Monday, May 09, 2005

Hooray! Taco Time!

As I’ve previously mentioned, Pittsburgh is almost completely devoid of Mexican food.

Mateo and I softly weep at night, knowing that we possess the intestinal fortitude to handle tasty things like menudo and salsa, but that our tummies are going to waste because of Pittsburgh’s quashing of all tasty/spicy food.

Each time a new ‘Mexican’ restaurant opens, Mateo and I are beside ourselves with joy:

Me: “The paper says they’re authentic!”
Mateo: “Yum! Let’s go right now!”
Me: “I’m gonna get chilaquiles!”
Matt: “Hooray!”*

And each time, we find guacamole squeezed from tubes, chips and salsa that aren’t free (!), sucky canned refried beans, chipotle sauce that tastes suspiciously like KC Masterpiece, and tortillas made in another state. We turn into total snobs and act grumpy for the rest of the day:

Me: “I can’t believe they said they were authentic.”
Mateo: “Authentically crappy, maybe.”
Me: “I’m not feeling so good, maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the 6 pounds of fake jack cheese on that sorry-ass enchilada”
Me: “Buncha posers.”

We swear we’ll never fall for it again, that we’ll be completely dispassionate, but our desperation gets the best of us. 2 months later, we’re at it again:

Mateo: “Dude, I saw a sign for a Mexican food place! It had an Aztec temple on it!”
Me: “Yay! Let’s go right now!”

Repeat this whole process about 20 times, and you’ve encapsulated the ups and downs of the entirety of our Pittsburgh Mexican food experience.

Which is why we were delighted, but trepiditious when Mateo saw a sign reading ‘Taqueria De Mi Mexico’ five blocks from our house.

Mateo: “Hey, that sign’s in spanish!”
Me: “Mexican food?”
Mateo: “For REAL Mexican food?
Me: “That we can walk to from our house?”
Mateo: “Madre de Dios!” **

We went inside and saw a sea of brown people eating tasty things and speaking spanish. A dam broke inside me and I almost collapsed with relief. It was a REAL taqueria. With tortas, al pastor, and lengua (which I can't bring myself to eat, but which I use to verify the credentials of potential ‘authentic Mexican' restaurants).

I had chorizo and eggs, with yummy black beans and homemade tortillas. Mateo had the biggest torta I’ve ever seen on fresh baked bread. We had guava jarritos and a big old concha for dessert. We were burping up tasty flavors for hours, and it was delicious.

So of course it shows up 3 months before we leave town.

*Yeah, it's paraphrased, but I'm trying to capture the joy and pain, OK, people?
** Mateo's never said 'Madre De Dios' in his life.
Random Fruit Fact: The Guava

Jarritos guava soda’s good, but actual, factual guavas are even better.

“Upon ripening, the guava becomes soft and juicy. It may be eaten fresh, made into a juice or nectar contain fruit pulp, or made into preserves, jam, jelly, or paste. The guava is an excellent source of C vitamin.”

And vitamin C’s good, because scurvy sucks serious ass. Learn more about the guava, here.

Posted by Spurious Nurse at 5/09/2005 11:46:00 AM


  1. Blogger the niffer posted at 11:54 AM  
    So glad you found your restaurant. I was going to suggest you come to to London, ON because we have a killer good one here.

    Scurvy really does suck ass. Up with guava! Down with scurvy!
  2. Blogger echrai posted at 12:51 PM  
    3 months.. but... at least you get three more months of decent authentic food. Better than having to suffer through those three months as you had the rest of your trip.

    I would invite you to come visit me while I'm still in Avondale - about 75% of the population is Mexican - there are spanish signs everywhere and of the 5 restaurants in town (did I mention it's a tiny place? Supposedly the mushroom capitol of the U.S.) 4 of them are authentic Mexican. Granted, I've never tried it, but given the number of Mexicans who spend their time there, it's the real deal. The only grocery store in town is a Mexican grocery, but I go shopping on the way home since I pass four or five normal grocery stores outside of town. That and I wouldn't know what to cook with the ingredients I'd get in that store. :P
  3. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 2:30 PM  

    Don't mean to be a semantic hater but...

    "Normal" grocery store???? Does this make the SuperMercados abnormal???

    Just nitpicking.

    El Guapo
  4. Anonymous Amanda B. posted at 3:43 PM  
    This is why I miss Texas so, so much. We have one Mexican resturant in town that is ok...not great though.

    Could you maybe mail me some flan?
  5. Blogger Southern Fried Girl posted at 4:01 PM  
    New Orleans is also seriously lacking in Mexican food. However, I did find one great place that is rather near my home. Thank God. I clearly remember the no Mexican food of da burgh though. I loved how people there thought Chi chis was Mexican food. I felt bad for them - they do not know what they are missing
  6. Blogger mrtl posted at 5:57 PM  
    Quit you bitchin'. Three months is forever. I discovered good San Angelo pie today. (I'm moving TOMORROW!)

    I really don't mean to negate your disappointment. Don't mind me; I'm just bitter.
  7. Blogger Caroline posted at 9:40 PM  
    Yummy yummy Mexican food.

    I don't think I could ever eat cow tongue either. Eww.

    And fruit leather's pretty good, it's just ground up fruit that's been dehydrated. Sort of like fruit jerky. Some people like it, some people hate it, but if you wanna try it you can usually find it at health food stores.
  8. Anonymous kalki posted at 9:50 PM  
    Mmmm, now I've got a craving for Taco Bell.

    Kidding. I'm kidding.
  9. Blogger Nessa posted at 10:08 PM  
    ahhhhh - the perks of Houston - 4 authentic taquerias on every corner! and let's not forget the infamous taco trucks - they are scary, but so worth it if you pick the right one on the right day!

    at least you get 3 more months of great mexican food!!!!
  10. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 6:40 AM  
    Lengua-tongue is not bad if it is cut into to cubes and put in a taco. Put some salsa (along with onions and cilantro) on it and it is good to go.

    I am not sure that I would eat a bigger piece though.

    Goat is good too. Barbacoa and Birria, uhhhm. Good shit.

    What is San Angelo pie??

    El Guapo
  11. Blogger Aurora posted at 6:52 AM  
    This is why i love montreal, we have a ton of real authenic resturants all over the freaking place. Now i'm hungry...
  12. Blogger Spurious Plum posted at 6:58 AM  
    Spurious Plum said...
    Nif- I would totally drive to canada for good mexican food. That's this place called?

    Echrai-Supermercados have lots of non-Mexican food too. You should try it out. If they're for real, they'll have lots of nice veggies. Mmm. Veggies. Can I come live with you?

    Guapo- I understand what you're trying to say, but don't be so grumpy. You've redeemed yourself by discussing barbacoa. Smooches.

    Amanda B.- I actually have a box of flan in the house. I can mail that to you, or give you a good recipie to make it yourself. Email me!

    MRTL- What in the world is San Angelo Pie? I have to know.

    Caroline- I may have to try some fruit leather (which kind would you reccommend?), but I don't think lengua's for me...

    Kalki- Girl, you got thisclose to getting bitchslapped in public. Taco Bell. Hmph! (See, there's my snob thing agin...)

    Sillynessa- A good truck is like a gift from above. But the bad ones, ooooh my. Enjoy your houston-ness and eat something tasty for me!

    Airea- Lucky girl living near tasty food! Pick me up a torta while you're out. Thanks!
  13. Blogger Circus Kelli posted at 8:29 AM  
    Kalki - Hee! I'm with you... when I saw the title, I seriously thought "Hm. Taco Bell. I should have that for lunch today."

    Plum - Did I mention I grew up under a rock?
  14. Blogger Candace posted at 9:30 AM  
    We were pretty happy to have discovered a darn-near authentic Mexican restaurant in our town. It's not *really* authentic, but it's close enough for me. Read: it's not Don Pablo's, the salsa is truly divine, and their queso doesn't turn into a lead lump in my tummy.

    Where are you moving to, Plummie?
  15. Blogger laurenbove posted at 11:09 AM  
    I have gone to some excellent Mexican food places and even have one in walking distance. YUM and Hooray for La Salsa! You cannot believe how tasty fresh and cheap that place is. Only trouble? No margaritas etc.

    I've been to Rosa Mexicana in NYC and that is the realllll deal. Real mexican food apparently is not what most americans are used to tacos etc.

    Go to NYC w/ dear Mateo and have a pomegranate margarita on me!
  16. Blogger kilowatthour posted at 4:02 PM  
    yay taqueria! i used to live around the corner from one such place. i have no idea what it was called other than taqueria. it's where i had my first horchata. mmmmmm... horchata.
  17. Anonymous lawbrat posted at 4:52 PM  
    OH NO! All that time looking, being disapointed, to find the 'one' and you only have 3 months. I feel your pain. It hurts, I know. Its hard to find the right mexican food, and have it ripped from your mouths.

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