A Bad Taste in my Mouth – Consumer Alert

By J. Q. Collectif/Opinion

My wife and I go out for lunch most Sundays after church. One of our frequent stops is San Luis Mexican Restaurant in Natchitoches. We got there just after opening and were seated at the first booth just off the kitchen. We prefer not to sit in this area of the restaurant because it tends to be like a black hole where service is concerned. But, being that it is Father’s Day and we had gotten to the restaurant early, we did not request a different table. Our chips and salsa and drinks were promptly brought to our table. My wife and I munched away on the chips and made small talk while we waited for our meal. We had almost emptied our basket of chips when I noticed a drop of water fall from the ceiling right into my wife’s salsa. I immediately advised her to stop eating it. By now, there were several drops on the table, too. I looked up to determine the source and was faced with a filthy air conditioner vent that was causing condensation, which was falling onto the table and contaminating anything it touched. Foolishly, we stayed to eat our lunch with the plates as close to the edge of the table as we could get them.

Once we got home, I promptly went to the Department of Health and Hospitals website to view San Luis’ most recent Retail Food Inspection Report, which was completed just over a month ago. Had I read it prior to selecting a restaurant for my Father’s Day celebration, I certainly would not have selected San Louis. It irritated me that the wait staff showed no concern when I pointed the problem out to them. Now that I know they were well aware of the problem over a month ago, I am outraged. You can see their last three reports below. It is blatantly obvious that San Louis is in desperate need of new management.


20 thoughts on “A Bad Taste in my Mouth – Consumer Alert

  1. We are in the plumbing business and have to work in many places where food is prepared. My husband chooses San Luis because of the cleanliness in the kitchen.. Js we will continue to eat there and do so weekly!

  2. It’s hard enough for restaurants and businesses to make it in this town without this type of publicity. This could ruin a business. I hope if you are becoming a food critic you go to every restaurant in town and give a synopsis. The health inspection records have been available to the public for years, but if you’re going to start pointing out specific places then be fair and print all of them. Why was an article not written about Hana in downtown Natchitoches where a snake fell out of the ceiling onto a table where people were eating? The snake had a bird in its mouth when it landed – when the snake hit the table the bird flew off. I happen to love San Luis (not San Louis as in the article) and the service has always been decent and the food good. If I had experienced what happened here I certainly would’ve asked for the manager and pointed out the problem.

  3. Concerning this being the dirtiest restaurant in town, I will disagree with a few folks on here. My late father was in the extermination business for years. He told often of a very exclusive restaurant at the junction of Hwy 1 South and I believe Mill Street. I don’t remember the exact location & won’t use names, but he always said if people could see their kitchen, with packages of rolls partially eaten by rats…nobody would ever eat there, much less pay the high prices. Currently there is another Mexican restaurant in town that exterminators talk about. Dirty kitchen that isn’t cleaned, so it’s difficult to get rid of the roaches & mice. Dirty floors in the restaurant, so it’s called the roach Buffett. Lots of regulars go there, but not me, not after the first time. I’m sure they have been warned also.

    I think San Luis is beginning to make an effort, but they need training in the proper ways to clean and sanitize a restaurant. Right now, I’m not sure where I will eat good Mexican food. Maybe at home.

    • I also use to be a bug man and you are right I’ve been in some nasty bug infested very popular kitchens and you can get rid of the roaches and bugs I’ve done it on dome of them . San Luis is and will as l ways be my favorite Mexican restaurant in town not even close

      • David, you are right, you can get rid of the roaches, IF they keep the kitchen and restaurant clean. The mice are another big problem in restaurants. Some of these buildings are old, and have many little places for roaches, flies, mice and other nasty flying and crawling insects and such to get in. A restaurant can be cleaned and bug free if they take the proper measures to keep it clean. They all need to know how to clean the entire place. If I were an owner, you can be sure employees would be sure to wipe down walls by booths to assure that the next customer found a clean place to enjoy their food. Floors would be swept after a messy child dropped food. I think it would be a good thing for the parish or whoever to have a class to teach owners and managers how to clean things, Or a booklet could be given to each restaurant on the proper procedures, from cleaning to keeping food safe. Then they could teach the wait and other staff. What a great idea, going to a restaurant that was clean and insect free. Plus no nasty vents.

  4. Most of you folks eat from worst conditions from your homes an couldn’t pass an inspection if were required to, an you still feed your families from the kitchen . An if your the rich folks posting ,of course we can see you complaining. Im sure these problems are passed the point of being addressed but don’t pretend you haven’t been camping an got a bug on your plate an quit eating or got a gritty bite of food cause sand or dirt was in a bite an you throwed the whole plate away. People stop exaggerating if service is bad it very well could be just that or it could be your attitude. My family an folks we know have eaten an there many times. Agreed these problems need to be addressed an taken care of since its a public eatery but stop trying to get somebody’s business an life taken away from them. They are not just one family in these restaurants but several babies up to the elderly. Think of how many folks would be in a bind or you’d been sending to the unemployment lines you already gripe about your tax money paying for. Its a domino effect. Think about all that would be affected….

  5. I have only eaten there one time,and that was enough for me.service was awful food was mediocre and the place just didn’t look well kept.I hope they lose there license,it has to be the worst food in town from what I hear.

    • I’ve ate there alot of times for years and it the best Mexican food in town ,quick service and very nice people ad I’ve been in alot of restaurant kitchens and have seen worse then what is reposted here

  6. Some states require that these reports be printed in the local newspapers. It would certainly be a help to all of us to do this.

    • you are right and if our local paper “Natchitoches Times ” had any guts to report anything it would have been nice.Thank god for the Journal they actually report news .

  7. I have to admit this saddens me, as it was my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. The last time we were in for lunch was a couple of weeks ago. To me, it looked to be freshly painted and with the new tables & chairs, I thought things were looking up. I detest dining in dirty restaurants, no matter how good their food might be. Had what happened to the writer happened to me, I would have called the manager over and explained why I was leaving for another restaurant. The water dripping out of that vent was too contaminated for my taste. Sorry I won’t be back until conditions improve, and improve greatly. The owner might also have a class on proper cleaning and storage of food & equipment for restaurants for all his employees. Let me know when it’s done. Thanks to the writer for letting me know where to go to check on the conditions in any restaurant in town.

  8. Well you admit you eat there often and its a “frequent stop” and your still kicking! The real question here is how long does your state/county actually let someone stay open and operating with a list like that??? In Missouri we think its bad if a place has 4 or 5 checks against it… Y’all have 13 and 15 negatives regularly and still stay open? YUCK!

  9. I know very well the owners will repair the problem once they are made aware. We eat there all the time, and have always enjoyed our experience. Any place can have an issue….as long as it is repaired in a timely fashion.

      • Why don’t you post all other restaurants inspections as well? Since everyone is so concern why don’t we just inspect all others as well

    • The owners were made aware when the inspector came and left the violation notice both in January and May…I’m a former restaurant owner and my place was know not kust for the good food but for the cleanliness. Now…I am a germaphobe but because it was my business I cared…I did what I’d want done when I dined somewhere.

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