Chaparral Mexican Grill-Cocoa-0.5-Stars
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." -- James Beard
With the recent passing of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's front man, Ray Sawyer, and my recent visit to one of three Mexican/Cuban restaurants owned by the same group, El-Leoncito, I was reminded of how much fame meant to some people. In the case of the late Ray Sawyer, it was getting his "picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone," for the latter it must be owning the most swill slingin' slop houses on the Space Coast. As I have only been to one, I guess that isn't fair of me to prejudge the other two, but if I go by this meal...
Stepping inside the brightly painted Mexican/Cuban themed spot, Chaparral Mexican Grill in Cocoa, I was greeted, seated and handed a menu professionally. Awaiting my server, I took the opportunity to read the menu. They claim to be Mexican/Cuban, but I found the bulk of the offerings to be of a Cuban nature. Shortly after being seated, I was approached my my server, Maribel. Sadly, this was the second place today where the service was glacial. Other than being slower than a snail on a Minnesota winter morning, Maribel did a bang up job. I asked her for one order of Tacos de Carne Asada.
With plenty of time to kill while waiting for my food (did I mention the sluggardly service?), I shifted my gaze towards my surroundings. If the menu in a supposedly Mexican/Cuban joint was leaning a bit towards the Cuban side and not so much the Mexican side, the walls certainly more than made up for it. With pictures of rifles, some wagon wheels and a long horn skull thrown in, I got the feeling I was in the prop department of the University of Texas (hook 'em Horns)!
Just as the longing for a good college football game was reaching it's zenith, Maribel was seen ponderously approaching my table. The chips and salsa that are complimentary in most restaurants like this were, I kid you not, not only from Sam's' Club, but were stale as all get out to boot! The salsa literally had zero flavor. The rice found on the side of my Tacos de Carne Asada likewise had zero flavor. It was like I was eating little white puffs of air. The re-fried beans had the consistency of so much baby kaka, looked the same and had zero flavor as well (I was actually thankful for that), Now, on to the Tacos de Carne Asada. I figured with the crappy sides and stale gratis chips, they only direction to go for this meal was up. Man, was I wrong.
To begin with the tortillas that made up the Tacos were, like the chips, stale beyond belief and tasted not unlike Styrofoam packing peanuts. The meat is so low grade it is almost horse meat. Now, horse meat may be a delicacy in France, but I assure you, this is not France (we never give up #Murcia)!! The meat was so horrid as to be rendered inedible and I was forced to spit it out. I tried to take one for the team, but I just couldn't force it down no matter how much I tired. This place is worse than the Alamo on their worst day and they are now out of business due to several factors, chief among those the plethora of health code violations they received just prior to closing for good. I can unequivocally say that my meal at Chaparral Mexican Grill was absolutely disgusting and well deserved of a Swill Alert.
The Big Boy says, "I wouldn't serve this unpalatable porcine slop to my worst enemy." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout