Today is July 30, 2014, and I am sitting in a Mexican restaurant in Orange, California.
This eatery has just reopened after a multi-decade long hiatus.
When I was growing up and living in the Golden State, my parents would bring home food (usually burritos, tacquitos, enchiladas, and great heaps of chips) from this establishment and we would devour the fine vittles.
I was already gone from Orange County when this restaurant closed, so I was never able to miss it. However, my parents did and when me and my family came to visit this summer, they were eager to take me back to a place from my youth.
Back at the restaurant, I ordered a red enchilada which I seem to recall was one of my favorites. I took the food back to my table and drove my teeth into the meat-filled tortilla and it was there and then that I learned today’s lesson.
TIL – Some things are better left as memories.
In the two decades since this restaurant closed and opened, I have had the opportunity to eat food prepared by Mexicans and even dine in Mexico City. In other words, I have had authentic Mexican food.
What now filled my mouth was as far from Mexican cuisine as I was from being a Latvian neurosurgeon (which, if you don’t know me, is an extremely long way). Whether the food at this establishment had always been this lackluster (and my inexperience knew no better) or whether the new owners and cooks were at fault is beside the point. What I took away from this adventure as I slowly chewed my way through a flavorless meal was that the land of Nostalgia is a nice place for the brain to visit, but I don’t want to live (or eat) there.
It’s a good day when you learn something new.