Hernande’z Cocina offers authentic and fresh from scratch El Salvadoran and Mayan cuisine made using traditional recipes some of which have been passed down for many generations, including burritos, huaraches and tacos. Hernande'z offers a slow food menu as well as an express menu for those with time constraints.
This used to be just great, but my last experience was a nightmare. After trying to visit too many times, and finding it closed (as they go away for a few months each year), I gave up trying until yesterday, when we were surprised to find it open.
But what an experience! First, the girl at the counter had no idea about the food. We asked about the squash, but no one knew how it was served. Finally, we were told one option was a side of squash, so we ordered it in order to each try a bit. After taking our order, the girl came to our table and asked if they could put the squash in the burrito as the cook, "does not want to make a plate dirty..." We thought to ourselves, "Is this FOR REAL?" I have never heard of a restaurant "not wanting to make a plate dirty" as a reason not to serve food. I explained to her that we would prefer a plate so we could each try a bit.
I asked for a glass of water but was told that we could not have a glass of water and had to purchase a bottle of water. Hm. How cheap can you get and what a good way to lose customers.
When the food arrived, my partner's rice was raw, and had to go back. Mine was cooked, but it was 90% rice and I had to eat 1/2 way down to detect a ration of pork. I found myself digging for pork to the bottom.
We were so offended at this point that we said we would not go back. Too bad as we used to promote this restaurant to our friends. But, why be cheap to the point of being offensive and risk losing loyal customers?
Hernande'z is this quirky taco stand nestled incongruously inside a corporate mall at the foot of an office building. Smart location for getting the lunch crowd, but it makes for a strange ambiance. With that said, this is probably the most authentic Mexican / El Salvadorean fair to be found in Victoria. They have a "fast food" menu which involves white flour tortillas - or if you have the time you can be rewarded with the "slow food" menu which involves corn tortillas made on the spot.
I was excited enough to order the Tacos de Frijoles and a Huarache Classica. The tacos themselves would make for a light lunch ($5) and the Huarache would have sufficed for a solid portion. I left their having spent $13 and was completely gorged. Also, if this is slow food (ready within 5 minutes) - I wonder how lightning quick the "fast food" is. I'll probably never try it as the corn tortillas are some of the best in town (Mo:Le does well on their Huevos Rancheros).
The ambiance is a tricky call because this sort of fresh food isn't exactly take-away - you want to eat it upon delivery. So I suggest putting up with the mall in exchange for what ties with RedFishBlueFish as Victoria's best value for lunch.
The food at Hernadez is very tasty, there is no disputing this. They apparently use magical beef from cows that have been massaged by celebrities like Angelina Jolie their entire lives. All kidding aside, the hormone free beef is delicious, and ditto for their homemade taco and burrito tortillas. Everything here is home-made, the rice, beans, meat and torillas, and it's all very delicious and perfectly seasoned. If you're not a fan of fresh cilantro, they tend to put a lot of it on so beware. For me this is not a problem!
I liken the service here to the "Soup Nazi" on Seinfeld. They know their food is exceptional, and everyone who comes here knows to get your ass in that line by 11:30am or you'll be waiting. The extremely limited seating and indifferent staff give the restaurant an air of exclusivity - like you're lucky to be eating here. I for one don't mind this - not every restaurant has to kiss my ass to get my business. And nobody here is rude, they just make incredible food and are therefore above you.
The value is excellent - You get a decent amount of food with most items, but some of the cheaper menu items (5 tacos for $5) you might want to order two of if you're hungry. This actually works out really well since you get to try more than one thing. The fact that they offer such inexpensive menu items is amazing considering their downtown location and what their rent must be. I've had higher bills going through the drive though at A&W than here.
The ambiance is a bit weird. They have cool Mexican tables with authentic rickity style chairs, but they are in the hallway of a mini-mall on Yates St between a magazine stand and a hair salon. It's like the world exploded and chunks of Mexico rained down in the Food Courts of North America. Anyways, the little Mexican tokens that you hold on to until they deliver your food (El Mundo, La Cucharoacha etc) are a lot of fun, and overall this restaurant is a great experience!
This place is one of my favorite restaurants , the service is very good I recommend it. the food is very delicious, they have a variety of traditional mexican dishes. my favorite dish is the "Huarache" it has tortilla but not the same as commom tortilla. It is thicker than common tortilla. It is made with corn and refried beans, pork meat and as well has cheese. The taste is incredible, salty, sometimes is creamy and spicy. There are many diferent dishes, tacos, sopes, flautas, etc. these dishes taste very good.
We have been going to the various versions of this restaurant since the Pandora St. location. The food is always good, however the service has become indifferent at best and occasionally quite surly. The issue is mainly the proprietor. He ignores customers and certainly never shows any consideration for his guests. You can see evidence of this shift in attitude on the restaurant's own website. There is a rebuttal to a review provided by another patron with no acknowledgement of the issue of poor service. The rebuttal focuses only on the quality of the ingredients and the preparation. They clearly do not understand the basics of customer service. I acknowleged that the food is good, but we will never go back.
|1.||Bay (1.8 km)|