The First Meal
How do you find a great restaurant in a new town?
It was the question we faced after Legoland. We could go back to the hotel, look online, maybe find something good. But, instead, the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world had an idea.
So found parking, not an easy thing in the Old town, then after minor meltdown by a youngest, we marched to the restaurant and put down our names. We sat watching huge family after huge family make their way inside. Not HUGE as in overweight, huge as in mom and dad and kids and grandparents and, even, I suspect (after looking at one particularly shriveled little old lady), great-grandparents.
We waited for quite a while. I was worried the boys might start eating the cloth cushions, but we were finally seated It was warm inside, but not hot. It smelled of charring meat, warm tortillas and spices (chilli, I think). The floor was terracotta tiled, the walls a colorful orange with painted tiles, bright banners hung above the bar and from the rafters, and the staff served the patrons dressed in colorful ethnic outfits.
The waitress came to our table. “Ola. Would you..”
“Margaritas,” said the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world, “Por Favor.” I want to say she pounded the table with her fist, but that just may be my memory of it all.
After her drink arrived, we ordered. I stuffed my face with the gigantic Burrito de Guadalajara (A large burrito filled with seasoned shredded beef, chicken or picadillo and refried beans, topped with sauce and sour cream. Served with rice and beans). It was so tasty, I began to speak Spanish. So did the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world after her second margarita.
The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world tried the Guadalajara Grilled Chicken Tacos (Soft corn tortillas with seasoned strips of grilled chicken breast, shredded cabbage, sliced avocado and our special white sauce. Served with a concha of black beans, cilantro lime fiesta cabbage, and pico de gallo.) and 19 Margaritas. It was that kind of day.
The boys were about as brave as they dared to be. The youngest, close to starvation and near death, ate his weight (and mine) in tortilla chips, and they both tried new things (in this case, fish sticks, Mexican style.)
We ate one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time.
We listened to a guitarist sing. We laughed at pictures from our adventures in legoland. We were surrounded by sound and life and families having a good time.
The secret, you see, was not just a place that the locals ate at, but the place local FAMILIES ate at. Moms and dads and kids and grandmas and granddads.
The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world knew that.
It was a great way to end a great day.