Gallardo’s Steak & Grill Restaurant

Sunday, we went out to Gallardo’s Steak and Grill restaurant. This is the restaurant that took over the old Ms. Mendoza’s location. The new McDonald’s is getting close to opening beside it.

This is obviously a chain but I don’t know where it originates from. It has a very large menu with items that indicate a Mexican flair. The only thing Mexican I tried was the Margarita and it was good.

This is a new restaurant and Sunday it was filled to the brim. Cars were parked everywhere. The inside was full so we took two tables outside. In Panama, when a new place opens, I think it is a goal of all to try it within the first week.

Since the restaurant is new, the restaurant was packed and all employees are still in the training process, I was prepared for a time consuming luncheon event. It met my expectations.

I only took two photos since I was at a table for two. I did not get any photos from the other table of four, but I did receive their comments.

I ordered the Filet Mignon with French fries. The photo follows:

As you see from the photo, mine came with patacones and not the French fries. The waitress brought out an order of fries when I pointed out the mistake. The meat was supposed to be 8 ounces and it was at least that if not more. It was tender and I liked it.

My table mate had quesadillas. She liked them.

At the other table one of the kiddos had some chicken nuggets. He liked them and he is picky, so they were a success.

I gave my patacones to the other table and Natalie didn’t care for them. She said she likes them nice and crispy and these weren’t that way.

Most of my complaints should disappear after the staff gets used to the technology of electronic ordering and understanding their menu.

I forgot to mention that they have a private room that can be reserved for special functions.

33 thoughts on “Gallardo’s Steak & Grill Restaurant

  1. Friday, January 20, 2012 8:44 AM
    Date 01/20/2012
    Title- Gallardos Steak and Grill, Not Yet Ready for Business!
    You may have noticed Mrs. Mendez Tacos has been closed and changed into Gallardos Steak and Grill near the new McDonalds going up near El Terronal. It looks from the outside like a Mexican restaurant but when it announced it was open a day or so ago I stopped in and was told it was a TexMex style restaurant all the way. I was excited!
    The menu and the renovations are nicely done and Gallardos has a large bar and airconditioned dining room although the tables are all roundtops inside and outside on the terrace and this makes it difficult for large parties to sit together like I often dine with.
    Our party of 7 arrived at 6pm. The menu is well layed out like a good franchise menu and they have the full range of TexMex entres from fajitas to burritos to chimichangas. One thing definitely not TexMex there was no salsa and tortilla chips brought to the table. This is when the disappointments started. Other than receiving the jubilado discount everyone was disappointed with Gallardos food, portions, service and prices.
    First, and foremost it took over 60 minutes for the restaurant to serve our entrees and without any attempt to explain, apologize, offer us an appetizer or round of drinks or even refills on the soft drinks we ordered. It was not that busy. We admitted to each other that they were new and with a new staff but after an hour Gallardos lack of courtesies exhausted our mercy and mitigations about their being new. When we finally ordered some chips and salsa the pico de gallo came in a small cup with a handful of chips and the guacamole was clearly from a can and had no chunks of avocado and we were assured by the waiter it was freshmade that day. NOT! The portions were small and really sad.
    We ordered our entrees at 615pm and decided to all share and try all four fajitas platters offered (steak, chicken, pork and combo with shrimp). We asked it be served steamy hot on a sizzling cast iron platter with all the trimmings listed on the menu and were assured it would be.
    We waited and waited, talking and trying to be patient until 730pm when we were finally served the 4 fajitas platters that were warm at best, nothing steamy and nothing sizzling. I mentioned we should send it back and the group said, “and wait another hour!”…”lets just eat and learn our lesson here!” It was NOT worth waiting for…luke warm, small portions, little onions and peppers, a small sour cream and more canned guacamole for garnish for 4 tomato, lettuce, cheese and even the flour tortillas were cold and not steamed warm as we expected…they even served popcorn shrimp in the expensive ($16) combo fajitas which were tough and way overcooked!
    The check came promptly when we asked to depart and for the four fajitas platters, 2 small chips and salsas and one round of soft drinks it came to $78, $70 with 2 hubilado discounts! We were never greeted by management or asked about our food or experience. And it just surprised all of us that they let us wait over an hour for luke warm food!
    As we pulled away, the new McDonalds was prominent next door, towering over Gallardos and we all sighed and commented that the food there would be much much faster, and better if not what we really wanted which was to find a good local TexMex place…Gallardos Steak and Grill is not the place! at least not yet!
    Dr. James 63992796

  2. I will have to agree with Dr. James…..not the place. We were just a party of 2 and it took forever to get waited on and the same for the food. We noticed that there was no salt/pepper/sugar services on the table and we never got any through the whole meal. No water was served and the waitress mixed up our orders as well. I ask for the 8oz steak and mashed potatoes(in Spanish of course) and received the Filet Mignon and french fries. I pointed it out to the waitress who just kind of shined me on. The portions were very small. My wife got a chicken breast fillet with fries and did get what she ordered except for the fact that the chicken was raw inside. After repeated attempts to summon the owner(who saw us signaling for him) we finally got a waitress over who took the plate back. About 10 minutes later she received
    her plate back with a new piece of chicken and cold fries. This piece was as uncooked as the first.
    Not a place I would recommend and we won’t be going back.

  3. Steve, I am sorry you had to go through what you did…I tried to warn people…

    I dont know how to post yet so I sent my immediate warnings to Don Ray. For whatever reason it seemed to not get posted.

    I am a person WHO LOVES to be positive but it seems that, like you, its hard with long waits, uncooked food and no managerial oversight….another WELCOME TO PANAMA?


    but its too late for me and others…we believed the internet and hype and now LIVE WITH IT!

    but maybe we can find the diamonds in the rough…given that no place is the same ALL THE TIME…

    we are live and live people…

    thanks for your review!

    Dr. James

  4. You do not post here because this is not your blog. If you want to post your things then you can set up your own blog.

    My food was fine. The service lagged as it is evident that everyone is being trained. That is something that is very typical here in Panama. If such things are going to frustrate you too much then you will not have a pleasant life here.

  5. Don you are missing out on a great Panamanian specialty with the Patacones. I love them and can never get enough of them. In fact there is a fairly new Colombian restaurant in David that serves up Patacones as big as your hand and the rest of the food and service is excellent. But the best part of the experience is the price, it’s so inexpensive I can’t understand how they make a profit.

    Keep up the good work and go easy on the Margaritas

  6. Dr James:
    I agree with Don Ray, this is not your post. You seem a little full of yourself on your comments. YOU ARE NOT LIVING IN AMERICA, but in a Third World Country. If you do not think this is what you believed it was, pack your things a leave. Don Ray has learned to adapt to many things proper to the culture since he (and you) are GUEST in Panama. He has made the best of it and try to deal with the Panamanian idiosyncrasy daily. I wish more people will be objective as Don Ray, who is pretty objective on his comments, when making remarks here and not just whiners.
    Jaime (sorry Don Ray)

  7. jaime,

    I am a highly objective person and dont take kindly to your unprovoked personal attack. I am a permanent resident here and have all rights and privileges here of Panamanian citizenship save the vote. I have a charitable foundation here and have given back a lot to Panama and its people since the government doesnt seem to care about many of its citizens with disabilities, poverty or sickness. I can see someone like you would neither honor or admirer that generosity or willingness to be helpful. The inequalities here in panama far exceed those in the country that has adopted you, allowed you opportunity and enriched your life via its fairness in medical licensure, compensation for foreign trained medics and access to capital. If the USA had the policies of Panama you couldnt even work in the USA as a physician! If any one lacks humility and is full of oneself it is you Jaime. You have offended me and for no reason since you dont even know me save for a comment or two about long waits and cold food and the incompetencies and injustices of a small banana republic country that tries and takes credit for a canal, infrasturcture and democracy paid for by the blood and treasure of the United States. I am a 100% disabled US military veteran and dont need your insults and prejudice against Americans because we pro-american and patriotic expats see things for what they are here in Panama and are unafraid to discuss them and state that, often, the ’emperor has no clothes’ in Panama! …you are forgiven!

  8. Dr. James,
    Are you a doctor? Are you practicing medicine in Panama? If you are not a doctor, then why do you use Dr. in your ID?

    I love everything about Panama that makes it Panama.
    I love everything about the USA that makes it the USA.

    Sorry Don Ray for the OT.
    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

  9. I am a retired physician-surgeon and former USAF medical corps officer and private practice physiatrist who retired due to a disability in 2002. Tell me what you do or did in Ft. Worth?

  10. Don Ray:
    With all due respect, I believe you really should think about banning someone like “Dr” James from posting comments on your blogs. He need to get his own blog and call it “Panama whiners” or “ME” . All I see in his comments is “”
    Don Ray, You know me better and know that I am the least pretentious of your readers. Until now (I have been reading you since 2007) I have never said I was an MD. I am not even clear what you did before retirement and I do not care. All I care is reading a nice written blog, very objective, with nice pictures, coming form a nice guy that sometimes sounds more chiricano that many.
    I am the first one to point all the wrongs in Panama, the socialized medicine, the inept bureaucracy, the “juega vivo” (taking advantage of others), the dependency on government, the lack of a maintenance plan for infrastructure, the “cochino” we are throwing rash on the street, the poor driving habits, etc. But also, we have to be more objective when we write comments. I do not doubt “DR James” was been obnoxious and rude when ordering in this place, otherwise he would not have had the looks he did. I know the chiricanos, most likely they were saying “este quien se cree que es”. I am not the only one noticing that, look and Jim and Nena’s comment.
    By the way, I can not get Panama food where I live, neither can I have Panama beer, I can not serenade my wife with a guitar at 12 midnight, or play my music (salsa) loud in my driveway,neither I can play domino on a table outside my house until late, all things I used to do in Panama, But I do not whine and complain about it. I adapt to it. I have learn to live in a Country that is better in economy and infrastructure that Panama, but is not perfect. But I tell you what, except for the humidity, I would rather retire in Panama that in US.
    By the way, I am a American Citizen now and I vote, because I could not do so when living in Panama. I am a tax payer and contribute to my town church, I am active in Boy Scouts and catholic groups. So I am repaying my dues to this Country.
    Last thing, yes, Panama is a free Country because of US, the canal is there built by US, but, is in PANAMA, not in US. For 70+ years we have a small american colony inside Panama. Would you like to have part of Texas or California run by Russia, or Iran, or France? Proudly, the canal now employs 100% Panamanian people, and is run by Panamanians. And in 2006, 7 years after Panama took over, had earned more money for the Panamanian government that in 80 years of american administration. How do you like that one.
    Jim and Nena, I agree with you.
    And Dr James, I do not want your forgiveness…
    SORRY Don Ray, again I kidnap your site.

  11. “Contempt Prior To Investigation”

    “‘There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.'” – Herbert Spencer-

  12. “Dr. James on January 26, 2012 at 9:43 am said:
    I am a retired physician-surgeon and former USAF medical corps officer and private practice physiatrist who retired due to a disability in 2002. Tell me what you do or did in Ft. Worth?”

    I conduct anger management classes for court directed, ex-physicians with rage and ego issues. 🙂

    Sorry, Don Ray (again). I won’t waste any further bandwidth on Dr. James.
    @Jaime, de acuerdo.
    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

  13. Are you sociopaths Jim andNena? Maybe just histrionic or narcisstic personality disorders…I have treated all of these Axis II DSM cluster B disorders especially narcissistic, histrionic and borderline and especially in relation to TBI sequelae. Has your brain been traumatized?

    You should consult a psychiatrist immediately for your ignorant and offensive, lack of remorse and care for the feelings of others.. personal attacks upon a stranger are anything but normal and pathologic by any measure….are you a serial character assassinators? aka character killers?

    “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others…” that is what you show…sociopathy!

  14. stop fire gringos……..its all about gallado restaurant?…..i am trying to read Don CC and your opinions about Gallardos.thanks

  15. Dr. James. I am afraid that you are approaching the point of wearing out your welcome on this site. You seem to want to have a platform to issue your thoughts and wisdom. If so, then it might be best for you to start your own website and you can write your thoughts to your hearts content. I will be happy to post its URL if it is not commercial and is Panama related.

    You verbose bragging about your past invited me to google your email address, the first thing on Google’s list is
    Now that site says that the status of your license is “revoked”. Now if that Isn’t you, then maybe you need to talk to Google.

    Of course google also points to

    I also find
    this implies that you are associated with a medical group both in the U.S. and Panama. I am not interested in learning more about the nature of these groups, but they tell me you do come with a bias in the medical arena.

    Then I come upon
    which certainly isn’t a headline I would want.

    Now this comment of yours on this site shows that you have a real like for beer.
    Personally, I am not a beer drinker, so cheap Balboas don’t do much for me, but they might be the reason that some people would come to Panama.

    I guess that everything wasn’t always great for you the states or you would not have moved to Panama, but it appears that you were vindicated in court.

    If it were me, I think I would use a different email address, except that it appears that you are promoting the Legal Medical Group in Panama?

    Personally I don’t care what you do, but I am tired of you being a disruption here. Shape up or start your own blog. I always enjoy having comments, but I appreciate a more civil tone with a little less chip on the shoulder. Since this is a blog and not a yahoo site, I do get to make the final decision on whether future comments add value or should start going in the spam folder.

  16. Believe half of what you see, less of what you hear and little on the interent…

    I went thru a 7 years nasty divorce and was slandered on line for things I never did but was accused of and I was vindicated in every court of law. My license was revoked finally in 2011 for faiure to pay a ridiculously high board ordered investagation cost back in 2002. My attorney said it was injust and wrong and since I never planned to practice again to let it go. I had already chosed to retire on disabiities related to arthritis and partial paralysis and had no use for my license since I could not work anymore.

    If you feel I do not contribute to this community then I will withdraw. You have my permission to pull the plug. I never insulted anyone..

  17. This is my last reply to Dr. James. If you want a fresh start, then change your id, drop the website from your profile and change your email address. I see no need for using Dr. since you are not practicing and not trying to impress others.

    This will give you a new identity. With that, future comments will be disassociated from previous comments. Only I have the IP address that has been used.

    Feel free free to participate under those guidelines. If they are too strict, then find another site.

  18. On January 27th I took my wife and family out to eat at Gallardos. There was a total on 11 people. We spent a total of 170.00 dollars which included ceviches, drinks and the main course. The steak meat is pretty good for Panama. The store is well decorated and has security to watch the cars at night. We arrived at 6:45 pm. and our waiter took our drink order in about 15 minutes. The drinks arrived at 7:30 pm. We ordered our ceviches at the same time as our drinks. They came about 8 pm. When the waiter came with the ceviches we ordered our main courses which took another 1 hours to arrive. Some of the orders were mixed up and the meats over or undercooked. We needed refills for the drinks and we had to chase down the waiter to get service. One of the childrens plates they gave away accidentally to someone else so he never got to eat with us. We asked for a manager so we can explain what is happening but even the manager took forever to come out so we just decided to pay and make it our last time. Honestly I wouldnt recommend this restaurant to anyone. The food doenst have a Mexican flavor at all. The waiter blames the service on the cooks and says they are slow and untrained. The restaurant has great potential but needs a lot of work in training, service up to and including the management.


  19. Don Ray:
    Last comment is a perfect example of a non favorable review given in an objective and respectful manner. Thanks.

  20. Que tal como le va a todos…soy un joven interesado en trabajar como ayudante en un restaurante tengo 24 años y he tenido experiencia en restaurantes como el de un hostal en boquete me gusta atender a las personas…voy en tercer año de ingeniero agronomo…por tal motivo me gustaria los estar con ustedes los fines de semana..esperando una respuesta de su parte les dejo mi telefono 67162520 y mi correo

  21. ha sido toda una sorpresa muy grata por demàs leerlo Sr. james. chiriqui es una flor reciente en panamà digna de su gente, maravillosa y genial, para mi, una grata experiencia como persona y profecional de cocina. sus comentarios son muy positivos y objetivos en cuanto al restaurant Gallarso`s steak&grill y su reciente inauguraciòn. todos los detalles que encontro y mas estan en pauta diaria para ser resueltos. estamos convencidos de que ellos garantizaran el exito y el agrado de nuestros verdaderos jefes como lo son ustedes nuestros clientes. por favor, no dude en volver y ser parte activa de esta gran familia. yo con gusto sabre valorar y extender su s opiniones a todo el personal de Gallardo`s. espero tambien pueda comunicarse conmigo a travez de mi correo; y establecer un mejor contacto. gracias nuevamente. salud y exitos.

  22. Ok, esta bien, todos sabemos que Gallardos Steak grill, es un gran fiasco, la comida es aburrida, muy cara para lo que es, ES MAS POR EL NOMBRE DEBERIAN VENDER POR LO MENOS UN PAR DE CORTES, pero el “Dr: James”, si no te gusta mi pais, porfavor vete al tuyo, me imagino que por algo te viniste, en tocumen salen un monton de aviones todos los dias, aborda uno y pierdete ok.

  23. FYI Dr. James as he calls himself was arrested in San Angelo, TX for stealing an old mans $800,000 trust is in JAIL with a 9.8 million dollar bond

  24. Ok now back to Gallardos… just plain bad customer service food was so so.
    I ate there in recently.

  25. Don Ray,

    What an interesting exchange with Dr. James and subsequent turn of events.

    Here are some links to corroborate Lucy’s post:


    This last link is interesting as it also shows that the “good” Doctor was in the country of Romania several years ago practicing medicine without a license and operated a weight-loss and varicose vein treatment clinic. I guess he moved on to better things as the latest charges indicate.
    This link above implies that Dr. James left the U.S. to avoid being prosecuted for drug abuse while practicing medicine. He also stated that he was in Romania on a religious mission trip. These events occurred in 2006.
    The link above, not well written, alleges that a Dr. James Zebranek caused the deaths of two patients by accident while on substance abuse for which
    he lost his medical license.

    It also appears that Dr. James has a history of giving poor reviews according to this link here below. Dr. James tried to defraud a window installer with false charges:

    It was just “this week, authorities got a tip the 56-year-old Redington Shores FL man had just returned to the United States from Panama. He was arrested Thursday in Texas on charges of grand theft, money laundering and perjury.” – Tampa Bay Times

    I have heard up to 40% of North Americans in Panama are running from something. Dr. James apparently is one of them. You would think, that if
    Dr. James was up to such criminal activities, that he, as you suggested
    Don Ray, would not use his real name or doctoral title.

    Instead, by his own words, Dr. James has shown himself to be narcissistic and histrionic and by his actions listed above, a sociopath.

Leave a Reply