Thursday, June 5, 2014

Burrito (noun courtesy of Lauren)

My first exposure to Not American Food came at the old El Azteca restaurant in Provo--the one just off of campus.  It was upstairs in some sort of semi-dumpy building (maybe it had even been an old house once?  I can't remember) but when you walked into the restaurant with its big velvet paintings of Aztecs everywhere, Honey you felt like you and your family had gotten on a bus and gone some exotic place where volcanoes erupt and papayas grow so abundantly on trees you can just pick them whenever you feel like it.  Except, of course, when the volcanoes are erupting.

Anyway.  It was our family's favorite place to eat.  We'd go there maybe once a month.  Sometimes with the Hudspeths (football coaching buddies), sometimes by ourselves.  The owner's son (Luis?) would wait on us, shimmering like Jeeves to our table side for our orders, which often involved burritos.  And flautas.  And rellenos.  And fabulous beans all fried up in Manteca, which is the King of Monounsaturated Fats.  Next to Olive Oil, of course.  So maybe it's only the Prince of M. Fats.

But whatever.  That's not the point.  The point is that to this day, Mexican food is my go-to comfort food.  I love it and would rather not exist if it all went away.

8 comments:

CSIowa said...

What a fond memory to read while eating my husband's guacamole for lunch!

Melissa Mc said...

El Azteca!!! With the eagle (was it an eagle??) holding a snake in its beak on a cactus!!!! Id go back in the kitchen with Carlos ((I think it was Carlos, not luis) and watch them cook. The first place I put salsa in my mouth.

Lisa B. said...

(a) El Azteca was the bomb. Enchiladas Suizas, baby!
(b) When I had had just one too many bowls of noodles in China, I thought to myself, "You know what the first thing I eat when I get back to America is going to be? An enchilada." And then I said that sentence out loud. Because I meant it. I really, really did.

Lauren said...

Amen on the Mexican comfort food, my friend. Some fried up, tomato-pasty rice with refried beans and carnitas is a delightful family meal for me and my boys.

James said...

El Azteca! The birthplace for my love affair with the bean and cheese burrito. Mmmmmmmm.

Melody said...

Yeah. El Azteca on 820 north. Watermelon drinks.

Melody said...

Also, here's a noun, if you want it: Earlobe

Donna Tagliaferri said...

Me too...I actually remember the first time I had really good guacamole, which is amazing since growing up in Texas I am certain it was in my bottle...but I remember going to Old Mexico in Houston....and putting a chip in that magnificent dip. A taste I will never forget because it was so.....good.
My grandmother and I never left a week without one trip for Mexican food. And you are so right, without it life would be useless