A few weeks ago I decided to go to the Fiesta Mexican grocery store here in Plano. This store carries a lot of vegetables and other products that are foreign to me, having grown up in East Tennessee. It was interesting to see women scraping thorns off of cactus and handing out recipes.
There is a small little grill and seating area, the area consists of picnic tables, about three or four of them. I was having trouble getting waited on and left thinking that Clint and I would stop there some day and have lunch together.
The day arrived we decided to have lunch there, that day was today. We left about twenty minutes until 11:00 AM to get there to "beat the crowd". There are already people standing at the counter, no rhyme or reason to any procedure on where to stand to order. A nice lady beside me was telling us what was good and how she liked to buy tacos on Tuesday because they were a dollar. She also gave me a lesson on how to pronounce the taco meat: barbacoa. I decided to have a taco on on the side with the Tuesday Special Combo Plate which consisted of two enchiladias covered in green sauce with melted cheese, refried beans with melted cheese, rice, lettuce and tomatoes. How did I know about the Tuesday Special? I knew from the very appetizing photo up on the wall. Meanwhile, there are other people being waited on before us and we had thought about leaving. Finally the employee comes to take my order, she took off before I could even finish and add the "barbacoa taco" on the side.
There were only two employees behind the counter and more people are standing in line. It is taking a long time and then I notice she is making two of the specials when I ordered only one. Clint had planned on getting tacos. At this stage, he said to not bother changing it, he's eat the special. Finally I get a chance to order the taco, this was when it was time to pay and also tell her "two waters for here".
The photo below is close to what the special looked like in the photo on the wall. There were no chips or salsa today with our food. Notice the dreamlike quality of the photo ... this point is important later on. :-)
|Photo is very similar to one shown at the Fiesta today|
of the Tuesday Enchilada Combo Special.
Now to the ugly stark reality of the Tuesday Specials: Unlike the photo, the enchiladas we were served were covered in a red sauce that was unnaturally red, the chicken inside dry with no other seasoning. (I have a feeling the left over deli chicken not sold is used for the enchiladas). I noticed the employee was in the cooler trying to find something and after few minutes she sprinkled some cheese that was exactly like Kraft Parmesean Cheese in the green container. I had to scrap this off of the enchiladas.
There was no melted cheese on anything. The rice was made with a can of Veg-All added to it and had no other flavor. The refried beans ... how could those beans get so dried out by 11:00 AM? No sign of lettuce or tomato. Oh, the "barbarcoa taco", talking about mystery meat. How would one descibe this greasy mixture. The first thing that stood out was a rounded almost-black object. My first thought was it was a giant black olive but it was too tough. I then had the thought it might have been some kind of gland, it seems glands are more rounded body parts. This "gland" was about an inch in diameter. Of course there were gristle-like pieces and fat. Our water was only water with no ice in a styrofoam cup.
And then insult to injury: FLIES! LOTS OF FLIES! We had to swat flies! I had to put a folded up paper towel (no napkins) on top of my water to keep flies off of it.
Clint gave his version of the lunch adventure on his blog, Lyrics of Love and Lore We laughed later and said this would be part of the Ellison lore for a long time!