Monday, October 02, 2006

I love Mexican food.
Not the bastardized crap you get from most places, but real, authentic Mexican food. You're probably saying to yourselves, "I'm with you on this one Dave, authentic Mexican food is the best!" But you are a liar and your pants are on fire, because I bet you're saying this to yourselves while thinking of someplace like Cafe Rio.

The first time I ate at Cafe Rio must have been ten years ago. My mom had been raving about this place in Saint George for months and on a road trip to my brothers wedding in LA we stopped for lunch. She was so excited. I was sceptical.

I chose the Smothered Pork Burrito. Whoever the hell smothered it didn't smother it long enough. It wasn't dead yet. Long story short: I got irritable bowel syndrome. That little piggy wanted to go back to the pigpen real bad. This wasn't your basic IBS either, it was the kind where your colon throws a tantrum and you want an epidural. These were brutal, vicious cramps, like the ones that killed Elvis. And I was stuck in the backseat of my moms car for hours before the pain finally subsided.

If you want to avoid the soul-rending pain I experienced that day, you need to know the following:

I present to you "The Law of the Kitchen Staff." This is an irrefutable law of the universe, much like the law of gravity and the law of "Tom Cruise is a major douche."

At just about any restaraunt you go to, be it Chinese Buffet, Italian, Martian or whatever, the guys working in the kitchen are Mexican but when you go to one of those fake Mexican places, the kitchen staff is white trash. Sure they may have their token Juans and Joses in back, but there's always a Duane or a Bud slinging the beans. This should be your first clue to stay very far away.

Before you start making excuses like "So what if it isn't authentic, it tastes good," you should know that I don't usually have a problem with fake Mexican food. It is what it is. You won't hear me complaining much about Taco Bell even though it sucks, because nobody claims it's authentic. But if I go to a place whose tagline is "Authentic Mexican Grill," and there is a line in front that resembles the line at the Log Flume ride at Disneyland, and after waiting about eighty years to be served I squeeze into a seat among people going on and on about how great the food is when what I see is an eight dollar pile of sweetened meat, beans and lettuce strips and a five dollar glass of bad horchata with no refills, then I can get a little whiny. It isn't authentic, not even close! And give me a break with the sign on the door already. If I wanted to start my own restaraunt I wouldn't take pictures of your crappy one.

Last week I discovered a little joint called "Maria Bonita." It's around the corner from the new shop, so we all checked it out for lunch one day. The food is unbelievable! Besides the usual stuff they serve things like Lobster, and Molcajete. They have two kinds of Mole. They have HUGE Mango, Strawberry and Pina Coladas too. The staff barely speaks English. Maria Bonita has superceded Disneyland as "The Happiest Place on Earth."

Ever since the Saint George incident, I frequently experience bouts of IBS, usually coupled with frenzied bowl evacuations. Kent has the same problem. After lunch we usually race for the bathroom. An additional benefit to Maria Bonita, as if you wanted to hear about this sort of thing, is that Kent and I were fine afterward. Even Dustin commented on how unusual it was for us to eat without having subsequent rides on our own "log flume".

I realize you may still want to have your "red-headed-stepchild mexican grill." You may not want to try the real stuff. You might still prefer to eat some bastardized sludge that has the nerve to call itself authentic. That's ok. I can take a dump on a tortilla, and throw it on a pie tin for you, I've got time. And if I eat at Maria Bonita the night before, it will still be more authentic than Cafe Rio.


AzĂșcar said...

Where, where, where is Maria Bonita? I do love authentic Mexican. Do you remember the OLD Cafe Del Sol located behind the then Ultimate Electronics? You know, the one that they shut down repeatedly for giving out hepatitis with the corn tortillas? The risk was worth it.

I love El Azteca: I once threw a hissy because everyone at work wanted Cafe Rio for lunch. I went ahead and picked myself up El Azteca in protest and everyone else Rio. Serves them right. Las Tarascas next Albertsons on the diagonal is good.

True story: I once got into a loud discussion with my server at that Rosa's place on 1230 N. next to McDonalds. Their thing was "no lard in the refried beans." Excuse me, lard is what makes them taste GOOD, like velvet in your mouth. I asked (at first kidding) if they could add lard to my beans and after the server made a remark about lard we had to have a discussion. Now Rosa's is closed. Maybe if they'd put lard into their beans they'd still be open.

Also, the Tenochitlan market near Savers in Orem is AWESOME. Fresh corn tortillas still warm and an excellent butcher shop.

Cafe Rio, Los Hermanos, and their ilk are fine, they're just not Mexican.

Pass the Tapatio.

Marty said...

Dave...homemade tortillas? If they do that...I am there!!

BTW, that last image is a keeper. Lucky I don't vomit easy..anymore.

Next year for provophenia, we need to include mexican food.


socali71 said...

you did not just take a dump!! is that what that is??

As much as I agree to stay away from OUR local mexy locales- everyone raves about this place called La Paz. aka-La Crap!!(So.Cal. has raised me picky) I want Tijuana Fish Tacos from Pico de Gallo dude at his cart with his smiling brown tooth! way better. It's just that the hispanico population here (E. Coast)is not really booming.

I prefer to go to the El Salvadorean place where my high school espanol is once again resurrected. El Salvadorean cheese rocks!! I get a fat meal for cheap. And I know I'm in the right place 'cuz not only is the staff totally El Salvo. but all the customers too. I'm the only chick there, the only white chick- just me y mi hijo, a comer mucho steak asada con horchata.

Dave eres muy el grosso!!

P.S. lay off Elvis man. Cruise, understood.
P.S.S. Elvis was not LDS. Sorry. not even LSD. just amphetimines and barbituates. and a whole lotta love.

The Scooter Lounge said...

That, my friend, is a photoshop composite of three pictures I pulled off the internet. The poop is novelty fake poo from a joke shop. I thought about garnishing it with some diced tomato and shredded lettuce, but I was too lazy.

b. said...

Thanks for clarifying.....I was becoming really impressed you'd go to so much trouble just for a muy jysterical post.....scooping up perro turds off the lawn and all.

socali71 said...

That would not have been laziness, but obsessive compulsive disorderly.

If you guys want to get serious authentic check out Cuitlacoche

Marty said...

Had the priviledge of eating with Dave from Maria Bonita, and it is everything he said it was.

Thanks Dave!!