I had some really good Mexican food today. I had to drive past BFE and over the border of the fabled land of Chandler, but it was worth it. I was invited to a special, hush-hush meeting by my director. I was under the impression it was a training meeting, but it was more of an “all you can eat” kind of meeting. I can’t complain, even though my stomach is.
I am a little picky about Mexican food. I grew up in the Southwest, so I have had my fair share of ‘authentic’ Mexican food. That being said, the really good stuff is in Texas. I know, some of you food conniseurs may argue that “Tex-Mex”is not really Mexican food. I will counter that argument with the strong opinion that, “who cares, it tastes better.”
I’ve always said a Mexican restaurant can be judged on it’s quality before you ever get your meal. The chips and salsa are the real evidence. If your server brings you a bowl of cold, stale chips with salsa that is basically tomato sauce with cilantro….leave. Don’t even bother to order. The good restaurants will have warm, homemade chips and various flavors of salsa/hot sauce. I know there is a difference between salsa and hot sauce but I like saying salsa better so, that’s what I call it all.
This particular restaurant had not only two three different salsas, it also had two different types of chips. One bowl was filled with the store bought red, yellow and blue corn chips. This bowl was basically ignored by everyone at my table. The other chips came on a plate with cheese sprinkled on them. They were authentic fried tortillas. Flour tortillas. They made my heart sing a little (and my tummy cry a lot).
In my previous life, Mexican food was the staple of my family’s diet. We ate beans, cheese, tortilla chips, nachos, burritos, tacos…..pretty much anything that fit under the Mexican food category, every day. Every now and then I’d put my crazy hat on and cook some pasta, but that was rare. I remember looking in the fridge before cooking dinner and if I didn’t see cheese….I didn’t know what to do.
Things have changed. I don’t eat cheese. Beans make my tummy hurt. Corn makes me feel bloated. Sour cream turns my insides sour. Its a sad new life I lead. As I sat at the table today at lunch, looking at all these fantastic Mexican dishes, I remembered days past. I remembered diving into a mountain of macho nachos at Amigos in Florida. I remember moaning through a plate of Brian’s famous nachos. I even remember dipping crazy things like apples into nacho cheese at the Melting Pot. Ah, the good old days.
I’ve moved on to bigger, better things in this life. Now my crazy indulgence is ruffle chips with ranch dip or a whole veggie tray all to myself. It may sound a bit lame, old, or mature, but….that is where I’ve come to. Sure, I can go crazy and eat a plate full of salsa, queso goodness, or even my spicy chicken leftovers that sat in my hot car for three hours if I want to. I can do whatever I want, cuz I’m a big girl.
In the end, the boss of me is my stomach. Do what I want, but the consequences are always there. The party is over and it’s time to hunt for my friends Ginger, Peppermint and Licorice. Tummy tamers, stat. Tomorrow I will eat only good food…..cause I said so.
Photo Credit: http://www.cheeseburger.com