Hot Tamale!

I agree – I could have thought up a better title for this post, but 10:10 PM real time is like 4 AM pregnancy time, so my brain is mushy!

One of the biggest things I missed in NY was good Mexican food.  I returned to the South, eager for to make up for four years of Mexican deficit, only to find that I either got pickier (more refined tastes?) or food has overall gone downhill (less likely), because the places we tried were just not good.  You know the kind I’m talking about – the menu is divided up into categories based on meat, and then the list of dishes are all the same except they have chicken in the “Chicken” section or pork in the “Pork” section…I know, so imaginative.  They all come with a side of slick, tasteless beans covered in greasy cheese and overcooked, orange rice that lacks even enough salt.  Maybe this all sounds harsh, but I know you know what I’m talking about.  Why eat that kind of stuff?  It’s disrespecting your mouth!

Hazel contemplates a tamale

So can you imagine how incredibly PUMPED Amos and I were to find this teeny grocery store/restaurant that serves amazing, amazing food?!  I don’t even know the name – I just know how to get there and that it’s painted bright green, like Ectoplasm green.  We decided to try this place based purely on our sense of adventure.  I mean, why not try out all these stores and diners that seem to cater directly to the Hispanic population?  That’s where the best food is!  And they do not disappoint.  Everything we’ve gotten there has been unbelievably tasty, well-priced (ahem, cheap), and served to us with some of the best attention we’ve ever gotten.  These guys have been so nice to us!  They think it’s cute that Hazel wants to watch them cook, and once they realized that she (and we) will really try anything, they haven’t been shy about suggesting things and just bringing out new things for us (mainly her) to try.  Seriously, one unforeseen blessing of our firstborn is her ability to command the staff of many restaurants, who are so impressed with her willingness – nay, desire – to eat the spiciest, most authentic dishes they can make that they shower her with a huge variety of free food landing on our table.  It’s almost creepy, this hidden talent of hers.  But if it gets us queso dip and more fresh corn tortillas than I can eat, I’m fine with it!!

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