A 13-year-old Amarillo boy served himself what he though was free slushy sample only to discover it was really alcohol. It happened at Tango's Taco Shop on Western Street on July 3.
The boy's mother, Eliza Clemet of Amarillo, said her son Jacob was returning to the table from the bathroom when he passed the drink-dispensing machines.
"Nobody saw him do it because nobody was out there, brought it to me, I smelled it and had my friend smell it," she explained. "I said, 'does that smell like alcohol' and she said yeah I think that's got alcohol in it and we were both flabbergasted."
Clemet said she and her family abstain from alcohol in her family and religion and although Jacob only drank a little more than one ounce of frozen pina colada, he was upset by the situation.
"We abstain 100 percent from alcohol in our family and in our religion and he was upset that he had alcohol," said Clemet. "He really wasn't fine."
Clemet was very upset and asked to talk to the restaurant manager but when she finally got in touch with one of the owners by phone a few days later, the situation escalated.
"He kept going in circles with excuses, parents should watch their kids, it's only one ounce that he got," she said. "I've had a virgin of all of these, pina colada, strawberry daquiri. We never have alcohol in the home so he is maybe a little naÃ¯ve about alcohol.
One Manager Partner for Tango's Taco's spoke with Pronews 7 about the issue and continued to stand by it's statement -- they did nothing wrong.
"All the margaritas are in the machines clearly labeled strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, margarita," explained Mark Prickett. "General knowledge by the time you're 13 is a daiquiri contains alcohol, in my mind. I can't speak for everyone but I would think that you know it contains alcohol. It's placed there so people know to ask us for a sample."
Clemet also contacted the TABC. She hoped the have the sample cups for the drinks moved and have the machines moved out of the way, more behind the counter so customers would know they were not self-serve. TABC did follow up with Tango's Taco's and recommended Tango's move the sample cups out of sight. The restaurant complied.
"I feel like that's definitely a step in the right direction," said Clemet. "I still don't like the idea of a slushy machine out in the open on the side because I know they'll tell you it's monitored but nobody is out there all the time."
TABC continued its investigations, but as of Tuesday, July 10, concessions between mother and restaurant were yet to have been made.
"Honestly, we don't feel like we've done anything wrong," added Prickett. "We did not serve the child the margarita, the child went behind the counter and helped himself, was in an area that he shouldn't have been in."
"I'm not trying to ruin the business of Tango's Taco's, I just want them to be responsible," said Clemet. "I really just wanted him to acknowledge that maybe this wasn't the best business idea."