than Mexican music) and that's where its efforts are probably going.

As we don't live in NY, we won't have an opportunity to go to Gonzales y Gonzales again, which is good, because we wouldn't.

Gonzales y Gonzales
625 Broadway (bet. Bleeker and Houston)
Greenwich Village, NY
(212) 473-8787

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