27 East Main Street Rear 1
Westminster, MD 21157-5039
Papa Joe's Authentic Mexican Restaurant is located on the backside of one of main blocks in downtown Westminster near the intersection of Main Street and Railroad Avenue, Route 27. The first time I went there we walked around the block aimlessly trying to find it when I finally asked someone in the Chamber of Commerce building where it was. The nice lady walked us through the building to the back alley right to the restaurant. However, you can access it from the rear in in the parking lot.
There are about 6 tables outside and maybe 15 tables (maybe) inside, so the place is small.
Tonight was the third time we ate at Papa Joe's. This was, unfortunately, one of the more memorable dining experiences there. When we arrived the hostess informed us that there was a 25 minute wait. Since it was the day before the 4th of July, American Independence Day, it felt like a Friday and I was sure that no matter where we went there would be a long wait.
We were seated right around 25 minutes and seated outside on the patio. After scanning the menu and deciding what we wanted, we small-talked and waited for our server to come take our drinks. Then we waited some more. Then I watched one table clear and another couple get seated. Then another. Then another. Then the first table got their drinks. Then their order was taken. Then the next table, And then the next table. I was really starting to get irritated. I unsuccessfully kept trying to make eye contact with the various servers outside. After nearly 15 minutes, my wife got up from the table and went to a server and demanded that we be served.
A few minutes later a server finally came to our table and apologized for the delay, but said she just got assigned to our table and was not aware that we had been waiting so long. Whatever. She asked to take our drink order and we demandingly told her that we were ready to give her our order. She apologized vociferously.
A short time later another server came out with chips and a variety of salsas. Then the manager came to our table and apologized to us and said that there was a miscommunication on their part and our server honestly did not know she was assigned to our table. As a sign of their goodwill, they offered us a complimentary plate of chicken & cheese nachos. They were really good!
Our order finally came, again with some more apologies, but honestly at this point we've cooled off. I ordered the Chilaquiles Verdes Con Pollo. My wife ordered the taco salad in a tortilla bowl. My oldest ordered the grilled chicken quesadilla, my son begrudgingly ordered the chicken tenders and fries as he says that place makes him want to puke (he's a bit of a dramatist), and my youngest ordered the children's cheese quesadilla.
Everyone in my family enjoyed their meals. They were piping hot and a bit spicy, which is the way I like it. This photo is of the Chilaquiles Verdes Con Pollo, which looked a lot like the chicken and cheese nachos with the verdes salsa that we got with our nachos. Oh, well. It was awesome. I can't believe I ate half of it!
Though the experience started off on a bad note, our server did a great job of tending to us and being very friendly. We gave her the benefit of the doubt and were nice in return once we had placed our order. The food there is really good. I've also had the seafood burrito, which was amazing, and the enchilada platter, which is usually my go-to meal.
The meals range in prices from around $10 to less than $20. Our family of five with drinks paid $50..
If you're in Westminster, or if not and you're looking for some place different to try, go to Papa Joe's.