|By xianlewis on November 7, 2008 - See all my reviews|
|Since I live in Wake Village, I was elated to know that Fiesta House was expanding. I had visited the shanty old location several times to pick up tamales, and I fell in love with their machaca torte.|
Fiesta House provides a more authentic fare than most places in Texarkana; it is one of the few places that serves machaca, juevos rancheros, and mole. It also boasts several types of salsa.
Before the move, the restaurant had a few problems. The original store was dirty, the salsa selection a bit strange, the chips a bit too plain, the dining environment a bit like a cross between a ethnic foods deli and a truck stop.
I would say that the new location resolved that issue - indeed, it's bigger, cleaner, and more modern - if they hadn't cut so many corners in the process, and exposed poor understanding of front-of-the-house service.
When I went to the new location, my beloved machaca torte had been changed. It no longer featured hot bread crispy with slathered butter and dripping-wet machaca meat piled on; instead, it was more like a deli sandwich, with dry meat mixed with onions and bell peppers on dry bread. The restaurant's guacamole, side dishes, and presentation are nothing special - less than special, even.
Though featuring a new location, that's pretty much all that's new, and hardly. The place seems to have been put together by friends and family members, so certain things are broken or awkward. There are no mirrors in the bathrooms. The sitting spaces are strange - you feel like you're sitting in a hallway if you get the wrong table. The waiting area is clearly not intended to be one, and the wait for a half-full restaurant was over an hour.
The service is a real problem. While fine when no one is there, when the place picks up even slightly, be prepared to wait. The restaurant previously sported no wait staff, so this is clearly new to them. The bus boys outnumber the waitresses, mop the floor with their wash rags without wet-floor signs(sanitation and slip-risk no-no), and perhaps have too many duties. Our waitress was slow to wait on us, and was pretty snooty to some people around us.
I give the restaurant three stars because of its originality in the area and the fact that they make excellent tamales (which can be gotten to-go at the drive through). I also figure the service will improve with time.
However...there's a lot of competition for Mexican Food in Texarkana, and with more experiences like this and a less than ideal location, I can't think the restaurant will keep many of the customers who have visited during its grand re-opening.