Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rice and Beans........and chicken fried

Wendell Idaho... dirty yellow building in the blazing sun, wind blowing, and 3 miles out of town a prairie fire. So... the haze of smoke in the air, the smell gagging at times. But I was hungry, and decided to pull over for a late lunch.
I walk in the door of La Tapatia, and immediately notice the lunch specials only last till 4pm and it's 4:07. Okay, I make the best of a bad deal and scan the menu, cute little latina asks if I want hot or mild, I say HOT automatically, then look around and see all the latinos sitting at tables sweating, and the air conditioning is cool. I call after her, make it mild.... She comes back with a basket of chips and a crock of salsa, I taste cautiously, okay, tomato rush, I grab a bigger bite, yuck, might as well be ketchup. A few more bites confirm the theory. Okay I can fix this, there is three bottles on the table, one familiar red sauce, bout the same name as the restaurant. One bottle labeled HOT habanero, red sauce, and the other labeled XXXTRA HOT Habanero that's actually grey sauce. I grab the red HOT sauce, shake some in the salsa and take a bite. "Shit" the room starts spinning I grab the table and try to breath. Images of Gago going to the hospital flash through my head (another story,) I finally breath and realize that's not good either, my eyes then start watering and I wonder what it's like to be sprayed with pepper spray full on in the eyes. A few gasps later and some water is all to be found, I clear my eyes and look around, everybody is now grinning, a real gringo in their midst.
Hoping to make the best of it, I check out the menu again, hmmmm, Milanaza, under it in english says "Fried Steak." Okay, I'll bite, I thought carne asada was fried steak. Aha, another item below that one, Milanaza De Pollo, english translation below "Chicken Fried Steak."

Now I'm not on a Quest for nothing, here's my chance to experience some real southern, like south of the border chicken fried steak. I smile at the waitress, gasp for some Dew and a chicken fried steak pointing at the menu. She nods her head writes something down and takes off. About 5 minutes later a hot plate is delivered to my table, Rice and beans, okay no surprise there, this is Mexican food, and a wafer thin dark brown piece of meat. I inspect it, it's been coated and deep fried, kinda thin, I try a couple bites....... This meat is white, a couple more bites tells the story. This is chicken fried chicken, thin, coated with flour and corn meal, not too bad, overcooked though. I'd rate it a 4, not something I'd order again, the fresh tortillas were good. I figure the english translator was latino and switched the order of the words around. Milanaza would be chicken fried beef, with the de pollo making it chicken fried chicken. Oh well, live and learn, I can always go down the road to the Flying J and get a golden corn meal wrapped tube steak called a "corn dog".... or would that be a hotdog tamale?

Laters all and stay safe!!

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