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Author: Subject: Mama Espinoza Restaurant report!
Nashville Frank
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[*] posted on 1-5-2017 at 06:36 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bajaboy  

If you want a great meal in El Rosario, head east out of town. On the south side of the road, past the old military complex, you'll find La Pasadita...unless of course there are a few tractor trailers in front. The ladies have been cooking for years now and the place just keeps growing. You will get a great meal and a very good price.


I'll be sure and stop in La Pasadita as part of my survey of ER restaurants in February! Thanks

[Edited on 1-6-2017 by Nashville Frank]
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[*] posted on 1-5-2017 at 06:40 PM


Mama Espinoza’s Restaurant is a great place to get a great meal and hang out. They have free WIFI too for your cell phones and computers. The password is on every table. Stop in and tell Roly or Gerardo that you are a friend of mine (David) the one who plays his guitar in the kitchen when he comes to El Rosario and that I sent you. You will be treated like royalty.



[Edited on 1-6-2017 by ELINVESTIG8R]

[Edited on 1-6-2017 by BajaNomad]
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[*] posted on 1-5-2017 at 08:07 PM


We have always stopped on your way down, and have always had a good meal. It is usually an hr. but so is most sit down places in Baja.
Why be in such a hurry? they have some cool art work on the walls
to!
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 06:39 AM


Keep in mind that most people who have a positive experience seldom post it, but those who don't will write about it.
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 07:10 AM


You got that right Skipjack! When with belly full we leave our meal, never do we kick or squeal. But if fork or plate dirty are, or the server gives a surly snar, the chicken leg is tuff and chill, raise our voice we surely will!
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 07:49 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Skipjack Joe  
Keep in mind that most people who have a positive experience seldom post it, but those who don't will write about it.


Keep in mind that most people have pretty poor taste in food, as evidenced by the overwhelming abundance of bad restaurants that continue to make money.

Ignore criticism at your peril!

Don't worry, be happy!

Mi Casa is best taco stand and b'fast joint in El Rosario!

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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 08:15 AM


It's all about expectations; Mama's had been highly recommended to us during our first visit and because of that we had high expectations (also due to its history; if a place has been around a long time, it has to be good, right?). I do appreciate the proximity to the Cactus (a 20 second walk) and they do have free WiFi, another plus. The ambiance is fun and I have never been sick after eating there. It isn't a 1, and it isn't a 10; it's probably a 6 in my book, all things considered. The meals may have been memorable in the past but not so anymore; just adequate. Sometimes that's really all I need when traveling the peninsula. I'd eat there again but certainly wouldn't rave about it to first-timers.
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 08:42 AM


Convenient food and clean lodging while on the go are the key for me. The Cactus is great but Mamas disappointed me 4 time in a row so now I push on to Jardines or further north.



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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 09:39 AM



If ya'll can't savor the food, at least you can savor the memories. The Baja mystique was never about gourmet dining tomorrow. It's more about the adventures of pioneers that made Baja what it is today.
Soon enough there'll be a McDonalds there to enjoy. Just be patient.




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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 10:46 AM


You arrived road weary. Almost broken, but not quite. Dusty, dirty with aches and pains earned on miles and miles of bad, rocky, sandy, muddy, potholed, glorious roads. You were way, way down in it. Baja! God it felt good to get out of the Jeep or off the bike. And here it was. Mamas! Holey moley, Mama is going to take care of us!

Your group sat down at a wooden table on straight backed wooden chairs and a young lady brought you cold beers and if felt so good. So good to be relaxed in this little civilized haven after eating out of cans for days.

It took some time for the food to arrive. But you didn't care that there was only one frying pan for eight customers. The beer kept coming and you were in frickin' Baja! And it was good.

At last the food started coming out two plates at a time. Three skinny rolled tacos with chunks of lobster (Lobster tacos!!) drizzled with melted margarine with a scoop of rice and a plop of beans on the side. Not a sprig of parsley for a hundred miles. The presentation lacked, but who cared? The food was warm and filled your belly. And it was good.

Years later you would talk with your buddies about that trip. The big adventure. And everything about it....was good.

Fast forward 30 years. The menu is the same, the service is the same and everything around has changed. Another generation drives their SUVs down in a day from LA. "Hey look Honey, they've got wifi! I hated that when we couldn't get a signal back there for a little while." And expectations at Mama's are not met, not by a long shot. "They said this place was great." Even the older generation, the ones who frequented Mama's over the years find that the old glory has faded over the years.

It's not that the food is any better or worse. It is just that our memories of those wonderful trips to the land beyond were and are still influenced by time and place.





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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 10:52 AM


Thank you, Tom, you captured the essence entirely!



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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 11:04 AM



Well said, Sr. Jefe Supremo Tom. You certainly "get it."




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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 11:13 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Nashville Frank  



Hey JoeJustJoe,

From my experience in the restaurant business and as an eater of their products, I have come to understand that many who have had a good to better to great experience with their food are so much less interested in communicating to world their experience, than are those who had bad to terrible experiences.

When they feel "robbed/snubbed/mistreated" etc. they're going to speak out and usually loudly. Hence the negative reviews which outweigh the good reviews. I've gone to the very same places as the negative crowd and I did not find it so. On the other hand, though, I've gone to places highly loved and came away wondering why anyone would eat there.

There's so many variables. Time of day, cook, waitress, what was ordered, your mood, your health, your expectaions, the weather, your bank account level, etc.

Also, when dealing with "foreign" food such as Mexican, you're going to get a variation in likes and dislikes, as you will in varieties of Mexican food. I'm from California and growing up, I always knew what Mexican food was like. That was before Taco Bell ever appeared. But since then I've lived in many states and their Mexican was not always my Mexican. It sort of depends on what you get accustomed to. And where the restaurant's owners and cooks are from. And then there's the Tex/Mex issue: popularized "Mexican" food that is modified to fit the taste palates of Americans. This Tex/Mex is an infusion of Mexican, American (mostly Texan), and some Southwest Indian. So is it Mexican? No! What is Mexican food?? Well I can't tell you. I've eaten from Merida to Zacatecas to Baja and in between and its all different.

So, I say all this to say: give it a try yourself. Those reviewers may not have it right, but then again they might. Restaurants come and go. Sometimes its management, sometimes its the food. In America, up to 90% of all new start restaurants close in there first year! Of those that remained open after one year 70% of them closed in 3-5 years. 90% of restaurants still open after five years will stay in business for a minimum of 10 years. Mama's did that! Much more than that! Sure these longstanding restaurants have their reputation to bolster them. But, they learn to change with the times and the changing of customers.

I think Mama's is just fine and will weather the onslaught of Travel Advisor reviewers. Its family and many here feel a part of that family!

Stop by sometime...



Nashville Frank, you make a lot of good points, like Mexico food is different all over the world, and if you're really from Nashville, they don't even know anything about Mexican food, but I haven't been in Tennessee, in years, but when I was there last, I couldn't even find a real Mexican restaurant, but a few places tried to pass their food off as Mexican food.

In California, where I'm born, and still live, especially from the 70's to 90's Mexican food was real different from Mexico, especially the use of hot plates to the touch, the frequent use of only refried beans and the common use of flour tortillas, over corn tortillas. Today, the Mexican food is more authentic in California, and the southwest, and some places serve regional Mexican food, the exact same way it's served in a certain region in Mexico.

You also make good points about restaurant reviews, and if you have a negative experience, you are more inclined to write a negative review than a positive review. I also believe review sites, are filled with people with an ax to grind, either towards a country, city, hotel, or restaurant.

That said, restaurant reviews, are very good, when you see patterns of either good or bad reviews, especially when the reviewers are mostly saying the same thing over and over again, as the case of Mama's restaurant.

So what I do is look for patterns, of either positive reviews, and I'll book that hotel, or visit the restaurant, but if I see a pattern of negative reviews, I avoid the place, because the odds are too great I will have a bad experience.

Sadly, Mama Espinoza, just has too many bad reviews, that say the same negative things over and over again, to warrant a visit from me, unless I want to visit on nostalgia grounds, because of it's long history.

How do you ignore so many bad reviews on travel sites, and even on "Baja Nomad" from it's own members, although there are a few good reviews too?
--------
From Trip Advisor:

“Over rated”

It is my opinion that this restaurant survives pretty much on it's historical significance. Mama Espinosa recently passed away at age 106 (not exactly sure of this number) and during her heyday she had a lot of people dedicated to stopping at her restaurant. Recently it seems that the younger generation doesn't have the kitchen knowledge that prevailed in earlier...
_________________________________________

Over-priced and under-whelming”

If you're south bound, this may be your first Baja stopover and your first Mexican meal. That's too bad. Mediocre cookie-cutter fare like you'd find at a Mexican restaurant in the states. They seem to be resting on the traffic from the Baja Cactus next door rather than trying to put out great food. Years ago I'm sure they did...
________________________________________

“A big disappointment”

Our greatest disappointment throughout Baja! Poorest service, not only they do not speak English, they are unfriendly too! Food is average but prices are high!
_______________________________
“Not what is used to be”

We stayed next door at the Cactus Motel and had dinner and breakfast at Mama Espinoza's. Dinner was just average. The steak was thin, tough and very hard to cut on the plastic plate. The salsas were delicious. Breakfast was Rancheros with the egg floating in the salsa. Good coffee. Would eat there again as it has such a great...
______________________________

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g499399-d21829...




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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:35 PM


I find those who solely rely on Trip Advisor, yelp and the million other review sites out there to do or not to do something, generally have a very poor sense of adventure and rely on the herd to steer them to safe, status quo experiences. If you are looking for a plumber, great, yelp away but if you're looking to see pieces of a glorious and colorful past, if the food isn't 5 star, who gives a flying rats culo.

Some of my most memorable times have involved very poor food but what I gained in memories of the experience as a whole, the bad food or poor service have long since been forgotten.
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Nashville Frank
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:37 PM


JoeJustJoe,
I'm true blue Californiano. Born in Gilroy (1950), lived in Salinas, Marina, Fresno, San Martin, Campbell, San Jose. Then time in Arizona, New Mexico.

I've spent the last 20 years occupying Tennessee for the forces of the Bear Republic! While here, I've seen the change to a proliferation of Mexican eateries by the dozens, that are run by immigrants from our 52nd state, Mexico (Puerto Rico is #51) and other places south. I work almost exclusively with Latinos each day. They feed me too!

I understand Mexican food!

I think one should try (more than once) before they give the thumbs up or down.

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Nashville Frank
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:40 PM


WOW!!! With that post I became a JUNIOR NOMAD. I'm honored to be considered a nomad and not a newbie!!:bounce:
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Nashville Frank
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cool.gif posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:46 PM
TRUTH


Quote: Originally posted by El Jefe  
You arrived road weary. Almost broken, but not quite. Dusty, dirty with aches and pains earned on miles and miles of bad, rocky, sandy, muddy, potholed, glorious roads. You were way, way down in it. Baja! God it felt good to get out of the Jeep or off the bike. And here it was. Mamas! Holey moley, Mama is going to take care of us!

Your group sat down at a wooden table on straight backed wooden chairs and a young lady brought you cold beers and if felt so good. So good to be relaxed in this little civilized haven after eating out of cans for days.

It took some time for the food to arrive. But you didn't care that there was only one frying pan for eight customers. The beer kept coming and you were in frickin' Baja! And it was good.

At last the food started coming out two plates at a time. Three skinny rolled tacos with chunks of lobster (Lobster tacos!!) drizzled with melted margarine with a scoop of rice and a plop of beans on the side. Not a sprig of parsley for a hundred miles. The presentation lacked, but who cared? The food was warm and filled your belly. And it was good.

Years later you would talk with your buddies about that trip. The big adventure. And everything about it....was good.

Fast forward 30 years. The menu is the same, the service is the same and everything around has changed. Another generation drives their SUVs down in a day from LA. "Hey look Honey, they've got wifi! I hated that when we couldn't get a signal back there for a little while." And expectations at Mama's are not met, not by a long shot. "They said this place was great." Even the older generation, the ones who frequented Mama's over the years find that the old glory has faded over the years.

It's not that the food is any better or worse. It is just that our memories of those wonderful trips to the land beyond were and are still influenced by time and place.



EL Jefe, he speak truth! Well said :cool:
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:47 PM





JOEJUSTOE YOU DEFINITELY ARE THE
QUEEN OF CUT-AND-PASTE!




Quote: Originally posted by JoeJustJoe  
Quote: Originally posted by Nashville Frank  



Hey JoeJustJoe,

From my experience in the restaurant business and as an eater of their products, I have come to understand that many who have had a good to better to great experience with their food are so much less interested in communicating to world their experience, than are those who had bad to terrible experiences.

When they feel "robbed/snubbed/mistreated" etc. they're going to speak out and usually loudly. Hence the negative reviews which outweigh the good reviews. I've gone to the very same places as the negative crowd and I did not find it so. On the other hand, though, I've gone to places highly loved and came away wondering why anyone would eat there.

There's so many variables. Time of day, cook, waitress, what was ordered, your mood, your health, your expectaions, the weather, your bank account level, etc.

Also, when dealing with "foreign" food such as Mexican, you're going to get a variation in likes and dislikes, as you will in varieties of Mexican food. I'm from California and growing up, I always knew what Mexican food was like. That was before Taco Bell ever appeared. But since then I've lived in many states and their Mexican was not always my Mexican. It sort of depends on what you get accustomed to. And where the restaurant's owners and cooks are from. And then there's the Tex/Mex issue: popularized "Mexican" food that is modified to fit the taste palates of Americans. This Tex/Mex is an infusion of Mexican, American (mostly Texan), and some Southwest Indian. So is it Mexican? No! What is Mexican food?? Well I can't tell you. I've eaten from Merida to Zacatecas to Baja and in between and its all different.

So, I say all this to say: give it a try yourself. Those reviewers may not have it right, but then again they might. Restaurants come and go. Sometimes its management, sometimes its the food. In America, up to 90% of all new start restaurants close in there first year! Of those that remained open after one year 70% of them closed in 3-5 years. 90% of restaurants still open after five years will stay in business for a minimum of 10 years. Mama's did that! Much more than that! Sure these longstanding restaurants have their reputation to bolster them. But, they learn to change with the times and the changing of customers.

I think Mama's is just fine and will weather the onslaught of Travel Advisor reviewers. Its family and many here feel a part of that family!

Stop by sometime...



Nashville Frank, you make a lot of good points, like Mexico food is different all over the world, and if you're really from Nashville, they don't even know anything about Mexican food, but I haven't been in Tennessee, in years, but when I was there last, I couldn't even find a real Mexican restaurant, but a few places tried to pass their food off as Mexican food.

In California, where I'm born, and still live, especially from the 70's to 90's Mexican food was real different from Mexico, especially the use of hot plates to the touch, the frequent use of only refried beans and the common use of flour tortillas, over corn tortillas. Today, the Mexican food is more authentic in California, and the southwest, and some places serve regional Mexican food, the exact same way it's served in a certain region in Mexico.

You also make good points about restaurant reviews, and if you have a negative experience, you are more inclined to write a negative review than a positive review. I also believe review sites, are filled with people with an ax to grind, either towards a country, city, hotel, or restaurant.

That said, restaurant reviews, are very good, when you see patterns of either good or bad reviews, especially when the reviewers are mostly saying the same thing over and over again, as the case of Mama's restaurant.

So what I do is look for patterns, of either positive reviews, and I'll book that hotel, or visit the restaurant, but if I see a pattern of negative reviews, I avoid the place, because the odds are too great I will have a bad experience.

Sadly, Mama Espinoza, just has too many bad reviews, that say the same negative things over and over again, to warrant a visit from me, unless I want to visit on nostalgia grounds, because of it's long history.

How do you ignore so many bad reviews on travel sites, and even on "Baja Nomad" from it's own members, although there are a few good reviews too?
--------
From Trip Advisor:

“Over rated”

It is my opinion that this restaurant survives pretty much on it's historical significance. Mama Espinosa recently passed away at age 106 (not exactly sure of this number) and during her heyday she had a lot of people dedicated to stopping at her restaurant. Recently it seems that the younger generation doesn't have the kitchen knowledge that prevailed in earlier...
_________________________________________

Over-priced and under-whelming”

If you're south bound, this may be your first Baja stopover and your first Mexican meal. That's too bad. Mediocre cookie-cutter fare like you'd find at a Mexican restaurant in the states. They seem to be resting on the traffic from the Baja Cactus next door rather than trying to put out great food. Years ago I'm sure they did...
________________________________________

“A big disappointment”

Our greatest disappointment throughout Baja! Poorest service, not only they do not speak English, they are unfriendly too! Food is average but prices are high!
_______________________________
“Not what is used to be”

We stayed next door at the Cactus Motel and had dinner and breakfast at Mama Espinoza's. Dinner was just average. The steak was thin, tough and very hard to cut on the plastic plate. The salsas were delicious. Breakfast was Rancheros with the egg floating in the salsa. Good coffee. Would eat there again as it has such a great...
______________________________

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g499399-d21829...






[Edited on 1-9-2017 by BajaNomad]
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 12:59 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bajazly  
...if the food isn't 5 star, who gives a flying rats culo.


My dogs say the same thing! I dont rely on my dogs for restaurant recommendatios :light:
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[*] posted on 1-6-2017 at 01:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bajazly  
I find those who solely rely on Trip Advisor, yelp and the million other review sites out there to do or not to do something, generally have a very poor sense of adventure and rely on the herd to steer them to safe, status quo experiences. If you are looking for a plumber, great, yelp away but if you're looking to see pieces of a glorious and colorful past, if the food isn't 5 star, who gives a flying rats culo.

Some of my most memorable times have involved very poor food but what I gained in memories of the experience as a whole, the bad food or poor service have long since been forgotten.


No kidding, remind me to avoid Bajazly's food recommendations, because he puts up with very poor food choices, because he didn't take the time to review where he was going, or where he was eating at, which could be a deadly mistake, because the world is a dangerous place, not just Mexico.

Those that know me, know I don't have a poor sense of adventure, or always like to have that heard experience, and in fact I like to go where I don't see a lot of Americans, especially the ugly Americans. complaining in a loud voices, that something is not as good as it is back in the states.

I usually also trust the advise of the hotel's concierge desk, and if it's a smaller hotel, someone at the hotel, usually can make great recommendations.

What I'm wary about are nostalgia reviews looking back at a restaurant 10 to 15 years ago, and saying it's still a great place.

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