Monday, April 19, 2010

Tex-Mex Time

If I woke up this morning with indigestion, a slightly puffy face, and ever-so-slightly hung over, I only had myself to blame. 

Last night, when John and I were weighing our dinner options of pizza or ... pizza ... since neither of us could be bothered to cook, I suddenly had a craving for tex-mex - not the wonderful, homemade steak fajitas my brother bought from a Mexican family who ran their business out of a trailer in an empty Edgewood parking lot, no, I craved the bastardized version of authentic Mexican food affectionately dubbed tex-mex in the States.  "I could have a burrito," I blurted out suddenly to John.  He looked up from his Economist.  "Yeah, that sounds good."  "Yeah, I could have some Mexican rice with refried beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and beef."  I paused.  "And cheese."  "Ok, shut up, I get it, you're making me hungry now," John said, annoyed.  I opened my iBook and started searching for "Mexican takeaways in London W9."  Nothing.  Nada.  The two places we called were restaurants and sadly informed me they didn't do "takeaway" (in fact, they sounded a bit insulted that I asked in the first place).

"How about this one?" John suggested, showing me the Chilango website.  "Oh yeah," I said, a flicker of recognition stirring within.  "They opened one on Fleet Street recently."  "Well, there's one in Angel," said John.  A smile crept over his face.  "We could ... you know, drive there."  Ever since John's been recently blessed with Ivan's second-hand Skoda (in a lovely shade of daffodil yellow, nonetheless), he's been quite excited about the prospect of doing "big shops" on the weekends at the "big Asda or big Tesco" which we couldn't normally get to.  "Okay," I said, grabbing the GPS and programming in Chilango's address.  "It says here it should only take 10 minutes." 

I called the place to order first so I could jump out and grab our food when we got there.  An American voice answered, "Thank you for calling Chillannnnngooo, how may I help you?"  "Uh, yeah, can I order two burritos for takeaway, please?" I asked.  "Uh, I don't think so," the guy drawled.  "Why don't you just come in?  I mean, in the span of our conversation just now I could have made four burritos."  "Yeah, like, would love to?" I said impatiently.  "But we're, like, driving over and I just wanted to pick them up real quick."  "Honestly," the guy said.  "It's not going to make a difference and it'll be easier for you and me.  Hey, are you American?"  "No, I'm Canadian," I snapped.  "Okay, but you're still from North America."  "Okay, okay, I'm American."  "Great, come in and say hi if you stop by."  "Yeah, whatever, I'll see you in 20."

30 minutes later ...

We were stuck in an underpass as three lanes merged into one at the top of Euston Road.  "Oh my God," I moaned, as the Coronas clanged in the backseat.  "My burrito ... it's calling to me."  I looked over at John, who fared no better.  His jaw was set in an angry clench and he shouted, "Hey!" as he desperately sought the horn button when a dirty Lexus SUV obnoxiously angled itself between us and the car in front.  A hand gesture followed.  Uh oh.  If the King of Cool loses his calm, you know you're in trouble.

Nearly 40 minutes later, we spotted Chilango on Upper Street, which had replaced Mucho Mas (our former tex-mex favorite).  I ran in front of a moving bus (hope you're not reading this, mom) and raced into Chilango to order my burritos from the familiar counter, asking for extra pico de gallo and hot sauce.  Then I ran back to our car where John spent the next 20 minutes defiantly ignoring the TomTom and managed to get us home at a reasonable hour.  By then, I had a throbbing headache and the burritos were cold.

But oh, they were still so good, and so satisfying.  I downed my Corona in about 10 minutes flat and wolfed down my double stuffed treat.  Afterwards, I rolled myself onto the sofa, clutching my stomach and groaning with satisfied pain, watching Louis Theroux on TV.  I couldn't have thought of a better way to spend my Sunday evening.

Photo source


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