Archive | June, 2013

When tortilla – loosely translated – means serape.

13 Jun

Mas tarde with los bloggings I’ve become so. Realized yesterday I posted Memorial Day munch dos semanas late. If only it were like my Mexican co-workers claim “You’re more Mexican than we are” and I been getting a serious manana on. (Though I heed to the call of the caguama often and am forever picking machaca out of my teeth.)

Si solamente.

No no no…the raison de slacking is El Nino: Oscar. This mighty little despot of 9 months dictates what content his parents can or cannot provide every second of every day.

Too, The Spittin’ Image puts a WWF-sized mandible claw on the contents to his padre’s stomach. It’s all-hands-on Oscar all the time. Adios to tostadas and hard shell tacos to say nothing of chicken wings from Buffalo, fried chicken from The South Loop and hot buttered popcorn from the microwave; the shrapnel of the crunchy tortillas a formidable choking hazard, the slick grease and incendiary sauce of the fried and the nuked a lethal lotion and/or lubricant.

So I’m stuck. Not with discontinuing to feed my inner Mestizo, rather at how to transition from the myopia of new-Dad drivel (diapers, drool, sleep deprivation) to happily happening upon a tortilla on the grocer’s shelves in the Barrio Nuevo that I want to share with all new parents.

photo 5


A analogous segue coming to mind confounds same said Mestizo (a palabra) unrecognized by MS Word spell-check) which is that of me the conquistador who discovered gold in the New World, or in my case, Lakeview/Halsted/Boystown crossed by Quixote (a word recognized by MS Word).

Then there’s the second option of taking the name of these near perfect tortillas as a starting point and the fact that the family has taken to attending church smacks both of blasphemy and cultural insensitivity. Neither the Lord nor La Primera Madre appeared on a tort before me. Though, it is something, to my narrow-mind, of El Milagro that at long last, actually about 10 months, flat, floury, foldable, formidable, fabulous, functional, fun. what the “f” (yes, a toddler brings out the cornballer in me).

On a scale of 1-5, El Milagro “burritos” fall right at 4.7. .3 points off for chewy texture and a starchy finish both of which I forgive as this loss is made up for in circumference and diameter. (Size matters in the new hood (adults only link) and El Milagro is the super-heavy-weight chompian ’round these, er, parts.) These blanca beauties are the gigantest. What this means for this new Dad is a return to carne adovada, chile verde, and margarita. With a tighter seal than a face lift (and flyer than a space ship) one can now lose the “itto” and mow through burro after burro without risk of dripping or dribbling piping hot cheese/grease/mole/tequilla onto counter, arm, floor and/or Oscar.



Nuevo parenting also causes mild cognitive impairment. I so want to recall the name – or link to – a book detailing the advances of pre-Columbus Day Americans. We all learned how the OAs (Original Ancestors) created calendars, experimented with human flight and human cuisine – cut off from Western influences AND Daniel Bourdain. What I wonder is, is if the author uncovered, as I have, how pre-Columbians also invented the edible diaper.




The Chi-Mex Hot Dogs of (early) Summer

7 Jun

While naked, the hot dog inarguably no other food stuff deems worthiness of the title of unofficial meat of The United States of America (thanks in no small part to Madison Avenue).

To misquote The Great Tom T. Hall:

“Hamburger’s too German

Steak cost too much

Turkey takes too long to cook

….I like beer.”

Once bunned and dressed, pan-partisanship ends and multi-culinary-culturalism sets in. From ocean to shining ocean, from chili to catsup to coleslaw to tomatoes to green chile to mustard to Nacho cheese, We The People smother our spindle meats with no small amount of toppings or provincial pride.

It should go without say that The Chicago Dog and The Sonoran Hot Dog top my list but I won’t because I couldn’t figure out another way to include a link to my other food blog).

Because I worked Memorial Day – with leftovers inviting staff infections – I slapped together three dogs honoring the great American state (of mind) where I reside: Mexi-chago.


numbered and inhaled from the top to bottom, as pictured


Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dog (from Coney Island/Webber grilled)

Jewel Generic Bun (from Chicago/Webber toasted)


Pinto Beans (from Colorado)

Cheap shredded cheddar (from Eden Prairie, Minnesota)

Plouchman’s Yellow mustard (from Illinois)

Mike’s Hot Honey* (from NYC)

*Mike’s Hot Honey a recent gift and highly recommended: as tasty on vanilla ice cream as fried chicken even in café con leche. One mighty elixir.


Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dog (Web grilled)

Jewel Generic Bun (toasted)


Best Foods Mayo (from Englewood, New Jersey) & roasted, skinned, seeded, diced jalapenos (from Calfornia)

Mini potatoes roasted in olive oil/butter (from Chicago)

Red Chile powder (from New Mexico)


Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dog (Web grilled)

Jewel Generic Bun (toasted)


Wholly Guacamole (from Texas)

Deviled Eggs (from my wife from North Carolina)

Valentina Hot Sauce (from Mexico)

Y beber of choice? Rock the malt science Tom: