I've Got Two Words for Ya: Taco Tuesday
OK, for all my flowery and inspirational talk of finding the beauty right outside my own door, I have to admit I’ve gotten up these last few days in a funk. It’s been mighty tempting to pull the covers back up and stay right there in bed.
It could be the gray and drizzle, unusual for these parts but a reminder of my beautiful but often dreary home state. Which reminds me of my family, which makes me miss them, which makes me a little blue, which . . .
Yup, it could be that.
But more likely it’s the slow dawning that after four months away from Los Angeles, I am truly and fully back — at least until Joe and I figure out what our next big step is. So this must be the low after the high, I tell my Self. It’ll go away. Right?
I was feeling particularly whiny after putting in a load of laundry, sleuthing out where the dog peed, and being Snapchatted a photo of my daughter traveling in Paris with a good family friend who is NOT ME. So, I re-read my recent post about seeing anew what’s right in front of you. That is, funding the extraordinary in the ordinary. My goodness, I am full of platitudes, aren't I?
“Walk your talk, lady,” my Self yells at me.
To beat my blues, Joe and I and the peeing dog (who I think is still a little pissed that we left her for those months with our loving pet sitter, even though she is practically Lucy’s second mother) set out toward Venice Beach with a cool breeze buffeting our hair and Lucy prancing like the princess she is.
We’d forgotten to eat lunch so as we walked by the swaying palm trees my stomach grumbled. And, my mind wandered to French brie. The real kind. The French brie we ate in France. From there it traveled across the border to those tiny fish tapas we had in Madrid. And the cheap wine we enjoyed in both countries.
Frankly, I think the dramatic reduction in unpasteurized cheese and croissants and red wine in our diets has made me kinda cranky. It occurred to me I should probably take a look at that . . .
But, just as that thought passed through my head, we happened walk by Cabo Cantina, our favorite hole-in-the-wall Taco Tuesday bar. Which is weird, since it only gets three stars on Yelp, and Joe is a stickler for stars. As we continued forward, I closed my eyes and inhaled the rich aroma of charred steak and lime. And then, without warning, I made a U-turn pulling Joe and the dog in oily outside bar seats.
The margaritas at Cabo are ridiculous. They are boats. No one person should ever drink one. But if there are two of you, well, it’s kind of the perfect light buzz. Still, nothing special there. You can get a drink anywhere in the world. Even the French drink Margaritas (although I think they French them up with Chambord and sometimes Grand Marnier).
The thing is, you can’t really get the perfect Taco Tuesday anywhere but LA, West LA to be precise. As soon as we sat down, this truth ascended on me.
Tacos could be the California state food. Or at least the food mascot for Los Angeles.
I know, I know, your city, wherever you are, probably has a Mexican restaurant that puts a sign out every Tuesday and sticks out extra chairs to make room for the hordes of all-you-can-eat taco lovers. And, in fact, the term Taco Tuesday was coined first by Taco John’s in Wyoming nearly 50 years ago, not in LA. But the real spirit of the day, the real essence of Taco Tuesday, is a SoCal beachside thing. Especially if you have a chihuaha.
You need to be downing your boatload of tacos with a little salt from the Pacific Ocean and a little smog wafting through the air. Even better if those tacos are made by a chef with Mexican origins. And 100 percent better if those tacos come from a taco truck run by a Mexican family and parked in a beach parking lot with a really long line in front of it by Tuesday by 6 PM.
Taco Tuesday is not just a promotional campaign in LA. It’s a way of life. There are so many tacos, prepared so many ways, all over this city on a Tuesday (and Wednesday though Monday), you could Taco Tuesday for the rest of your life and not taste them all.
Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration but the point is, you can’t get this in France.
See? Looking in my own back yard, I found the beauty. Last night’s tacos got me through a rough spot.
It was a slow night. Only four tacos for Joe and three for me. But darn if we didn’t saunter home feeling nicely rummy and over-full and glad to be home. For now.