La cuenta por favor
I was dining at a local Mexican breakfast/lunch place yesterday with my friend, Fernando. I wanted to try sopes. Fernando is a Mexican who lives here in PV, he was happy to accompany me to my very ‘first’ sopes. For those of you who have never tried one, they are yummy cornmeal cakes topped with beans, shredded cabbage and cheese. He thought I should also get the pork topping, a decision that proved to be spot on.
We lingered, sipping our coffee, long after we were done with our meal. Our server cleared our plates and then…pretty much left us alone. After about 45 minutes or so, we both decided we’d better get on with our day and asked for the check. Asking for the check is part of the Mexican dining experience – you MUST request your check. Your server is never going to ask you if he/she can bring the check or if you’re ready for the check or is there something else you wanted (like the check). Nope. So save yourself the frustration of setting the expectation that the check is going to magically come because you are ready to go.
An essential Spanish word you need to know is the word for the check or bill: la cuenta (‘la quen ta’). You can just say, ‘la cuenta por favor’ which is a statement, or you can ask for the check by saying ‘Me das la cuenta por favor?’. The universal sign with your hand making a check mark is pretty well understood…but you came to Mexico to have a different experience, no?