Thought Id post because Ive had some interesting meals lately that I wanted to tell you guys about. Departing from the usual scattershot fare I eat (frequently punctuated by my new drink of choice: Diet Dr Pepper in large ulcer-ic quantities), Ive gone to three new restaurants in about a week (and am going to another one tonight) with definite character.

Killer Shrimp. Lives up to its name. Situated in an anonymous strip mall, it offers three meals: shrimp with bread (original), shrimp with rice, and shrimp with pasta. As my friend pointed out, theres something charming about an establishment that survives when offering only one thing on its menu. Our waitress (who I thought looked exactly like the other one, down to her long red hair, numerous tattoos, fishnets, and piercings) first gave us plastic bibs and then our meal. The generous shrimp lies in a spicy soup which you then consume with a piece of sliced french bread (supplied in large baskets). No utensils whatsoever. No decor to speak of. But the next time I need some comfort seafood, Im definitely going there— and leaving room for some of the sweet potato pecan pie next time.

Gardens of Taxco. The reputation of this place precedes it; there is no menu to cower behind or ignore your dinner companions with. The dark interior is counterbalanced by the floral stain glass and plush red booths. There was a lot of law enforcement there while we were eating. Kind of unnerving for some reason to see them… eating. The head waiter takes his sweet time making the rounds, but when he finally unleashes his gustatory soliloquy on you, its worth your wait. You dont know whether to laugh (would it be rude? is it expected?) or stare amazed as he lists the dishes available in heavily accented English that clearly has been carefully memorized and played up to its near incomprehensibility. But his descriptions of the food are amazing— he describes the chicken w/ mole so good that it tastes like it was borrrrrrrrrrrrrn in the sauce. Its a five or six course meal where things just keep arriving. The salmon that I got was decent, but its safe to say that I would return merely for the experience.

Apple Pan. Famous for their burgers, which taste like the In-n-Out burgers grandpappy. Artful in the stacking of its lettuce (carefully, expertly folded) and the gooey texture of its cheese, I was really impressed by this place. You walk into what is basically a large ramshackle room with the grill in the center and the counter/seats running around it. The no-nonsense ambience culminates in the fact that it is staffed by (on a Friday night) several old men worthy of the Triplets of Belleville— theyre ancient, have certainly gotten the groove of food service down to second nature, oh thirty years ago, and barely utter a word the entire time.

No promises that Ill be less sporadic in my postings, but I did promise Winnie Id be better about correspondence now that shes on another continent.


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