This is an assignment I did for journalism class. The assignment was to review something in Winnipeg like a restaurant, show, or film. I chose Carlos and Murphy’s- ENJOY!
Carlos and Murphy’s
Located in the heart of Osborne Village, Carlos and Murphy’s offers a less than impressive Mexican dining experience.
As expected, parking at 8pm on a Saturday night in the village is not easy. Five minutes of driving in circles—check.
Strangely, Carlos and Murphy’s chooses not to use their front door facing to Osborne Street, but a hidden door off the side of the building.
Once finding my way into the restaurant, I waited on a hostess for a couple minutes. After no one came to greet me, I wandered through the restaurant to find the table my friend was at. While on my self guided tour, I noticed a group of employees (likely including the missing hostess) having a good laugh in the kitchen.
On the website, Carlos and Murphy’s says their restaurant “ideally captures the Mexican resort experience.” The “Mexican resort” restaurant looked more of a Texas saloon with cheap Mexican paintings and décor.
The menu of about 50 items ranges from prices of $4.95-$19.95. The online menu prices haven’t been updated to reflect price increases of $0.75- $1.50 more in restaurant. The menu includes Mexican food classics like burritos, enchiladas, nachos and taco salad along with some others like chicken burgers, hamburgers and fries under the “Not So Mexican” part of the menu.
The Half & Half Wings ($7.25) were served up in reasonable time. The menu described them as coated in half Carlos hot pepper sauce, and half Murphy’s barbecue sauce and screamed delicious. After waiting 15 minutes, the waitress dropped off a plate that looked to be full of tomato soup. The wings were dry, overcooked and slathered in some sort of tomato paste with onions. The wings were not what were advertised and after sharing a couple between my guest and I, we were done with the wings.
After the messy wings, I gathered the courage needed for any germaphobe to use a public bathroom and headed to the back of the restaurant. Not surprisingly, the bathrooms looked like they had been donated from a pit stop gas station and put into the restaurant with a smell to match. Thankfully, the sinks were next to the door allowing for a quick in and out.
Being disappointed by the wings, the hope was all on the taco salad. ($11.25) The salad came with a choice of spicy ground beef, chicken and almonds, or refried beans- I went for the spicy ground beef, while my guest chose the chicken and almonds.
The deep taco shell came in a shallow dish that made eating the salad difficult. Unlike the wings, the salad came as described and my guest and I were pleasantly surprised by the great tasting taco salads. The helping was large for the price and filled us up quickly.
When the waitress finally noticed us, she brought over our bills– that was the last we saw of her.
Realizing after five minutes that she wasn’t coming back in any reasonable amount of time, we waited at the deserted hostess desk for someone to take our money.
Both bills were reasonably priced between $20-$25, one including the taco salad and alcoholic drink, and the other a taco salad and wings.
I added the socially acceptable minimum 15% tip and was happy to leave the saloon.