Restaurant Review: Evett's Cafe and Fountain in Magdalena, NM
If you happen to be cruising out west on Highway 60, you might want to consider dropping in for a bite at Evett's Cafe and Fountain in Magdalena. It's located in the old brick bank building right off the "main drag" on the north side of the highway. This place has been a favorite of mine for quite a while, mainly due to their ice cream, shakes, malts, and the like. The food is basic New Mexican cuisine: burgers, burritos, chili and beans, and such. Nothing bad about the food. But, really, the ice cream is why everyone eats at Evetts! If you order a shake or a malt, you best have a friend to help you finish it (or have a hearty appetite), because it will arrive in a tall, frosty glass and the "remainder" of the shake will be plopped down next to your glass in the metal mixing cup that it was made in. The "remainder" usually consists of almost enough to fill your glass full again. Like I said, you best be ready to "belly up" so to speak.
This review would have had nothing but good things to say, based on my previous dining experiences there, but my most recent experience was so horrible that I would be remiss not to mention it. The waitress, a 50-something woman whose name I will not state here, was arguably the rudest person that has ever waited on me in any restaurant in my entire life. Let me explain: my significant other and I arrived for lunch, took our seats, and "the woman" came to our table and dropped two menus on the table, without saying a word. I didn't think much of it at the time, but in retrospect it was the nicest thing she'd do for us that day.
The downright UGLY
When it was time to take our order, I asked what I thought to be a rather innocuous question, "what flavors can I get in a 'flavored' coke?" The response was silence, a long pause, and then, using her pen as a pointing device, a rapping on the menu near where the flavors are listed. "Okay" I thought, "she doesn't talk much; no problem." We proceeded to place our orders and "the woman" stuck out her hand and glared at us, apparently so that we would give our menus back to her. Again, I brushed it off and continued my conversation with my significant other.
After a rather long wait, "the woman" plops our food down on the table with nary a word. Again, I'm thinking that maybe she's had a bad day, or perhaps she's the strong, silent type. No problem - everybody can have a bad day, so I was thinking I should cut her some slack. But then my significant other mentioned that "the woman" was all smiles to several other tables, but to us she was refusing to even speak, and then was glaring at us when we spoke. We then began wondering, "what did we do to offend her?" - a question to which I couldn't come up with a good answer. The best I could muster was that "we're not from around here," so maybe she treats the locals nicely and the "outsiders" like dirt. Not a good answer, but the best I could think of at the time.
Again, I brushed it off and proceeded to eat the food that she had plopped down for us. We finished our food, but don't even kid yourself: there was no sign of "the woman" after we got our food; none of that "you guys doing okay?" stuff, nor any of that "can I get you anything else?" chit chat. "The woman" doesn't have time for such small talk.
Anyway, as I mentioned, the main reason to eat at Evett's is the ice cream. So, of course, my significant other and I wanted to order dessert. Well, "the woman" ignored us, of course (what did you expect) so that I had to go up to the counter and say, "we're thinking about ordering dessert - could I have a menu?" She grumbled - the first sign that she could speak (well, not counting the other tables to whom she was all lovey dovey), and pushed a menu towards me. I took the menu to our table, we decided on something, and - now my memory fails me - I believe I had to tell someone else that worked there what we wanted. In any event, we chose to split a banana split (pun not intended). Ok, I thought, "the banana split is 5 bucks, but it'll be worth every penny."
Then, "the woman" brings out the dessert. At first glance, it looks good - three large tufts of whipped cream, a maracino cherry, the whole nine yards. "The woman" actually says something, sort of under her breath, as she hands it to us. I couldn't exactly make out what she said, but it was something about "blah, blah, blah.... melted." It didn't register until after we started eating. The banana split was essentially three tufts of whipped cream, a maracino cherry, and maybe two-thirds (2/3) of an ice cream scoop's worth of melted vanilla ice cream (and I mean TOTALLY melted, as in pure liquid with no trace of anything even remotely frozen), surrounding a banana and a smidgen of chocolate, pineapple, and strawberry sauces.
I'm a dessert eater. I love sweets. It takes a LOT for me to say, "that was a terrible dessert." It takes a LOT MORE for me to say, "that was the most pathetic excuse for a banana split that I've ever eaten." Now, mind you, this was a 5 dollar banana split. And, mind you, the waitress was incredibly rude throughout the entire experience. I'm not a complainer; I almost never complain at a restaurant. But, this time I thought to myself, "I should say something about that ice cream - or lack thereof."
So, I went to pay the bill and "the woman" takes the bill - doesn't ask "was everything alright" - that would require speaking - and rings me up. I then say, "what was the deal with the ice cream, it was completely melted?" to which "the woman" grumbles such that I could only make out about every other word, "yeah, it was, blah blah, don't know, blah blah" or something to that effect. No mention of, "can I make you another one?" or "I'm sorry, sir, would you like a refund?" or even a simple "sorry about that." I would have settled for an "I'm sorry, it's hot and our machine isn't working well today" - even though I saw several folks leave with ice cream cones that were totally frozen and creamy.
I am at a loss for why "the woman" treated us like she did. Maybe she was having a bad day, true, but why were other tables greeted with a smile? Maybe she didn't like our hair styles?! Now, the funny thing is that I tipped her. Don't ask why, even I can't explain. I know waiters and waitresses work hard and are underpaid, so I don't feel bad about leaving the tip, even though she was the worst, rudest excuse for a waitress EVER.
I'm willing to forgive such rude treatment - once - but I'll tell you: if it happens again, I'll never dine there again, nor will I recommend that anyone else do so. I still recommend that you try Evett's Cafe in Magdalena, because out of about 5 or 6 dining experiences there, all but this one have been great. I'll revise this review after I try them again, to let you know whether it was a fluke. Bon appetite!