Adventures, I <3 Food

Mi Familia.

There is a Mexican restaurant down the road from my house that popped up about a year ago in place of a sandwich shop that MrZ loved and I hated. I was happy because bringing refried beans closer to my doorstep is always a good thing. And this place is fantastic. It’s just greasy enough to feel authentic, but not so greasy you walk out with clogged pores. They have cheap Dos Equis and on Wednesdays they have a buffet. Let’s just say we have a spare room set up in their supply closet we go there so often.

Tonight, however, I realized how often we really do go. Our waiter, the same one we always get, essentially knows us by face now and offers bean dip whenever we come in. He also knows to bring NikkiZ’s drink with a lid and that we’ll need an extra thing of salsa because she won’t share.

(For the record – no one wants to share with NikkiZ. She takes a chip, dips it in the salsa, sucks the salsa off, and then dips it again. Using the chip more as a spoon until it gets soggy enough she has to eat it. Then she starts over with another chip. She is redefining “double dipping” for the post-Seinfeld generation.)

One time, NikkiZ had a choking incident that resulted in her gagging all over me. Luckily, I saw it coming and immediately ran out of the restaurant with her before she exploded. Most of her mess was on me – outside. Our waiter sent my friend out with wet rags to clean myself up with and boxed up my dinner for me. Then, when we came back in the next night (I told you – we eat there often) he asked how “The Baby” was.

It’s like have our own neighborhood haunt where the staff all knows us by name. Except that none of the staff speaks English. But hey, who needs English when you have the language of tortillas?

Addition from 2020: I don’t know how I wrote this entry and never told the story about the Mexican restaurant I went to when I was pregnant with E. It was in the town I went to college and I would go there at least once a week for Bean Dip and a Diet Coke which was less than $10 and made me feel like a normal human even though I was 19 and pregnant and struggling.

After I had E, the employees there would take him from me and play with him while I ate. It was so lovely. I always joke that Eliah was made of bean dip and that is why.

23 thoughts on “Mi Familia.”

  1. Oh that is so nice. We have a place near us too. But not Mexican. (Too cold in New Hampshire) Our waiter, Andy knows us and knows what we drink and what we like. Plus he is high energy and really nice.

  2. We have a neighborhood Mexican restaurant that we frequent so often all the waiters and waitresses know us by name. Very few of them speak any English so communicating is quite difficult. More times that I can count I have gotten something different than what I *thought* I ordered, luckily it’s always been delicious.

    It’s by far the best place to go with a baby. They ooh and ahh over him and never look disturbed when he starts screaming or acting up.

  3. Scout does the same thing with her chips. It has become a chore to take her anyway that provides any type of dipping sauce. She wants to dip everything and never actually eats the food she is dipping.

  4. Oh yeah, and I lurve Mexican food almost as much as I love Cajun food, Sushi and Krispy Kremes. The closest good Mexican food to us is in Manchvegas at La Carretas.

  5. Our neighborhood haunt is also a Mexican place also. The staff adore Elizabeth because she asks for a “Mexican Cheese Sandwich” whenever we order.

  6. Awesome. I heart Mexican food. I eat at the hole-in-the-wall Mexican place by my house way too often. They don’t know me by name, yet. They just know me as Chicken Burrito.

    Maybe I should just start referring to myself as Chicken Burrito.

  7. We had a similar relationship with the local chinese delivery when we lived near NYC. While at the hospital for some test or miscarriage or other TTC disaster, we saw our delivery man. The only words he ever spoke in english upon buzzing our loft were “Chinese food is good” and following up by stating the total of our bill. We saw him in the hospital, he saw us, looked confused, then smiled so big I thought his cheeks would explode, pointed and said “Ah — Ap-aht-muh 4B. B like Boy! Chinese food is good!” Gotta love it.

  8. oh, you’re making me so jealous posting about that yummy mexican place!!! waaaaahhh…..i miss real queso!

  9. (Side note: I know I don’t comment enough, either.)

    As far as this goes, there was a Mexican place in Vegas near my grandparents’ house. They had been going there before I, their first grandbaby, was born, and continued the tradition long after.

    They used to bring me in as an infant, and the waitstaff were so familiar with my family, that they would argue over who got to hold me while we climbed into our favorite booth. (Yes, we had a table in the corner.) I, too, got my own bowl of salsa, and if we ran out of chips, I would actually eat the salsa with a spoon. (Probably still would, too.)

    Unfortunately, last time I was visiting Vegas, I drove by, and it wasn’t there any more…

  10. I’m jealous. I don’t have convenient easy access to Mexican food.

    I’m willing to give you free Spanish phrases if you would like.

  11. Amen!! I have a couple of places like that and I just love it…particularly that they know I want my ‘ritas on the rocks with salt. 😀

  12. We too had a Mexican place around the corner from our old house. We went there once a week at least with our first son when he was an infant, and they always brought us a big bowl of refried beans for him, no charge, and knew our brand of beers and favorite combo platters. I miss them so!

  13. We have “book club” at a Mexican place near work each Monday. They aplogize to us when our seats at the bar are taken, they know our drink order, and they always bring me a plate of rice along with the fresh chips and salsa, because if I don’t eat, I can’t order a second (or third…or fourth) half-price margarita, and that makes me sad. Our waiter is titled “Hot Hot Miguel”

  14. Before we moved here, we had a similar relationship with the staff at a mexican place near our house. We decided we were really eating there too much when we were sitting at a stop light one night and heard honking beside us. We turned around to see the manager of the place, smiling and waving at us. Although we’ve eatea at the mexican restaurant here quite frequently in the two years we’ve been in town, we’ve never really bonded with the staff. Makes me kinda sad, now that I think about it.

  15. Mexican food is me and my husbands favorite food. We eat there WAY too much. We really haven’t found a great authentic place yet in our area, which is a total bummer! It’s just so addictive…

  16. All of our restaurants around here suck, lol. So no one really knows us. But we are a memorable group, lol. There’s 6 of us and my kids aren’t exactly the quiet type, lolol So usually the servers get to know us, lol. Drew always steals the women’s attention, hehehe

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