Señor Swanky's

"Eat. Drink. Save Money. This hip, packed joint is certain to fill your stomach with delicious Mexican cuisine and satisfy your desire for a unique dining experience." (emphasis added)

Five of us got together for a few drinks and a bite to eat after work at Señor Swanky's upper west side location on Columbus Ave. between 84th and 85th streets. It wasn't very impressive, especially for the size of the bill.

Basically this is a Mexican restaurant version of TGI-Fridays in most every respect. There were giant plastic red peppers hanging over the bar, our drinks were served in plastic glasses, and the food was nothing special.

Admittedly we were dining on a night when New York was experiencing a snowstorm so not many people were out and about, let alone up for margaritas in a Mexican restaurant. Still our service was slow, they couldn't accept credit cards (apparently due to a fire), and the prices were ridiculous.

I'll start with my complaints. We had margaritas ($12 each!) which were tasty - and there was a wide variety of flavors - but oddly served in plastic margarita glasses. We got a basket of chips which are hard to do wrong, though I thought they needed salt, and they weren't that fresh (I've often had still-warm chips at other places). The guacamole (I've had better) was expensive for the amount we were served. The entrees, which I had a bite of, I believe a chimichanga and a taco, were tasty but not anything special. There was one good things culinarily, the nachos. While a small portion, each chip had a nice amount of cheese, meat, onions, and peppers, etc and they weren't soggy. I just wish there were more than 8 chips for the $8.95 price.

To top it all off the server added 18% gratuity to the check—for a party of 5?!—bringing the total for not all that much food and I believe 7 drinks total, to $170. Way to much to be paying at TGI viernes.

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