Sunday, November 2, 2008

Acting LIke It Was a Weekend

I treated this Saturday and Sunday as if they combined to be a weekend. It was a pleasant thing to do and I shall do it more often if obligations will stand in abeyance on a routine basis.

Saturday, a very late breakfast was had at The Mecca, a very old, very popular diner-style restaurant that I'd seen before, but had never been inside. It is in an old delapidated old two-story house. It's a very old-fashioned place, the perfect combination of wear and tear and great menu items that draws in the almost-famous, would-have-been-famous, used-to-be-famous, and lots of middle-aged and older bikers, cops, families with all their upteen children, and on and on. Most people I know would not go inside because they would be uneasy, at best, or afraid, at worst. It's not a particularly inviting place from the outside, and inside it doesn't get any better, except the staff are friendly and all the people eating there appear to be friendly (or, at least, they don't throw threatening looks toward entering guests). I highly recommend it. Their Saturday cinnamon rolls are said to be wonderful (they say...and I overhead some customers say).

Then, a long drive in the country, north along I-75 to Melissa, thence east to Bonham. An hour or two spent looking for a national grassland area, only to give up after finding and wandering around an old, almost deserted park that was heavily wooded and had a beautiful lake right in the middle. About 8-10 old stone and log cabins, still standing but much the worse the wear for doing so, were near the lake. I'd like to go there and camp one day, but the signs say that is not allowed. That, plus I need thick, soft queen-sized (minimum) mattresses when I camp, along with nice lighting, no bugs, and better eyesight.

On the way home, lured by a sign that advertised home-made tamales, we stopped and visited with a little old white lady who claimed she'd been selling them from the little building in front of her house for 29 years. We bought a dozen and headed home.

When we opened the package, it became instantly apparent to me that it is simply wrong to buy tamales from little old white ladies in East Texas, no matter how long they've been making them. Little old white ladies in East Texas apparently have no idea that tamales are supposed to taste like...nor look like. They were slippery, perfectly formed little brown logs that plopped out of the corn husk casings far too uniformly. They looked to me like (and I don't mean to offend anyone's sensibilities, so if you have sensibilities that are subject to offense, stop reading now) perfectly formed little turds, as if they had been produced by a perfect replica of a perfect little humanoid. They tasted only moderately better than they looked. Fortunately, we had made a rather nice batch of chile con queso which, when used to drown the little turds, helped cover their stench and their unsightliness.

Sunday, another breakfast out, this time at Rosita's, a neat little Mexican place on Maple Avenue. Like other restaurants we like, it's authentic; we can never say authentic what, but it is authentic something. Real food, real waitresses with real foibles, etc. But worth every penny. This morning's meal was ordered off the menu (they actually have a Mexican breakfast buffet that looks pretty good); migas and chilaquiles. The chilaquiles were far better than the migas, but I've long been spoiled by Bigote's migas; there are none better worldwide, I'm sure, and certainly none better in Arlington, where they are located.

Later in the day brought a much more extensive wander, including a visit to the Oak Clff section of Dallas and some strange little eating and grazing places. First was a tiny, very old Mexican grill, with a walk-up window and a couple of old concrete tables and benches. It's on the fringe of the Bishop Arts District, the gentrification of decades of Mexican-American homes and apartments that have succumbed to young, well-off, and tragically un-hip people who don't realize that their lifestyles are killing cultures. Despite the impending death of all things Hispanic, the little place survives and they serve a nice taco de lengua and a decent taco de tercera. Thence, a brief drive down a one-way street, smiling broadly at a Black copy during the process, and a stop at a newly opened coffee/book/bakery shop whose name escapes me. I prowled around, glancing at books about Sarah Palin, books about lesbianism and pottery and their relationship, books about freedom and purity, and other stuff that didn't grab my attention very much. But the purchase of a couple of cookies was propitious. After leaving and driving a good 3-4 miles, I tasted a coconut macaroon and an almond cookies and felt urge to return.

So, a u-turn and undue speed and, bam, there it was again...a place where baked goods drove my life and my decisions. I'm normally not like that for sweets; but these were more than sweets. I can only imagine being hooked on some powerful drug...

More driving and wandering and being hyper-lazy before stopping at a couple of grocery stores and then home to unload it all.

I want to retire. I really do. I want to be independently solvent and have a bunch of grocery stores nearby that will call my name.


Nicole said...

Me too!

Kathy Rogers said...

Sounds like a pretty fabulous weekend. Cookies worth going back for? I'll send you my shipping address...

YourFireAnt said...

I'm in favor of doing MORE of this acting like it's a weekend. And letting it spill over into the week too. Wotthehell!