Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hot--Not Haute--Cuisine

I don't like New Year's resolutions and, for the most part, refuse to take part in the ritual of making and breaking them. This year, however, I vowed (although I did NOT call it a New Year's resolution) to eat less food that came wrapped in paper. Yes, it's true--far too many of my meals were ordered from a speaker and thrust at me, encased in a paper bag, through a tiny window. And I think I've been doing a pretty good job of it, cooking almost every night.

Sometimes, however, no matter how good the cookin' at home is, there is some old food friend just calling your name. That's exactly what happened today. For the past couple of years, we have been frequenting Carolina's, a family-owned and operated Mexican food place (I hesitate to call it a restaurant) only about 12 miles from our house. (In our neck of the woods, there is very little that is closer than 8 miles, so 12 really isn't bad.) This place started as a tortilla stand on the wrong side of the railroad tracks. Eventually, they attracted a clientele that drove from all the surrounding suburbs for chorizo, red chile burros, silky refried beans, and most of all, those homemade tortillas--newspaper thin, the size of tires on some people's cars, piping hot, and--best of all--less than $2 a dozen. So, they opened another place, farther north. The ambiance is nonexistent, there is counter service only, and it's almost impossible to find a table that has been wiped down. However, the food is irresistible.

So, after errands and attendance at an event for work, our car just found its way there, where we feasted on chips, salsa, tacos, tostadas, and chorizo burritos--and walked out the door for eleven bucks and change. Tomorrow, I'll eat off of china. Tonight, paper was just fine.

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