Although, this post is inserted under the tag of “Cool Places to Eat” – a category where a share my recommendations about all cafes and restaurants worth to visit, whether for food or the place itself. Nevertheless, today, I would like to talk about less positive experience. Of course, not everything in our life is great and marvellous and Hamburgueria Fidalgo, unfortunately, is a part of it.
This is one of the restaurants in the Fidalgo’s network and it is located near the famous windmills of Barreiro. It opened its doors a few years ago and offers a pleasant view over the Tagus River to its customers.
This place, since its start, presented a concept full of great potential. Homemade burgers, with French fries and herbs, delicious sauces and differently flavored lemonades. Everything and more in a very cozy ambience and at very affordable prices. In other words, a trendy place that a south bay city needed. The only problem was their management system that gave rise to exaggerated waiting times. I visited this place in different times of the day and, for its own good, it was always crowded. Ok, it was a new place and every time I wanted to eat a hamburger, I patiently waited for a free table.
At that time, the restaurant was against the reservation policy and the only solution was to wait or go much earlier to skip the queue. However, nobody has lunch at breakfast time or has dinner at snack time… (Unless my father, maybe!). We stopped going to Hamburgueria Fidalgo when we were supposed to wait only fifteen minutes for a table. A “fifteen-minute wait” transformed into a 2-and-half hour wait, then one hour more to be served and less than thirty minutes to enjoy our dinner. Why, you ask? Because the staff took our dishes, once we put the last bit of the hamburger in our mouths (and there were still the French fries on the plate.
However, yesterday, three years later, I decided to give it another chance. I hope that a newness syndrome had finally vanished and that, after all these years, the organizational skills of the staff had finally evolved. Moreover, of course, it was a Wednesday, so there was no way it would be overcrowded. The restaurant was almost full, but there were still two or three free tables. Perfect, I thought.
Hell no! I could not had left that place even more disappointed…
To start, we were completely ignored more than once by one of the waiters, who looked at us and then passed by, as we did not existed at all. We patiently waited and seven minutes (yes, I timed it up) we finally heard a “Good afternoon” getting out through the teeth.
The menus, which are supposed to be individual tableware and should be on the table once the clients sit, showed up fifteen minutes after. From two types of appetizers, we have chosen, we got just only one, and not mentioning that we had to ask for our beverages one more time, using our arms like someone was desperately calling for help. I have never seen someone being ignored like this before and most of all a client. Three minutes after the appetizers, the waiter brought us the hamburgers. At that moment, I found ironic the sentence written on the appetizers section of the menu: “And just because waiting can be boring, eat some snacks…” In fact, waiting for appetizers was quite boring… but the biggest surprise was appetizers showing up at almost the same time as the mains. In addition, I would love to highlight that our plates were brought at the same time as the couple’s beside and who had shown up at Hamburgueria Fidalgo thirty or forty minutes after us.
About the food…
The food does not look the same as it used to be. The French fries were spread all over the plate. The sauce that was supposed to be garnished at the side, was carelessly hidden somewhere under the French fries and, better, my hamburger was cold!
I confess that I do not like to get mad and I tolerate quite well enough the failures that can happen at the restaurant (I know, things can happen). However, the accumulation of all these made me politely call the waitress and ask to take my plate back to the kitchen. In less than five minutes, I got the replacement (yes, five minutes that is why I am quite overwhelmed, since I have waited almost an hour before). This time, the French fries were too freakin’ hot, but at least it was not cold! I thanked the girl and my appreciation was reciprocated back with the most arrogant “thank you” I ever heard… We finished our meals, paid and got out of the restaurant swearing that we would never come back.
After we got home, my indignation and curiosity made me check for customer reviews on Fidalgo’s Facebook and Zomato pages. Curiously, there we many costumers sharing the same opinion as mine.
Unfortunately, there is still a presence of a very great potential in Hamburgueria Fidalgo. The food is still good, but not as tasty as it used to be. And the service… Well the service need some serious revisions.