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Murrieta's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Reno Sparks Nevada Murrietas Mexican restaurants dining food bar cantina drinks

Murrieta's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, Reno, Nevada

Photo © Stan White

The Bottom Line

Murrieta's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina is a nice place to eat. The food is good and authentic (at least to this gringo). I really enjoyed Carlos the strolling troubadour; he played acoustic guitar and had a beautiful voice. I didn't care that he was singing in Spanish.

Pros

  • Nicely decorated; felt like a Mexican restaurant
  • Extensive menu selections, including breakfast and lunch.
  • Strolling troubadour on Fridays and Saturdays
  • Sit at a table or booth
  • Full bar

Cons

  • Too much A/C; it was chilly inside
  • Noisy; high ceilings make for echo chamber effect
  • Tight parking lot on a busy corner

Description

  • There are some menu choices I've not seen at other Mexican restaurants, like crab enchiladas and birria (steamed goat).
  • Murrieta's is properly decorated for a Mexican restaurant. This isn't a plastic fast food joint.
  • I thought it was a bit expensive for Mexican. Combo plates for dinner start at $8.95 and go up from there.
  • Carlos plays guitar and sings. He is very good.

Guide Review - Murrieta's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

Overall, Murrieta's can hold its own among Mexican restaurants. I enjoyed the decor and the staff was friendly without being overbearing. It's hard to chat and enjoy your meal if the server is constantly hovering around. The food was good and arrived in a reasonable amount of time. I had the El Burro steak burrito combo plate and my wife Jewel had Las Suisas (chicken enchiladas with mushroom sauce). We both enjoyed our choices, but neither dish elicited a "Wow" response.

Carlos the strolling troubadour was a real plus to the dining experience. He played guitar and sang at our table, but not without first asking. The man has a remarkable voice and obviously enjoys singing for people.

Murrieta's Mexican Restaurant has three locations:

8195 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511
(775) 827-3585

4997C Longley Ln.
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 829-7888

3060 Vista Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89434
(775) 356-1144

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Review of Murrieta's Reno & Sparks - Rude Service!, Member carlamoss

This is actually a review of all three Murrieta’s Restaurants in the Reno/Sparks area – sorry it is somewhat lengthy, but I have some tales to tell. I have been fed up with this place several times before, but never enough to write detailed reviews. After the experience last weekend, I’ve decided it’s time to call out this classless Mexican restaurant with rude staff members. There is one thing all three Murrieta’s locations have in common: horrible customer service. Here’s a brief description of the incidents I’ve had at each location. At the Longley & McCarran restaurant (where I occasionally call in orders & pick them up for my office staff) I was harassed for ordering a children’s menu item. They almost refused to give me our entire order because one of the items was from the Children’s menu, but I didn’t have the child with me when I picked up the order. Wow. During a different visit to this same location, I ordered four of the Tilapia Civeche dishes. The woman behind the counter said “we do not have anything like that”. So, I pointed to the menu above her head and said, “It’s right there on the menu, we ordered the same thing last week”. She looked extraordinarly confused and said she would have to check if they had any, which they did. When I got the food back to the office, everyone almost dropped dead because it was so insanely spicy. On this same visit, I asked for an additional side of guacamole for our chips, which was met with the response “It over at taco bar. Get it yourself”. Next came the real challenge; paying the bill. I told them at the time I placed the order that I would be paying with two separate credit cards, and asked them to ring up separate orders. You’d think I was asking for an act of God. The manager came over and said that such a thing is impossible to do. After 10 minutes of arguing, he FINALLY agreed to ring up two separate orders. Then he said “you do not pay with two different cards next time. One card and that’s it, the owner does not let us do this”. (Seriously? The owner doesn’t want a paying customer? I highly doubt it.) I routinely use two or even three separate cards to pay for food orders at restaurants all over town, because I’m usually picking up food for several different people. It has never been a problem anywhere, except of course, at Murrieta’s. I told the manager there wouldn’t be a next time, because I was tired of the lousy & rude service. And there hasn’t been, at least for this location. When I got back to the office, I went to their website and sent an email regarding the horrendous service. The owner graciously apologized and sent me a $25 gift card for their location on Vista Blvd, in Sparks. A few weeks later, my boyfriend and I went to the Vista Blvd location. I ordered spectacular seafood enchiladas: plentiful amounts of seafood, wrapped in flour tortillas, and bathed in a rich, creamy sauce. Also, their fresh Salsa was spectacular – very crisp, clean taste. My boyfriend and his friend both ordered some drinks and the .99 cent tacos (one of their specials during football games), which were surprisingly well portioned for such an inexpensive menu item, and also tasted great. When the $30 bill came, we gave them the gift card and $10 cash to cover the remainder, plus tip. After a very long time, the server came back and said that the gift card wasn’t working, we would have to pay a different way. I explained the situation to him, and even looked up the email from the owner on my phone so he could see that the owner was the one who sent me the gift card – so it should work just fine! After nearly half an hour and several calls to their Reno location, he figured out how to scan the gift card. He seemed very upset, gave us the receipt, and stormed off. Now, for yesterday’s incident. My boyfriend won a Super Bowl party at Murieta’s from Fox. The prize was 10 free meals and a group seating area for our guests. The section where we were seated was comfortable and cozy – complete with two big screen TVs and even a fire place. The actual restaurant itself is designed quite nicely, very spacious and welcoming. My only complaint is tiny ceiling lights that beam down over certain seats like some sort of irritating spot light. Otherwise, the physical restaurant itself gets an A+ from me. Some people who had planned to join our group cancelled because they were sick, which left us with 8 guests, rather than 10. When my boyfriend asked if we could just get the other two free meals to go, the server said “no, if you do not have the guests here, you do not get the meals”. Uh, ok. So even though the prize was for 10 free meals, we could only cash in on 8. Nice. Figuring since we couldn’t get the food to go, my boyfriend told the couple seated at a table next to us that they could be our additional two guests, so they could get their meals free. When he announced this to the waiter, he said “no, they did not come in with you. They get nothing free.” My boyfriend said “I won this as a prize, which was to include TEN meals. Now you’re telling me I can’t use them as I wish? That doesn’t make any sense!” The manager said there was nothing he could do about it, because the owner wouldn’t let him. When we asked to speak with the owner, we were told he was not there. Nice try, Mr. Manager – pinning your lousy customer service on the owner yet again. Judging by the apologetic email I’d received from the owner previously, I don’t think he’s the problem at all. The employees are the ones sabotaging the restaurants. We were not so much disappointed that we got ripped off for two free meals, but more so by the attitude of the manager. He was very anti-customer service, and really didn’t care that we did not receive the full value of the prize. We had planned on leaving a hefty tip, seeing as how the meals were free. However, due to the rudeness we subjected to, he only received about a tenth of what we’d originally planned to tip. In hindsight, we should have directly tipped the chef(s) instead of the server/manager, because the food itself was wonderful. A brief description of the food: Their seafood enchiladas are to die for!! One of our friends ordered the Goat, which I was anxious to taste. It was a large portion which was amazingly tender and flavorful. Again, kudos to the chef! The food arrived very quickly, and all at the same time, piping hot. I would highly recommend the food at the Vista and S. Virginia locations, but not at the Longley Ln location (their food is hit-or-miss…and when it’s bad, it’s REALLY bad). If you plan on visiting Murrieta’s for a small dinner for two, and have very little communication with the staff, you will probably have a nice time. I just need to call attention to the complete lack of customer service I’ve personally experienced at each and every one of these restaurants. What all three Murrieta’s have in common is their lack of “service with a smile”. Each employee looks downright upset to be there, and irritated that they have to put up with their customers. The manager looked angry the entire time – and I’m pretty sure it was the same man who yelled at me for paying with two credit cards at their Longley location. Sir, you work in a restaurant with the public. It would behoove your pocket book and establishments to act a little more people-friendly, rather than like a crazed Mexican dictator.

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