craving trashy Mexican food
Saturday, November 16 2019
Gretchen's parents called during Saturday morning coffee, and it's looking like they'll be coming up for Thanksgiving, which we will all be doing at Justin & Erica's place in Brooklyn. They'll want a warm guest room, so it seemed prudent to hook up the split already installed in there. Since I'd already spooled out the wire for that split, the installation was mostly just a hookup. For now, the wire will just lie on the surface, and I will worry about burying it in the springtime (I've already got two segments of flexible hose conduit around it for where it will enter and exit the ground).
Then I turned my attention to wiring up the split in the laboratory. I wanted to minimize holes cut in the house, particularly those puncturing the outside membrane, so much of the prep work involved figuring out where things were with respect to a person standing in three different places: the shop, the laboratory, and the out on the laboratory deck. Then I had to begin removing things that were in the way of cutting open the (hopefully few) places I would have to cut open. I also wanted to make the shop a little more pleasant to work in than it wanted to be in such unseasonably cold conditions, so I set up a space heater and closed the normally-open shop doors. One of these doors is an extra-wide entrance that is closed using a three overlapping closet doors held in a track at the top and just sliding on the floor. In an effort to open these doors, I was in a bit of a hurry and wasn't paying attention, so of course one of the door panels suddenly moved with a jolt, slamming into another. My left index finger was trapped between the two, and it got smushed. The damage was enough to tear off a quarter-inch flap of skin from near the nail's cuticle, which began to bleed. I also saw an immediate hematoma had developed under the nearby fingernail. Now I'll have two nails on that hand with continent-shaped black marks on them, each moving slowly towards their respective fingers' tips. Supposedly continents actually drift at about the speed that fingernails grow, though of course the scaled down "continents" on my nails are moving much too fast given that scaling.
Tonight for date night, Gretchen treated it sort of like it was my birthday, in compensation for what she'd put me through last week. I was feeling in the mood for what I described as "trashy Mexican food," the kind I used to get with my family at Rosa's Cantina in Staunton, Virginia back in the 1980s. Such food is almost indistinguishable when it arrives in front of you, hidden as it is beneath a thick pelt of shredded iceberg lettuce. It typically must be eaten with a knife and fork, which is a very different experience from eating, say, a modern California-style burrito. So we ended up going to Cancuns (yes, it has an "s" at the end, but maybe no apostrophe) in Red Hook. That's a restaurant I've only ever been to with coworkers at my present job, but I knew it had precisely the kind of food I was craving. [REDACTED]
It was as cold as a typical winter day when I parked in the parking lot near the Red Hook Police Department. But once in the door of Cancuns, what with its yellow-heavy decor and many Hispanic diners (the place was pretty full, and more than half weren't gringos), it was as if we'd been transported elsewhere. Maybe not Cancun or even Mexico, but it didn't feel like Red Hook. I've mentioned in the past that Cancuns gives every indication that its catering to a douchey gringo clientel (it's called Cancuns and offers a lot of fratty drinks), but it's more popular with the local Mexican population than most of the touristy restaurants one finds in the Yucat´n. One nice feature about Cancuns, which contributed to the old-school trashy vibe I was craving, is that they automatically give you a big bowl of corn chips with salsa moments after you take a seat. And those chips are good too!
I ordered what I always order at Cancuns, a veganized "green burrito," while Gretchen found some dish that completely resonated with her cravings (normally in Mexican restaurants she ends up settling on a bunch of side dishes). I'd misremembered how Cancuns' green burrito is assembled. Unlike the trashy knife & fork burritos of my youth, this one somehow had its shredded lettuce on the inside, and yet it managed to maintain its fresh crispiness there.
As for drinks, I ordered some sort of fancy margarita, while Gretchen ordered the michelada, which is a Mexican bloody mary whose alcohol comes from a beer. Cunningly, Cancuns doesn't provide a price on the menu with any of their drinks, so you don't know until you see la cuenta that your margarita was $12. "It's for a good cause," I rationalized.
Saturday morning coffee, with a stove full of hot coals: the embodiment of the Danish concept of hygge. From left: Charles, Neville (the "hygge's boson") and Ramona. Click to enlarge.
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