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Thread: Viva Las Wayland!

  1. #1
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    Default Viva Las Wayland!

    There's a terrific new Mexican restaurant in town called Viva, and my wife and I had the honor of being their very first customers.
    A week ago tonight, we just happened in and when I asked, was told by Carlos that if we came back in an hour, we could grab a table, even though they wouldn't officially be open till the neighborhood party the next day and the Grand Opening wouldn't be until Wednesday.

    So, we went back at the appointed time and as Carlos put it, they "practiced" on us.
    The staff was still being trained, there was still hammering and sawing coming from the back room, and as might be expected, they were a little disorganized as they found their way around the new space.

    Nonetheless, we enjoyed an awesome dinner of enchiladas, a wicked good margarita, and the best guac you ever
    tasted, which they prepared right at our table, starting with the fresh avocados. If you've every been in a hospital when a team of interens came around on their morning rounds to visit the patients, it was kind of like that, as the entire staff peered over Carlos' shoulder to pick up on the fine points of making fresh guacamole.

    These are the same folks that own Jose's on Sherman Street in Cambridge, which many Waylanders, myself included, have fond memories of from when they lived in and around Cambridge/Boston.

    If you haven't checked it out yet, it's well worth it.
    Just be patient as they're still working out some of the kinks.
    They are where Morn's used to be, by Dunkin' Donuts.

    Viva website

  2. #2
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    Wow, disappointing, and I'm a huge fan of Mexican food. We went there as a family this evening (Sat 2/13). We were seated quickly, and the margaritas (Platinum) were good, but it was all downhill after that. Slow service, mix-ups with the order, and food that was at best so-so (Carne Asada and Enchiladas con Mole with chicken and beef). Hoping these are early jitters that will work themselves out, but the so-so food is concerning. They should have had the full wait staff on hand, although it wasn't clear if the speed (or lack thereof) was due to the kitchen or the servers. A trip to Taco Bell would have been a better experience. When does Five Guys open at the 9/27 plaza--can't be soon enough.

  3. #3
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    Default Geez, Jeff, is there nothing we can agree on?

    Sorry to hear the service hasn't improved.
    I suspect it is just because they're still working out the kinks.

    As to the food, I don't know what to say. Ours was great.

    Taco Bell? Ouch!

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thumbs up for Enchiladas Verdes and a chicken dish - I don't remember the name of it but the sauce contained tomatillas.
    Four thumbs up for a friendly staff.
    As far as service goes - complete chaos, which will hopefully work itself out.

  5. #5
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    Default Two Ways to Handle Things...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Wow, disappointing, and I'm a huge fan of Mexican food. We went there as a family this evening (Sat 2/13). We were seated quickly, and the margaritas (Platinum) were good, but it was all downhill after that. Slow service, mix-ups with the order, and food that was at best so-so (Carne Asada and Enchiladas con Mole with chicken and beef). Hoping these are early jitters that will work themselves out, but the so-so food is concerning. They should have had the full wait staff on hand, although it wasn't clear if the speed (or lack thereof) was due to the kitchen or the servers. A trip to Taco Bell would have been a better experience. When does Five Guys open at the 9/27 plaza--can't be soon enough.
    Isn't it interesting how people handle things. We went on Friday night, were seated right away, and were brought nacho chips and three different types of salsa in short order. After that, I agree they were understaffed and out of many ingredients that would have allowed them to serve their full menu. The homemade guac and my shrimp quesadiila was very good, but overall, I was disappointed.

    However, instead of posting a trashy review on this site, I took the time to go back on Saturday afternoon and speak with a gentleman who is helping Carlos open the restaurant (he's a consultant named Renny). I told him about our concerns (no children's menu, need for better service, minor issues around pricing, broken tables/chairs). I also told him I was taking the time to do this because I was appreciative than an entrepreneur was taking a chance on Wayland and was willing to invest here, pay taxes, etc. I told him I wanted the place to succeed, and was willing to give constructive feedback in the hopes that they will. He was incredibly appreciative, and even committed to a children's menu by Monday (talk about instant gratification!)

    I'll be giving Viva another chance in a few weeks, and I would encourage others to do the same. Can't say I'd be totally disappointed, though, if Taco Bell and Five Guys attracted a few people away

  6. #6
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    Jeff, I'm glad you took the time to talk with Renny. I am very hopeful that the restaurant will be excellent, and be here for the long-haul.

    We ate there on Friday night, and shared the disappointments expressed by both Jeffs. The quality of the meals was my biggest concern. Focusing on the positives, however:

    • the wait staff was extremely friendly, even if they were a bit overwhelmed (I hope the announcement in the introduction to our last newsletter didn't contribute to their problems by generating larger than expected crowds)
    • the guacamole made right at the table was a very nice touch
    • they immediately recognized the issues with a limited menu and lack of a children's menu (which they told me they were working on), and were extremely accommodating, making variations on items on the menu for my daughter her friend


    We've heard great things about Jose's, and hope that they will be able to combine the quality there with a family-friendly focus to be the sort of place that we'll be enjoying for many years to come. Jeff, thanks for taking the time to bring your concerns to them directly. I hope it will help.

  7. #7
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    Jeff B., are you *really* opposed to "trashy reviews?" Because I'd say that's been your predominant modus operandi for some time now.

    • Here, you trash Michael Tichnor. Why didn't you have a private conversation with him instead?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...=3189#post3189
    "intimidation, versus cooperation. He represents division and polarization"

    • In this one, SOS finds itself in your sights. Did you reach out to them?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...=3046#post3046
    "pure division"

    • Here, it's the Wayland eNews editorial board. How'd that private conversation go?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/showthread.php?333-Sos&p=3060#post3060

    "it's credibility is questionable."


    FYI, I posted my comments to Viva's Facebook page, so while I didn't visit in person to present my concerns, I certainly shared my feedback in order to help them improve.

  8. #8
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    Default Geez, I wish Baron would reconsider running again....

    Jeff Baron raises a very good point about keeping our dining dollars here in Wayland.
    Before we go spending money in surrounding towns, we should consider that every dollar spent in Wayland helps local businesses and in turn, helps us all.

    As our taxes continue to go up and at least two SC members already seem to be assuming they’ll be asking for an override next year, we need to do everything we can to keep our money in town. I wasn’t crazy about this extra ¼% tax that got voted in for local restaurants because I was afraid it would hurt their business. However, I now feel that if restaurants like Viva and the newly “renovated” (maybe that’s too strong a word for it) Chat, where they now actually serve real food, can build up a strong clientele of repeat business - from Wayland, but also from Natick, Framingham businesses and residents - it will help as one more revenue stream for Wayland.

    When we did an addition/renovation project on our house, we tried to hire as many Wayland contractors as we could. There are a lot of talented people in this town and it worked out great for us. And there is something nice about running into some of them in local businesses like Donelan’s or Whole Foods and realizing that some of the money we paid them is now being spent on other businesses in Wayland.

    But I digress….

    In spite of some of the reviews above, we owe it to our neighbors and ourselves to give restaurants like Viva a chance and to reward them for having the courage (something in short supply these days) to open a new business in our town in this economy. They will work the kinks out and hopefully become as much of an institution in Wayland as they are in Cambridge.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    As our taxes continue to go up and at least two SC members already seem to be assuming they’ll be asking for an override next year, we need to do everything we can to keep our money in town.
    I'm curious, who are the two members to which you allude? I don't know of *any* SC members assuming anything other than the possibility of an override.

  10. #10
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    And while we're trying out new places in town, also try some Pad Thai from Spice & Pepper, the new Thai place at the site that was formerly Benson's. So far, based on a take-out order, I've been pleased with them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Jeff B., are you *really* opposed to "trashy reviews?" Because I'd say that's been your predominant modus operandi for some time now.

    • Here, you trash Michael Tichnor. Why didn't you have a private conversation with him instead?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...=3189#post3189
    "intimidation, versus cooperation. He represents division and polarization"

    • In this one, SOS finds itself in your sights. Did you reach out to them?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...=3046#post3046
    "pure division"

    • Here, it's the Wayland eNews editorial board. How'd that private conversation go?
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/showthread.php?333-Sos&p=3060#post3060

    "it's credibility is questionable."


    FYI, I posted my comments to Viva's Facebook page, so while I didn't visit in person to present my concerns, I certainly shared my feedback in order to help them improve.
    Jeff, I'm glad I can give you something to blog about. Ever since the muzzle was put on by the SC, I'm sure you've been dying for the opportunity to have the cuffs off.

  12. #12
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    Jeff B., this isn't blogging. As for your imagined "muzzle," the only thing that has ever been said to me (not necessarily by WSC members) is that it's pointless to argue with those driven so much by anger that they've lost any semblance of objectivity. I simply lost interest in continually refuting the myriad errors that I continue to come across online. Which isn't to say that I won't chime in from time to time.

    Oh, and the food and service at the Villa was horrible the one time that I went many years ago. Haven't been back.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2005
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    Tried out the new Mexican restaurant, and I have to agree with Jeff D. Yes, I would LOVE to spend my hard earned dollars in Wayland restaurants (and I do intend to try the new Thai place where Benson's was), but not if it means a ridiculously small menu, incredibly slow, bad service, and food that on it's best day is mediocre. Not sure I'd dip as low as Taco Bell, but...

    On the plus side, the margarita was very nice, although the bartender was slow (slow slow slow slow) and disorganized. Amazing how good the drink tasted!

    -C

  14. #14
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    The last post in this thread was roughly three weeks ago. Has anyone been back since, and if so, how was the experience? Food quality? Service quality? Service speed?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    The last post in this thread was roughly three weeks ago. Has anyone been back since, and if so, how was the experience? Food quality? Service quality? Service speed?
    We went back tonight, and it was fantastic. Very good food, very good service, a six-piece Mariachi band strolling the restaurant, a kids menu, and more. We were quick to point out to Carlos what a change he had made in only four weeks.

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