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    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2009, 7:04 am
    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2009, 7:04 am Post #1 - May 2nd, 2009, 7:04 am
    Beyond mediocre service, so-so food preparations made this an extremely forgettable evening. I remember years ago, trying this place when it was on a roll and thinking it was just OK. Well it has gone downhill from there. We couldn't get into Wholly Frijoles because of a long wait time and since Mexican was on the brain we headed over to Edison Park. Big mistake.

    With places like the aforementioned Wholly Frijoles, Mixteco, Fonda del Mar and Casa de Isaac (near me) I see no reason to ever go back to DJs.

    I don't like posting negative reviews but felt it necessary this time.
  • Post #2 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:06 am
    Post #2 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:06 am Post #2 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:06 am
    Interesting. This is one of my family's go-to spots.

    What did you find lacking in the service? We usually find them very welcoming and friendly, if sometimes not sparklingly competent.

    What was wrong with the food? What did you eat?
  • Post #3 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:10 am
    Post #3 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:10 am Post #3 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:10 am
    oh, by the way, previous topics about Don Juan's exist here and here.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #4 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:27 am
    Post #4 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:27 am Post #4 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:27 am
    Service was extremely slow despite the fact that the place was not jammed. There was no wait and scattered empty tables. Waiter took an a long time to take initial order and seemed totally ambivalent about his job. The opening salsa and chips were good. We ordered the paella, the chicken breast in mango, and beef/steak in spicy chipotle. After ordering, the food took at least 45 minutes before arriving. After about 1/2 hour the waiter reluctantly came by our barren table to ask if everything was OK. Well other than the fact we were hungry "everything was OK". No, "your food should be out soon" and showing absolutely zero interest in us. The food that finally arrived was just average. The chicken portion was tiny. The beef was sort of tough. Now, I realize that paella can often take a while to prepare and we were prepared. Neither the menu nor the waiter indicated any extraordinary wait. If the issue was solely the food preparation I would not be piqued. It was OK....just OK. The aloofness of the server made an average experience a poor one.
  • Post #5 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:59 am
    Post #5 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:59 am Post #5 - May 2nd, 2009, 10:59 am
    Sounds like you definitely got a bad server, which sucks. Paella? I didn't even know they did that at DJ's.

    Did you order any apps to start with while you waited for your Paella?
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #6 - May 3rd, 2009, 1:00 am
    Post #6 - May 3rd, 2009, 1:00 am Post #6 - May 3rd, 2009, 1:00 am
    I haven't been to Don Juan's in a while, but for a long time it was a go-to place for us. Patrick Concannon always seemed to come up with something interesting and the atmosphere and service friendly and inviting. I'll have to check it out again it's been at least a couple of years.
    Last edited by trpt2345 on May 28th, 2009, 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    trpt2345
  • Post #7 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:25 am
    Post #7 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:25 am Post #7 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:25 am
    I've always found Don Juan's to be consistently reliable. As mentioned by another poster, the service has always been warm and welcoming - and the food a notch above your standard Mexican.
  • Post #8 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:47 am
    Post #8 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:47 am Post #8 - May 3rd, 2009, 8:47 am
    Did not order appetizers. I am generally satisfied with chips and salsa. Did order some drinks. I did not have the paella. I realize it is not generally seen on a Mexican restaurant menu but one of my co-diners has had it at DJs before and liked it. He felt it was just OK this time. His opinion may have been partly influenced by the surly waiter.
  • Post #9 - May 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Post #9 - May 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm Post #9 - May 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Jerry D,

    I am sorry to hear of your disappointing experience. We are regulars at Don Juans (average two-three visits per month over the last five years.) In fact, we dined there last night. I've never had issues with service although sometimes they get so busy that they don't have a lot of time to be engaging. After trying many things on the menu over the years, I've come to the conclusion that the best experience involves picking a starter from the more upscale middle section of the menu (listed as "Patricio's" menu.) We avoid the pricey entrees from that section. I then most frequently go for sampling of the $2.50 tacos. I love to start with 3-4 of the baked oysters and then I'll usually have a poblano, mushroom and cheese taco, a fried fish of the day taco, and a rock shrimp and bacon taco. If I'm extra hungry I'll get rice and beans on the side, but I usually don't need it after the complimentary chips and salsa. They also have a wonderful salsa verde, but you have to ask for it. My husband usually starts with either the crab cake, the caesar salad, or a cup of tortilla soup. Occasionally, we'll share an order of the jalapenos rellenos. They're not fried, but baked and stuffed with a warm mixture of creamy seafood. Sometimes husband will do tacos as an entree too, but he really likes their enchiladas suizas (gets 1 chicken, 1 cheese, and 1 carne asada.) He swears by their Grand Gold Magarita - I like the Babich Savignon Blanc. Last night when our entrees came out, our server who usually stops by at that point to see if we need anything, didn't. Our glasses were empty and another server noticed almost immediately and asked us if we wanted another round. We said "yes" and drinks arrived shortly thereafter. Our server came by about 5 minutes later and apologized profusely, explaining that he was embarassed but got caught up watching the Bulls game in the bar. No big deal to us as we were taken care of. We did not order dessert and asked for the check. Out came two complimentary flans, another apology, and he comped my husband's second margarita. Totally unecessary, but very nice. This is an example of why we keep coming back. Jerry, there's no excuse for the service you received, but my experience with this restaurant leads me to belive you had a server on his worst night, for whatever reason. I hope with the passage of some time you'll consider giving them another shot.
  • Post #10 - February 10th, 2021, 8:17 pm
    Post #10 - February 10th, 2021, 8:17 pm Post #10 - February 10th, 2021, 8:17 pm
    Moving to a smaller space in Park Ridge = https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #11 - February 10th, 2021, 9:08 pm
    Post #11 - February 10th, 2021, 9:08 pm Post #11 - February 10th, 2021, 9:08 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Moving to a smaller space in Park Ridge = https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ ... story.html

    Regrettably, the space that recently held the suburban outlet of Cafe Orchid. I should have eaten there more often.
    The article says they're going from 200 seats to 30.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - February 11th, 2021, 12:08 pm
    Post #12 - February 11th, 2021, 12:08 pm Post #12 - February 11th, 2021, 12:08 pm
    On my last pre-COVID visit there were about 15 people seated. Didn't know if it was an anomaly or that they weren't pulling in numbers like they used to (I remember waiting for a table on a weekend night years ago). Food was pretty solid and I had to keep reminding myself to keep them in the rotation.

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