By Brandon November 1st, 2014
It is truly difficult to put into words what we exeperienced at Dominga's. I suppose there is no better place to start than the beginning.
We knew we were going to Dominga's a few days before we went, so as any true Milennial would, I did my due diligence. I scoped it out online and asked around in attempts to prepare myself. I didn't find any negative reviews and I found one in particular that really stood out to me. The review, by Jenny B. on Yelp!, said that the restaurant is in a house, which has been converted to a restaurant. (Sweet!) Jenny B. also mentioned a sweet old Mexican lady who "makes tortillas all morning."(Double Sweet!) So with much anticipation, Jake and I made the drive over to west Davenport.
When you pull up to Dominga's you don't really realize it is there, sitting innocently on the corner of Pansy and Concord St. (Yes, I am a grown man but I still laughed at Pansy St.) It is in a residential neighboorhood and has houses all around it. There is no defined place to park, so we found a place about a block down and walked back. When you walk in, word of warning, the door is a bit broken and slams behind you as you enter. Jake and I discussed it and we think the door was purposely broken and purposely left unfixed, creating a built-in "newbie alert" to the cast of regular diners already eating. Except there were no other diners.
No one greeted us upon our entrance. We awkwardly made our way to the side of the restaurant and took a booth. The whole place was empty. Another word of warning, if there is an older lady working that day and she happens to be on her "lunch break," just call it a day and go home. We arrived at 4:30 on a Saturday and the only waitress there, Louise, was eating her dinner. (Her name wasn't Louise, we didn't catch her name. She for sure looked like a Louise though.) She made a comment, which we could easily hear, expressing her frustration over not getting to eat her meal. A few minutes go by, giving Jake and I ample time to become absolutely perplexed by the decor. We felt like we had entered a different dimension. As if the slamming front door was a portal to a different place and time.There are plastic parrots hanging in ever corner. We saw plastic tomatoes and cloves of garlic dangling from the ceiling. My personal favorite was the tower fan, propped up on a half wall that divides the restaurant, with a note telling you "Don't Touch!" Our heads were on were on a swivel, taking in all the decor in disbelief. We felt like we were in an alternate universe. Louise walked up to us as we were still in a daze from the decor and she said, "Drinks." That all, "Drinks." I literally laughed out loud and had to hide it. We ordered two waters and two Modelo Especial. We always ask for a lime, always, but not today. We were afraid of Louise.
Louise came back with our Modelo’s and I guess this time she felt like talking. She told us, “I’ll bring your waters out with your meal.” Okay, thanks Louise. She then returned to her original approach and began to stare at us again. This stare, we assumed, was a signal for us to go ahead and order. At this point in time, we hadn’t even looked at the menu because we didn’t see the menu buried over on the side of the table. We looked over the tri-fold, small print menu for a what felt like ten minutes with Louise staring at us. On the menu I saw a Chorizo and Potato Burrito. Jake and I both loved burritos so this seemed like a good option, so I ordered one. To which Louise responded, “Just one?” This confused Jake and I, so we asked for clarification. Apparently, the burritos are made with 7” tortillas so they are small and came in orders of 3. So Jake and I decided to split an order of 3. It was settled, we were having chorizo and potato burritos. We were excited, we’ve read all the good reviews and the hole-in-the-wall décor really had us thinking the food would be great. Jake and I were talking and discussing how awesome the food was going to be. As we were chatting, Louise returned to the table and informed us that there was “only enough to make two burritos.”
I have to pause a moment here. It is now 4:45 on a Saturday and you “only have enough to make two burritos?” What could this mean? Does that mean that we were eating what was left over from lunch? Does that mean that they simply ran out of chorizo and/or potatoes? We were thoroughly confused, but by this point we were neck deep in this experience and had no other choice but to comply to Louise’s news. A few more minutes went by and what was placed in front of us literally made us laugh out loud.
What didn’t make us laugh was the taste! The taste was not funny… it was terrible. It tasted as if someone cooked up a big skillet of chorizo, dumped the chorizo out, then cooked potatoes in the grease and then served ONLY the potatoes. I’m not 100% sure that there was any chorizo in our “burritos.” We choked down our food, settled up with Louise, walked back through the portal and breathed the fresh air of the real world. Needless to say, we are never going back to Dominga’s.
Honestly, I don't like leaving negative reviews and I always try to find the positives. I don't want to hinder any business in their efforts to be successful. I wish that Dominga's offered us something positive to cover, but it was a rough experience from start to finish. Hopefully other diners will have a better experience!
Chorizo and Potato Burrito