Chemas Restaurant Review
All of the text below was posted to OurLosBanos.com in 2006. Links have been removed as they are out of date.
Update August 2006 - prior to opening this website Chemas seems to have disappeared.
Name Of Establishment Chema's Address: 1245 Pacheco Blvd. Los Banos Ca Phone Number: 209-827-9945 Website: Unknown Prices: Low To Medium Date Of Review: March 12, 2006 Check out the Official Merced County Health Inspection of this Restraunt - If that link isnt working try this link (note: these links are slow to load) Our Overall Numeric Rating Summation Opinion: Disappointing food but nice wait staff and video games.
We took our family to Chemas located on Pacheco Blvd. on March 12, 2006. The restaurant has a Mexican food menu (tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and more) with a nice amount of variety. Their business card proclaims: “where the food and fun are all in one!” and we were looking forward to having a good dinner.
When we walked into Chemas, the first thing we noticed is that it is quite “cavernous” (which makes for a slight echo of sounds). There was a huge flat screen T.V. up on the wall with sports playing, music is piped through speakers and there is a room to the left chock full of video games and pinball (sadly, we were told they took out the air hockey tables that were once there because the noise was disrupting customers). Neon beer signs blaze on the wall and there are several “beer babe” cardboard cutouts in the TV area. I wasn’t too happy with the beer babes; I didn’t think they were appropriate décor for a “family” restaurant. But to be fair Chema's does tout themselves as a Sports bar so this is to be expected.
Up in a corner there rests a variety of statues: Buddha, the Virgin Mary, some saints and so on. There are also some Aztec items on the wall. It’s really a mix of things and feels a little chaotic.
We were seated around a table and given our menus. I liked the large selection of items. The prices were quite varied. You can get a taco for around 1.50 or go with something more in the twelve-dollar or more range - and everything in between.
I noticed right off some glaring misspellings in the menu, I felt that was a bit unprofessional. I went ahead and ordered my supper burrito though (I was informed it was a super burrito by the waitress who seemed a tad embarrassed), I asked for avocados instead of guacamole on the inside. My husband ordered tacos and the kids ordered another super burrito, a quesadilla with beef and more tacos.
We were brought our sodas and a basket of greasy tortilla chips that were quickly demolished. There is a salsa bar, where you can choose from a variety of colorful salsas. We chose some that was red and not too hot and was actually pretty darn good (and possibly homemade).
We were not served at the same time. When the food was brought to our table, the adults were served first and then the kids a little after. One of our sons wasn’t given a fork. We asked several times and we finally had to go up to the counter to secure one. My avocados came on the side of the plate with the unwanted guacamole still on the inside of my burrito. Everything else looked fine.
It wasn’t fine, however, when we started eating. My burrito was supposed to have steak in it, and it did, except that a large portion of the meat was fat and gristle. Much of the meat that wasn’t fat was over charred. After discreetly spitting out most of my bites because I didn’t want to chew on fat, I pushed my plate aside. I didn’t like the flavor and I didn’t care for the watery beans in every bite either. It was the most uninspiring burrito I have ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot of burritos in my life. It is unheard of for me to not eat a meal I’ve ordered at a restaurant, but this time I had to pass. The burrito ended up going home in a container for the kids to finish later.
My son, who is like a human garbage disposal (in that he will eat and like most anything), didn’t really like his quesadilla either. I took a bite and had to agree. The hamburger in it was very fatty and greasy.
Our other children liked their food (though our youngest complained of “black” meat (i.e. burnt). My husband thought his was O.K. (with his meat also little overcooked). He liked how there was cheese in between the corn tortillas on his super taco.
The service was a bit slow and at times inattentive (the missing fork) but our server (who we think might be the owner) was very nice and quite friendly. She was about the best thing of our visit.
After eating, we headed over to the video games to spend some quarters. The kids enjoyed themselves playing a little Elvis pinball and some shooting games.
Our bill was over thirty dollars for food that left a lot to be desired. The food we consumed was not, in our opinion, worth anything close to what we paid.
We left Chemas very disappointed. It was loud, and not as family friendly as we had hoped - (unless you like your kids staring at cardboard beer babes). The video games are a nice touch and add a facet that is fun and positive. However, in the end the food wasn’t very appealing or to our taste, especially for the price we paid.
When you decide to visit Chemas, we hope that your experience will be better than ours.
Specific Opinions By Reviewer One Overall Rating: Food: Service: Decor: Price/Value: Bathroom Cleanliness: Not Observed Romance Factor: Family Friendliness: Video games room was great for the kids
Specific Opinions By Reviewer Two Overall Rating: Food: Service: Decor: Price/Value: Bathroom Cleanliness: Not Observed Romance Factor Family Friendliness: except for 'decor'