We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The worst experience of my dining life!!!!”
Review of El Zarape

El Zarape
Ranked #68 of 139 Restaurants in Wheaton
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed 22 August 2012

I have eaten at El Zarape and enjoyed the Tacos Longy on many lunch occasions, but today was extremely different. I will not be eating there again. (partially because the "owner" said "don't come back." To make a very long story shorter, my wife and I's bill was almost 10 dollars higher than the menu said. I had asked for the lunch special to be changed to a combo. I asked the waiter what the upcharge was and he told me it was 3 dollars. That changed the total from 6.95 to 9.95. Not a big deal considering the extra rice and beans. I also had ordered a tea, which was a little strong for me. After being frustrated by no waiter returning after more than 20 minutes, I decided to drink the tea anyway since no drink with tacos isn't the best combination. When he finally returned, I politely asked if I could switch my tea drink for a coke the next time since it was a little strong for me. The waiter politely said "sure." He brought me the coke and we finished our meal. At the end of the meal, I left a 20 percent tip, despite the poor wait staff service (because we always tip 20 percent minimum). I then received the bill which had charged us extra money for the combo, extra money for the drink and had changed my wife's order to a combo, despite us requesting for it not to be a combo twice. I said to the owner that the charge was much higher than expected. He told me that since I had two drinks that I would have to pay for two drinks, and that "ALL businesses charge extra if you change drinks, especially when that first drink was almost empty." I responded saying that I had asked the waiter if I could switch, and he had said fine. I said that if it was going to be an extra charge to switch that they should inform the customer. He then said, "well then why was your drink almost empty if you didn't like it." I said that I had been waiting for someone to come back to the table for 20 minutes so that I could switch the drink but no one came so I drank it anyway so that I could enjoy the food. I didn't even get the chance to talk to him about the additional upcharges and discrepancies before he said, "can you just be quiet and listen to me!!!???" I said I am trying to explain to you what happened so that you can understand the situation. He then raised his voice at me, and said "stop talking." I then said "excuse me. I have never been treated like this at a restaurant before." He interrupted me, and said, "you need to leave right now and don't come back." Not sure where the hostility came from. Overall, food is pretty good, price is a little high for lunch, make sure to ask about all of the charges ahead of time (not that it helped me any) but since I'm not allowed back anyway, good luck to any of you that try it out.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
6  Thank Matt W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (47)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

34 - 38 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 2012

My wife and I LOVED El Zarape. The food was superb. My favorite was the Al Pastor tacos. Everything they served was authentic. (I moved here after 33 yrs in San Diego)

Our last trip to El Zarape was awful. They had changed the al pastor tacos from the original mexican recipe to some thinly sliced pork. Even after I questioned the manager about it, he continued to insist it was the same thing they always made.

The last straw was the fried ice cream, which was our favorite at the El Zarape. But this time it was different. There was much less . . . and the ice cream wasn't coated the same as before.

In a nutshell, everything we had that one night was different. We decided that their chef left. Why else would everything be SO different.

We are presently seeking another Mexican restaurant. We will not return to El Zarape.

I regret that I don't have anything better to say about El Zarape . . . even our margaritas were a disapppointment.

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5  Thank RCarousel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2012 via mobile

I have eaten here about 5 times since 2009 and my wife and I both enjoy getting margaritas and chips and salsa here. The room is small, so in the winter it can get cold when the door opens as new customers come in. Service is friendly and prices are reasonable.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank haroldHood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2012

Well, to start out we ordered nachos a plate consisting of 8 bunrt chips, refried beans plopped on the chip, splash of chicken slop (cold btw) & about as much guac that couldnt satisy a mouse. We expected a hefty proportion considering it was 10.00. Sadly, we didnt want to continue eating there since we didnt bring our gold bullion and amex. Then they charged an additional dollar cause we split them. I will never go there again and the owner or whoever was so happy to see a happy couple walk in that he continued to sit and read the local newspaper and said "sit yourself wherever you want." God bless america

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
6  Thank Ronin7619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

This is a tiny place but the food and service are great. It is located right across from the Wheaton train station and only seats like 35 people. The food is great and the price is right. I will be back again and again.

1  Thank PPMJAY09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed El Zarape also viewed

Wheaton, DuPage County
Wheaton, DuPage County
 
Wheaton, DuPage County
Wheaton, DuPage County
 

Been to El Zarape? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing