I ve been coming here since the late 50 s (when I was a kid with my parents). The ownership has changed since around 2003 - 2004 but the quality is almost the same (not quite), but almost. I noticed the service is slow to order, to have the food delivered and then to receive the check. The girls do stop at your table a couple of times though to refill the drinks and to ask how it s going. Usually there is 2 waitresses there and they are constantly busy. Back before the change in ownership, I remember standing in line, out the back door and on the sidewalk waiting to be seated..and that was always on a Wednesday night. The place isn t crowded anymore like it was back then but it s not completely empty as well. So, it s still a favorite of mine and I ll keep going back there for a occasional dinner.
I loved the food but I couldn't help but feel these girls that run the restaurant were racist. They took forever to seat us, give us service, and we had to wait almost 10 minutes to pay the check and we went up to the counter because they wouldn't bring it to us after almost another 10 minute wait after we finished our meals. They were Mexican but almost all their clients were white and they seemed to be more friendly with them, chatting it up, and not taking as long with their service. I'm black and noticed they weren't treating the other minorities as well, except the Latinos b/c there weren't any interestingly enough and it's a Mexican restaurant. I only give them 2 stars for the food but really shame on them, do your jobs and don't show prejudice!!
I am updating the review I gave below by adding to it instead of changing it, so you can decide for yourself.
I will now say that El Sarape is my 2nd favorite restaurant in Riverside (by a small margin) because I have since been to Pepito's (on Magnolia) and liked it better. Everything else about El Sarape remains the same, so you decide. I will certainly continue to visit El Sarape.
This is my original review:
My favorite Mexican restaurant in Riverside so far. I just moved here and have been playing amateur restaurant critic. For all around delicious food, service, and a nice family owned place, El Sarape is it. You can get alcoholic drinks here, which might make a difference to what you choose. What I mean to say is -- there are a couple of other Mexican restaurants in Riverside where the food is just as good -- but they are more fast food style, and don't serve any alcohol. (That would be Tony's Mexican Food and Jilberto's.) So if you want to go have a nice sit-down meal with family and friends - make it El Sarape! Note: They close early, around 8 PM on weeknights anyway, since they are in the Downtown Riverside area.
On 10/29/08 I placed a phone order with the menu they gave me the week prior. When I got back to the office, the food was the wrong order because they gave me an outdated menu. What did they do to accommodate me, nothing!!! When I went back to get the correct order, they gave it to me cold, and did not apologize for giving me the wrong menu, instead the waitress argued with me right in front of the Owner. How rude.
I would not recommend this place to anyone. Go to Mr. Taco's around the corner from them on Main Street. Their food is excellent, and their customer service is too.
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This Courtyard is located approximately nine miles from Castle Amusement Park and 15 miles from Ontario Airport. The hotel is
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