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Posts Tagged ‘mexican food’

your spelling errors have ruined my appetite

grens, tomatoe and mayonase, oh my!
(go here to see a bigger size, plus all the spelling errors pointed out)

Look, I’m not a grammar nazi. Sure, I get worked up over extraneous apostrophes, and I tend to get irritated when people confuse you/you’re and their/they’re. But I’m not cantankerous about it. I won’t end a friendship over a misplaced comma or a misspelled word.

However, every once in a while I will read something that makes me want to go on a stabbing spree. For instance, this menu for a recently opened Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood.

The people who own this small cafe sort of place also own a larger restaurant a few towns over, where the menus and flyers are free of errors. So the mistakes in this particular flyer are not because someone’s first language isn’t English. It’s because they were lazy and did not care enough about their restaurant’s image to make sure the damn flyer didn’t go out with at least eight different errors on it.

Seriously. Did someone not proofread this? I can’t even blame a printing company, as this was probably done in the restaurant’s office on a computer. But how could you not know? Maybe they could have looked at their dinner menu to make sure these words were spelled correctly? It’s about pride, people! I’m not being anal retentive here, I’m being, well, unreasonably angry that a business trying to drum up a customer base in a neighborhood plastered the town with flyers that only say to me “we are sloppy and careless.” Which means, dearest South of the Border owners, that I will not eat in your restaurant. If you can’t care enough to make sure your advertisement does not look like you are not even smarter than a third grader, I cannot in good conscience give you my money.

Never mind that you charge $18.50 for a damn quesidilla on the dinner menu. That’s reason enough not to stop by. Also, what you call Mexican food has very little to do with Mexico and more to do with, say, New Mexico. And what part of “south of the border” does Waldorf Salad come from? Excuse me, I mean Waldoff.

While I do applaud you for not using an apostrophe to turn heros into hero’s, I have to give you a failing grade on your flyer, as well as your idea that fajitas somehow belong on a hero.

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i ate this so you don’t have to

i ate them so you don't have to

If you ever thought to yourself “Gee, how good could a tamale bought in the frozen food section at Target be?”, wonder no more.

The answer is: not very.

Now, I’ve only had tamales twice before, both times at authentic Mexican restaurants, one of them where the owner/chef who learned how to make tamales from her great grandmother back in Mexico. They were so awesome, we got six more to go and ate them the rest of the weekend. You know what happens when you eat about five tamales over the course of two days? Just hope you have enough toilet paper and crossword puzzle books in the bathroom to get you through the aftermath. But they were worth it, man. I did learn my lesson and only ate one tamale in California.

About the Target tamales. I know what you’re thinking. Who the hell buys tamales at Target? And since when does Target have food? Well, our Target has this giant supermarket section. I don’t know if they all do. And I saw these tamales and I missed that cute little Mexican restaurant in Sacramento and I certainly wasn’t going to drive 40 minutes to here so I figured, what the hell. How bad can they be?

You know the answer. Pretty bad. The only thing about them resembling a real tamale was the corn husk, and I’m even questioning if that was real. The filling was a mess of melted cheese and chilies that tasted like three day old vanilla pudding licked off a leather couch where an old, sweaty drunk man laid down his back sweat.

Don’t ask how I know this.

Anyhow, if we didn’t already have sushi plans for tonight, I’d take the 40 minute drive to Fonda Coyoacan just to get some real tamales and wash the taste of drunk man sweat leather pudding out of my mouth.

I’m sure the wasabi will take care of that tonight, though.

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real mexican food!

Todd definitely gets homesick for California sometimes. One of the things he misses the most is the availability of authentic Mexican food. I usually say something about Del Taco then, and he waves a dismissive hand at me and goes into one of his lengthy rants on how chain restaurants like Chili’s have no idea what Mexican food is supposed too look or taste like. Which then turns into a story or two about the Mexican dives he used to go to in Sacramento or the guy in Fresno who used to sell tamales out of a cart.

So I was on a mission to find a good Mexican place. There were a few around my neighborhood – well, they called themselves authentic – but they all turned out to be just glorified versions of Mexican fast food. I know there are quite a few places that are probably closer to authentic around where I work, but that town is not somewhere I want to go during non-office hours.

A few days ago a friend of ours started talking about tamales. Not only had I never had a tamale, I wasn’t even sure what one looked like. Of course, I got a full explanation about them, how they are made, how you eat them, the varieties you can get, etc.

hot tamaleI wanted a tamale.

After some Googling, we found a place about 30 minutes from here that seemed authentic enough. The reviews all but called it a dive, but said the food is so good that “foodies” have been invading this little Mexican community to dine at Fonda Coyoacan.

We took a ride out there yesterday afternoon. It was worth the trip. We finally found a place that Todd could compare favorably to his favorite places back in California. It’s a very small (about six tables) storefront restaurant that has little ambiance during the early afternoon, but you can tell it’s the kind of place that comes alive at night.

We had tamales; I had mine with chicken mole and Todd had his with chicken and green sauce. They were interesting; basically cornmeal and chicken stuffed inside a corn husk. Then I had papa con chorizo. Todd had incredibly messy, but tasty, huaraches.

The food was awesome. Rich, flavorful and nothing like the “Mexican” food I had become accustomed to on Long Island. I discovered through some more research that our very friendly server was actually the owner, Elvia Cardenas, who came here from Mexico in 2001.

I wanted to go back today, but I have a feeling it’s going to be packed with locals watching the Mexico/Costa Rica gold cup game (US plays Canada Thursday in the seminfinals, if you’re interested).

We’ll be back at Fonda Coyoacan next Saturday. There’s quite a few things on the menu I want to try.

So, Saturday’s lessons: Mexican food is not chimichangas and burritos, Todd doesn’t have to go back to California to get huaraches, and I’m pretty good at spackling.

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