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The Verdad La Mexicana Comida Esta Out There….

1 Aug

So these three youthful Midwesterners are at NYC’s La Guardia airport baggage claim abuzz with anticipatory crackish then/Red Bullish ahora pre-embarking adrenaline rush exclusive to both visitors and residents of Gotham and maximum security prisons.

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What today would have been a text and/or tweet shared among friends we the public actually participated – okay eavesdropped – in their animated public discourse.

And what today would have been a Yelp! search actually turned into a lively debate with real opinions shared from real live experience instead of online strangers.

To the dulcet caterwaul – with occasional thud – of a luggage carousel – this husky body politic weighed in on Chicago vs New York pizza: ‘I can’t wait to try Domino’s. I bet it’s way better here.’ ‘No way, ‘Yes way’ ‘No way’ ‘yes way’ ‘Chicago’ ‘New York’ Chicago New York and on and on and on and maybe text might have been less Valley Girly and distracting so the rest of us could focus on our opinions and obvious superior big city sophisticated taste, grab bags, turn up noses, bolt.

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All but yo en verdad. Mi cargo fue returning con yo from Mexico. While the fuerte opinions blogged aqui suggest otrowise. I am still here to tell you the only reason Taco Bell en Mexico is better albeit more authentic than Taco Bell en Esatdos Unidos por que you get to order en Espanol.

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And even though I’ve been called a snob because I refuse to eat @Chipotle – which is to Mexico as Red Lobster is to the sea – you can’t feed a more Catholic, democratic, open and omnivorous maw than mine. Beyond therapy for my PTAzMexSD, the entire purpose of this here blogging a la Marco Pollo is to document my quest for el Cocina Mexicana ultima outside the friendly confines of mi beloved Sonoran desert. I know it exists, even if I have to make it so in mi own cocineria por ejemplo:

 

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I can’t believe you’re not Midwesternican pollo asado y chile verde y cream of chicken y corn tortillas that taste like dumplings y cheese casserolenchiladas

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The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)

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North Carolina BBQ pork/Trader JoseNM salsa verde/avocado/refried frijoles/Trader Jose flour tort/burro

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Elotes/frijoles/pollo asado tacos con cilantro y radishes from our urban parking garage rooftop garden

Or when I have to burn $5 on some breakfast burrito from Pret-a-Porte labeled ‘Southwestern’ because maybe that’s what Mexican food is like in France?

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Egg Soufflé (Cage free) Refried Black Bean Salsa Red Peppers Cheddar Red Onions Tortilla Wrap

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*To the credit of the Midwesterners who I had no intention of having personify the acronym IOWA (idiots out wandering aimlessly) the very same week I took again to wandering yet again NYC’s sts/aves rather aimlessly, confident enough in my Espanol lengua to order for lunch – much to the delight of the entire diner – a Cubana Torta’ (trans: Cuban Prostitue) and also overheard the following exchange along the way:

Scene: 8th Ave, Times Square, NYC before the greasy window of a Chinese take-out joint tastefully appointed with garlands of Peking Duck.

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Cast: Two young men with Long Island accents sporting Yankees caps – backwards….of, course – studying the menu:

 

‘Peking Duck?’

‘Yeah.’

‘How the fuck they know that duck’s

from Peking?’
And it probably tasted just as good as Long Island duck in Chinatown Chicago.

The Effervescent Influence of Bob’s Burgers, Frozen Burritios y yo.

24 Jun

 

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The esposa y yo spend far too mucho tiempo @ Bob’s Burgers. Because of my latent tendency to distrust anything popular (breathing, eating and breeding practice notwithstanding as well as the use of the word ‘notwithstanding’ and Shakespeare and sure, why not, music, diapers, 501s, reading, erotica, writing and lists and run-on sentences; the parenthetical) BB only recently topped our que. Lucky us, cartoons being cartoons, nothing on the show will age but the cultural references. The Happy Everlasting Animated Video Eternal of Netflix.

Netflix labels Bob’s as ‘cult TV’ which I take to suggest that what it lacks in mass appeal it makes up in mass suicides. I open ahora on Bob’s por que our bingeing is due in no small part thanks to Bob’s charms, hearty hars, parent/child empathy, and for me at least story-lines ripped from my memoirs (teenage son of a local lunch counter proprietor decades before “local” took to meaning “bourgeious”). Por ejemplo: Bob fires his kids from the restaurant who then become (spoiler alert) drug mules. That was me, not once but 7 times: fired by mi madre. (Yo Snowden, I leave the drug running rumors for you to hack out.)

Bob’s art most profoundly imitated mi vida largo in ‘Bad Tina.’ About a third into this fine episode, the neighborhood kid your parents warned you about, Tammy Larsen, shows her truant colors inspiring mi esposa to look over at me and pregunta:

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“Did you have any friends like that growing up? [pause for ill-fitting recollection] I did.”

[Lock-down pause]

“I was that friend growing up.”

“Oh my…I mean, of course.”

“The ring leader, the “bad influence”, everyone said “oh, he’s just trying to get attention” but really what was going on was I was trying to free my peers from the blood-sucking talons of authority, claws sharpened on the rotting corpse of regimented public education, remember how my very first day of kindergarten I talked all the kids at the bus stop to walk back to my house with me because “Who needs school when you have toys?” and then again in junior high because “Who needs school when you have MTV?” and again in high school because “Who needs school when you have Starship Fantasy ?” and when my oppressive authority figure of a mother fired me from the restaurant for the third or maybe it was the fourth time I talked my little sister into getting fired along with me because “Who needs to a job  when you’ve got roller skates?”

“I get it. I get it. You know you can’t ever tell our boys about any of this.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

[authoritative pause of the Roku]

“I swear on my mother’s cremains. I can even get them out of the closet it you like.”

[Satisfactory unpause of Roku]

Because “Who needs to tell anyone anything when you’ve got the Internet?”

“What was that?”

“I love Bob’s…and you.”

Okay, so I made up most of that last conversation from about “of course” on. A slight digression/diatribe may have followed mi esposa’s “Oh my” moment, with me prattling on about my being born with a rebel corazon kicking at my ribcage (Read: angsty adolescent internal hormonal drone warfare) and even setting up a table at my high school organization assembly for an “Anarchists Club” which of course rejected all applications but even before I could finish that spiel mi esposa’d fallen fast asleep not out of boredom – I quite often remind myself – but because unlike the animated universe of Bob’s burgers, raising even two boys, there’s rarely enough time or sleep to go around. And because we don’t run a family restaurant, preparing food for ourselves has become less of a chore or work and more like a special occasion, even when the definition of “cooking” gets broadened to mean unwrapping some frozen thing for the nuker.

For new families and/or because “Who needs a food blog recipe when you have frozen burritos?” let these IMOs be my bad influence on your poor eating habits.

 

PJ’s Organic Traditional Chicken

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Not sure which traditions the organic chicken followed prior to its beheading and karmic destiny to bring a smile to this burros tortilla and – in addition to a light tongue blistering – this consumer’s face. Savory C +

 

Amy’s Burrito Cheddar

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The only bomb of the bunch los ninos have a taste for (along with Cedaphil, sidewalk chalk and library books). Underdeveloped palates not the best judges. A strong stand-by: B

47th Street Pizza Lemonito Burrito

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Organic, Kosher, hormone free, no trans fat, lemon(?)really anything but what I expect in a frozen burrito and the best explanation as to why it tastes like lentil soup. Though the toro-beating tortilla made it worth the purchase. Like they say around my alma mater ASU: ‘D’s get degrees’: C-/D+

 

Good Food Made Simple  – Uncured Canadian Bacon

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There’s no accounting for good tasering and no cure for this sad, soggy, snapless schlub. F

 

Good Food Made Simple – Turkey Sausage

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Frozen burrito trope: the healthier the ingredients the nastier the texture and flavor:F

 

Good Food Made Simple – Southwestern Veggie

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Rhymes with wedgie: F

The Anasazi Burrito

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You know how they named all those Korean SUVs Santa Fe and Tucson when they have about as much to do with Down Yonder as a frozen burrito would the Anasazi? Except of course for the Adobe notes (as in mud not software) slightly better than hospital food: D

 

The evol line

No evol lost on this flight o deliciously packaged bass-ackward sottirrub.

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Shredded Beef: C

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Uncured Bacon (American): C

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Chicken Rice & Beans: C

And let’s not be afraid to call a wrap a wrap instead of racially stereotyping this ‘lean and fit’ (WTF?)  burrito because it’s spicy. This phony’s about a Mexican as Donald Trump:

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Egg White & Spinach: D

 

If you are still with me you may be wondering (like me): How can such healthy burros be a bad influence? All but Amy’s are so thoroughly unappetizing one scalding bite and you’ll be gunning it to the Late Night Taco Bell drive-thru soon as the kids are asleep even if you don’t have a babysitter or a car, not without first pausing Bob’s Burgers and finishing your beer, of course.

Unless you’re blessed enough to get your grubby manos on one of these (I luckily got the last one and have not seen them since. Manna from El Dio indeed):

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A+fckin A+mazing

Do salsa and a tortilla a Mexican dish make?

10 Oct

Not necesarioly, but it beats hell outta Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip.

You can be the judge and try any of the following fer yerself.

Exhibit 1: The Hello Darlin’ Dixiecan Carne Asada y Queso Grits y Amp & Alternator Burro

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Inhaled this tube ‘o old grits and glory serenaded by Howe Gelb, ergo the AA&A title reference. Tastes nothing like auto shop or hard tack even though the HDDCAyQGyAA&AB guts esta rooted in ancestral midnight moonshine runs & rusty rebel resentment. Mi esposa, a great great great grand daughter of the Confederacy, hustled up the skirt steak and Southern napalm. I added the refrieds and tort. The red stuff aka ‘octane boost’ is yer highly coveted Valentine salsa.

 

 

Exhibit 2: Dixiecan Casserole B-fast Burro

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 Innards:

1. Frozen shredded proper western hash browns fried in butter, onions and b-fast sausage (con grease) layered in a casserole dish with prepackaged shredded cheddar baked at 350 till crispy, bubbly, lethal.

2. Scrambled eggs
3. Canned refried frijoles

4. Salsa of your choosing. IMO, one can’t do better outside of Mexico than Herdez. The small cans epecially provide – por mi lengua y nariz – notes of first-class Puebla bus estacion diesel fumes and stray Die Hard battery volts forever singing me back to any one of several dozen viajes taken across the line. (Mas on salsa luego.)

 

 

Closing Argument: Faux Rancho Greenplat

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With dozens of superior green chile cheeseburgers for the wolfing up and down and back and forth across New Mexico – blogging from memory aqui – la pregunta para me’s never been one of quality but of quantity. For a decade now I’ve taken to the unofficial state plate like a sow to the truffles, sans merde. Rooting GCCB out of the unlikeliest of confines (gas stations/horse tracks/McDonalds), fue me. Me mentions this by way of introduction to another superior NM plata originel I’ve nearly cloned at home: The Faux Rancho Greenplat.

 

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 Faux Rancho Greenplat Bacchanalian back story:
Twas on a three GCCB bender, heading south to The Owl en San Antonio, btw GCCB #2 y tres, bisecting the interstate was we. Bacchus gripped the wheel of his company SUV. His company: Guiness. (His appetites mas grande than mine. Hence, why his name has been changed, both to protect the innocent and call off any open container charges.) Yo fue dios’s co-pilota.

San Antonio. NM sits a non-God of Drink and GCCBs 90 minute drive South of The ‘Burque. I ‘splain this por que Bacchus measures time by the beer. So, from The Frontier’s breakfast green chile , egg, bacon guacamole, and western hashbrown (con chile verde y queso) burgers, at Bacchus speed, we were looking at an ETA of about 3 Guinness. I cracked open número two, turned down the Drive-by Truckers, eager to learn all about El Rancho Greenplat, a plata Bacchus had been howling about through the months leading to my virginal tour de NM.

‘Now that were alone together and not shoving anything into our pie holes* (*Bacchus hails from Dixie, hence the dialect) I gotta ask why the hell they gotta name a cheeseburger El Rancho Greenplat? Not the most appetizing…..’

‘The what?’

‘El Rancho Greenplat? The burger we’re driving 90 miles – I mean 3 beers for?’

‘The what the fuck?’

‘El. Rancho. Green. Plat.’

‘You. Stupid. Fuck.’

‘The El Rancho Greenplat is a stupid fuck?’

‘Jack ass. The El Rancho Greenplat is from Quarters Bar-b-que……………In Albuquerque.’

‘So it’s not a green chile…’

‘No’

‘Then what the hell are we driving to The Owl for?’

‘Jack. Ass. You said you wanted to blow up your body mass index with green chile cheeseburgers – whatever the fuck that means – so we are going to for the best goddamn green chile burgers you ever had.’

‘Does someone need a hug?’

‘No…a beer.’

(Crack, slurp, silence, acceleration,
Drive-by Truckers.)

‘Can we go get a El Rancho Greenplat after?’

Dos mas beers and The Owl burgers gone and then one more beer and 3 gallons of gas more and Bacchus talks Mrs. Quarters herself into rolling up dos ‘killer’ El Rancho Greenplats for our dining pleasure; an ugly plata with an even uglier name that:

Me: ‘definitely lives up to its billing’.
B: ‘Whatever the fuck that means.’

The ERG TKOed us both. I recall little more than a cracking jolt to the system as maw closed down on the final bite.

Post blackout, the Mrs shuffled me y B across the gravel parking lot to digest down and sober up ‘neath the shade of the Guinessmobile.

While I never set boot back into Quarters, yonder in NYC and again high in Colorado, I tracked down the ingredient which I believe provides El Rancho Greenplat with its essential ‘Fuck yeah!’: fresh smoked turkey breast.

No longer down the road from a Rocky MT smokehouse and/or Jewish deli I settle for the bridesmaid: applegate organic smoked pavo. The remaining ingredients: non-canned pinto beans or canned refrieds, fresh roasted NM Greenchile, prepackaged preshredded cheddar cheese, flour tort. Tasty cold to hot, sober to drunk.

No surprise aqui, all platas – to me -take no prisoners and even less time to make than they do to eat (quite to opposite to most things ‘worth the wait’) or to read about even. Guaranteed to make all go boom boom boom…down comes the gavel….and I’ll leave the last word on whether or not tu will buy torts y salsa turns all comers into Chorizo to Pat Travers: