Molina's Mexican Restaurant (Travelers Rest)
Published Mar 02 2017
Hours of Operation: M-F 11A-10P, Sa 12P-10P, Su 11:30A-9P
Location: 2 Benton Rd.
Menu items consumed: Chips and Salsa, Dos Equis (XX) Dark, Quesadilla Suprema
Nothing like walking to a place where you're about to hand money to them and IMMEDIATELY being made to feel awkward...awaiting someone (ANYone) to seat you, meanwhile this super personalized sign stating “Please Wait To Be Seated” stares you in the face. Welcome to Molina’s.
When the lady who did greet me at the door (after a group of about 6 oversized-construction-looking dudes were surrounding me…creepy) after a couple minutes asked me how many and I told her I was getting it to-go she quickly [and immediately] moved to greeting the next 2 parties in order to seat them…EXCUSE ME? HEY, I’M OVER HERE!!! While I understand she was trying to seat them I also DON’T understand why she couldn’t have simply said, “Okay, I’ll be right back with you after I seat these more important-since-they’re-dining-here humans”...I mean, I feel like I at least could have MORESO gotten on board with that than with the ignoring me – yet another awkward moment. Once the server did begin conversing with me and taking my order she was VERY sweet, kind, nice, and (unlike those dang signs telling me whether or not I can seat myself or if they are paying someone enough to care to do so…and, for the record, if I really want to seat my-dang-self then I will do so as I please! Okay, I’m good now) very personable. She made a couple menu suggestions and I quickly went with one of them. The server was even kind enough to ask me if I’d been there before, if I worked in the area/what brought me in, and just genuinely smile the whole time…it was fantastic.
After ordering I decided to wait at the bar while my food was being prepared. While I was waiting I realized my elongated experience in being initially greeted when I entered the building (and initial greeting that wasn’t all that initial since it was more of an initial waiting more than anything) wasn’t personal: Molina’s just has a thing about not greeting personas in a timely manner. After a few minutes of, again, feeling ignored (just this time at the bar) a different lady who was also VERY kind in helping me (funnily enough she asked if I wanted chips and salsa, not initially realizing I already ordered to-go food, and was utterly confused why didn’t want any…what a trickster I am) came to get my beer and eventually also delivered me my food.
My food arrived before I had even finished my deliciously cold and refreshing draft Dos Equis (XX) Amber. Once I finished that beer (rather quickly after receiving my food) I headed on my way. When I initially looked at my quesadilla it was interesting because it was open-faced, not like most I have had in the past. However it was INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t pinpoint EXACTLY what made it so magnificent except for all of the factors together: the GRILLED onions and peppers, the great refried beans, the awesome and real chicken, or the touch of tomato – it was all DELICIOSO! My quesadilla also came with lettuce, sour cream (yuck...no, thanks), and guacamole on the side. The guacamole must have been a teaspoon’s worth and in being such wasn’t even enough to evenly spread on the bottom of the quesadilla. Considering how much I do love guac and how good of guac this was it was quite the disappointment. However, between the delay in getting service and the guac being the ONLY disappointments about this entire experience (that and the fact I saw a guy, one I know for whom I never cared that much dining in the restaurant and was somewhat fearful he would try to strike conversation – but thankfully didn’t) this was a home-run.
The best quesadilla I’ve ever had, some of the best (once it happened) and friendliest (with the BIGGEST SMILES) service I’ve ever encountered at a Mexican restaurant (or, moreover, perhaps any restaurant), and a cool setting all help set this Mexican joint apart from the rest. I don’t know what you do differently at your Mexican Restaurant, Molina, but please keep doing whatever it is and keep serving the fantastic food with friendly faces…if you do it might not just be folks in TR that visit to get that type of experience experience!