Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dos Cervezas, Por Favor

I like to think of my recent trip to Mexico as the quest for the perfect fish taco. Well, actually shrimp taco. Fish just tastes so, well, fishy. I would say that not a day went by in Mexico that I did not eat one of these deletable treats, and on several days I had them for multiple meals, always from different restaurants though, so I could continue my search.

You would think a shrimp taco would be pretty simple: shrimp, sauce, something green, folded in a tortilla. However, there are so many variations on the this theme it boggles the mind. Is the tortilla flour or corn? Is the sauce tomato or mayo based? Do you grill or fry the shrimp? Well, the answer to that one is easy -- everything tastes better fried. But all of the other variations had to be carefully tried and considered, and then mixed and matched with the other variables to find the ultimate combination. My favorite was fried (of course) shrimp in a flour tortilla, with a spicy tartar sauce and lots of cabbage. The best was in a little town called San Francisco up the beach from our house where we ducked in when it was raining so hard I thought I might drown. The shrimp were perfectly crunchy on the outside, the sauce didn't taste too much like mayo, but still had the mouth feel of something fatty, and the cabbage didn't just taste cold. Of course, I was the only person who preferred my shrimp tacos this way, and other people ordered theirs in corn tortillas or topped them with guacamole. That's fine, to each their own, but they're all just wrong.

One thing we all agreed on was tequila. Sure, we drank it different ways, but we all really, really liked it. There were traditional margaritas, mango margaritas, tequila with sangrita chasers, and straight shots. I didn't really go for the shots, I'm too lady like. I did drink a margarita served in a glass I could wear as a hat though. I like to think I maintained my ladylike composure after finishing it, though Ryan assures me that was not the case. Eh, well, it's Mexico, what are you going to do?

When I wasn't eating shrimp tacos or trying to convince my husband, in my margarita haze, that it would be fun to jump in the enormous puddles rather than walk on the next street over that was dry, I was trying other delicacies. I had some pretty good mole, but nothing like that you can get here in town at the Red Iguana. Same goes for Mexican rice and beans. No one makes it better than El Chihuahua where I have been going with my family since I was born. You can say my tastes are Americanized but I just think they have better recipes.

The other thing I really didn't like in Mexico was the sweets. Yeah, the ice cream and the frozen stuff was good, but what the fuck is flan? And how can a culture make such delicious bread, but then go so horribly wrong with pastries? Now, I am not a big pastry person to begin with, but I think living in a Latin country might put me off of them for life. It's all mad fruit muffins or weird turnovers. The only place I've seen worse parties is in New Zealand, where everything it frosted red and covered in coconut. It's a country full of Zingers.

So, now I am back in the states and staring once again on Weight Watchers tomorrow. I really don't know how I did it, but I gained three pounds... I mean, after all, doesn't everything eaten on vacation not count towards your real life waistline?


Ellen said...

Wow. That Margarita really IS as big as your head! Impressive!