El Favorito (Everybody’s Favorite)

7/5 on the way home

We should stop by the capital of Ohio. What is it? Columbus. At least I think so. Ah, we actually drive right through it so sure. We should have dinner there. Okay.

photo 3By the time we get there it’s past 9 pm and most restaurants were closed for the weekday. We Yelp and find an off the road, low key place called Los Guachos Taquiera. I’ll just say right now that it’s the best and most authentic Mexican food I’ve ever had. The place is a little bit shady, off a dark road and residing in what should be a blow out sale store. When we went in, there was a family busily eating on the right and two guys in front of us in line. They were in their late teens; one kept staring at us. Even if we made eye contact with him he wouldn’t look away– just deliberately stared– talk about major awk and uncomfortable.

I had a lot of questions about the menu and asked Erika a million questions like a toddler. Jarrito. A lot of flavors for it: mango… well, that’s the only flavor I remember, but what was it? A jar? A burrito in a jar. That sounds delicious. In the end, I decided on a burrito and a gringa.

photo 2“What’s a Mexican coke?”

“It tastes different. It’s made with cane sugar or something.”

“But it’s just coke?”

“Yeah. I don’t know if you’ll like it though.” I said I’d give it a shot. The cashier was about as tall as the register. She had dyed light brown hair that kind of clashed with her skin tone, but the shape of her short cut framed and flattered her face. She didn’t understand me when I said “el favorito” so I repeated myself twice. The guy sitting at the bar chuckled; I could feel the sympathy in the vicinity. I added that I wanted a Mexican coke.

She asked in an heavy accent, “What flavor?”

Wait, what? I looked over to Erika and she looked at me, expecting. I looked back at the cashier and she was waiting on me too. “What flavor do you want?” Erika reinforced. Uhh.

“I don’t know. Um, what do you recommend?”

“I would get the tamarino, but that’s my personal preference. I’m not sure if you’ll like it though.”

“It’s okay, if I don’t like it I’ll just blame it all on you.” I tried laughing my confusion off. I thought coke was just a Coke? The cashier announced my total and then handed me two old-fashioned soda glass bottles: one jarrito and one coke. I walked to our table in a daze.

photo 1I squeezed a lot of lime on my burrito. The cashier didn’t put in my order for a gringa.

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