Reopening Grande de Pancho’s Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

img_03494img_03541They say girls from New Orleans may move away for a spell, but they always find their way back home.  The same can be said for bad Mexican buffet restaurants.  The Mexican flag de Pancho’s was officially re-hoisted in New Orleans for good this week, or at least until another storm comes along and frightens it away.

Loyalists will debate the pros and cons of the new self-serve buffet line, but those in attendance  – The Weathers Report has yet to end its boycott of the defected eatery – reported a dynamic and festive, if indigestive, dining experience.  Perhaps this is just the change needed to recapture the title of fattest state in America.  ¿We’re Numero Uno?

Soft Opening and Soft Tacos Sunday, Mar 29 2009 

From an avid reader of The Weathers Report:

IT IS OPEN! PANCHO’S IS FINALLY BACK!
When my mom was pregnant with me she ate there 5 out 7 days in the week, and it was a weekly visit to Pancho’s ever since my birth.
I am now 16, and cannot wait to go eat the food that is in my blood.

***

And from the Unofficial Pancho’s Facebook Page:

Henry Rodriguez (Tulane) wrote
at 12:12pm yesterday
Ahmed,
Thank you for your response. The ‘soft’ opening was great. People were singing and dancing and Panchito Metairie was taking pictures with everyone! It was indeed a good time.

If you’ve been, you would have noticed that the size of the place has much more seating than the old one on Veterans Blvd. And the way the self-serve is set up works really well. I must admit that I was skeptical about serving myself, however, it worked out well and I didn’t once miss the old way at all.

I want to thank the people that came up to me and introduced themselves. It was nice to meet all of you. I’m sure I will meet many more as time goes by.

Yours truly,

HR

****
And finally, a tragic tale from the Facebook group:

at 3:11pm yesterday
This just totally wasted our time driving from Slidell to Pancho’s only to discover they open on Monday. Imagine all the money they lost out on because lots of people were constantly driving up.

Camellia Thrill! Saturday, Apr 21 2007 

After what seemed like an eternity, the beloved Uptown eatery Camellia Grill has finally reopened! New Orleanians were initially relieved to know that the restaurant suffered only minor damage in Katrina (pictured last), but ended up waiting almost 19 months for a seat at the famous counter while ownership changed hands.

After auctioning off seats in private settings for charity as part of its grand reopening, the restaurant finally opened its doors this weekend to the public, who eagerly began devouring pecan waffles, chili cheese fries, and chocolate cherry frezzes. Thankfully, the only noticeable change to the joint is the upgraded restrooms! What a thrill! Now if we can only find a streetcar to take us there . . . .

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Pancho’s Tells New Orleans “¡Adiós!” Saturday, Apr 8 2006 

New Orleanians hungry for seconds have raised the Mexican flag for the last time. After closing its doors for Hurricane Katrina, Pancho’s Mexican Buffet is refusing to reopen its only area store, citing extensive hurricane damage.panchos.gif

In an e-mail obtained by The Weathers Report, a Pancho’s spokesperson claims the store was “severely damaged during the hurricane and rendered inoperable.” She added “it is no longer safe to operate there” and that they “have closed that location indefinitely.”

The news comes as a blow to the dozens of the New Orleans residents who inexplicably enjoyed the all-you-can eat buffet’s substandard food and service. When learning of the closure, Mexican food connoisseur and Pancho’s Birthday Club member Meredith Pinkerton was quoted as saying “NOOOOOOOOOO!” On Wall Street, shares of Proctor and Gamble, makers of Pepto-Bismol, were down 22 cents a share. dine_in_banner.gif

It is unclear why Pancho’s either lacked insurance or is refusing to utilize its insurance proceeds to restore safe operations. Speculation centers on management’s possible fear that the area lacks the necessary Hispanic work force.

******

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Ms. Pinkerton,

Thank you for contacting us via our webite. We appreciate your loyalty and support, as well as your comments. As you know, our store in Metairie, LA was severely damaged during the hurricane and rendered inoperable. Since it is no longer safe to operate there, we have closed that location indefinitely. We currently have no plans to rebuild there or relocate elsewhere in the area. We do appreciate you letting us know you miss us in Metairie, and we hope to see you some time soon at any one of our 30+ locations throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklhoma (sic), and Arizona. Thanks for letting us know how you feel.

Regards,

Kristi Wallace, Marketing Coordinator