America, Animals, Culture, Family, Food, Health, Mexico, Summer

T-Shirt Trade

I traded a t-shirt for a grilled chicken salad. And, it was a great swap. We were at a teacher’s fair (which basically amounts to a bunch of crazed teachers trying to get free stuff as quickly as they can) and our shirts were the most popular item.

As we were setting up our table, (pre- crazy teachers) a girl from another table representing a local restaurant came over and asked to swap gift cards for a shirt. She held out 4 cards for free salads, which just happens to be my favorite meal, and I gladly gave her a shirt. I’ll trade veggies for t-shirts any day! 

We had our family reunion this past weekend and my grandma was telling a story about how even when I was little, I’d eat anything. For me, that pretty much sums up my family reunion experience. Inevitably, the conversation turns to what weird things I’ve eaten over the past year since everyone last saw me. I’ve told the dog and egg story quite a bit. If you didn’t catch those the first time around, check them out here and here.

After being at the family reunion, Monday and Tuesday were pretty hectic, just trying to catch up. One of the churches we work with called on Tuesday afternoon (after the teacher fair that morning) and said, oh, by the way, those 400 shirts we ordered: we need those in 3 hours. And we need them delivered to the church (which is one hour from our shop). No big deal. 

Jake’s hands after printing 400 custom dyed shirts


After delivering them, we were exhausted. And, I needed a reward for surviving the day. And the reward I chose? Tacos. 

Jake and I typically eat at the Mexican restaurants that you actually have to speak Spanish at to order. Not really your run of the mill places. We order things like huaraches, tlacoyos, and chilaquiles. This place was an in between place. Not commercialized, but not way off the map either. There were a couple things on the menu I didn’t recognize though. 

Listed under the taco fillings, it had mulitas. I took Spanish in high school and Jake took German, so occasionally, I will recognize Spanish words that he doesn’t. But when he asked me if I knew what it was, I didn’t recognize that one. So, he looked it up on his phone. 

And this is what showed up. 


Armadillo tacos, anyone? 

My first thought was: surely they aren’t really serving that here. My second thought was: should I order it? 

I realized the issue though. Mulita and mulitas are two different things. It turns out that mulita is the name for an armadillo in Uruguay and Argentina). Mulitas, however, are more like tortilla sandwiches. Almost like a quesadilla, but not quite. Either way, mulitas have nothing to do with armadillo. Unless you made them with armadillo meat. So, I guess you could have mulita mulitas in Argentina. 

I played it safe and just had chicken. 

And, I was pleased to find out the next day that the church we made a late delivery for gave us a sweet gift. Gourmet popcorn. 

Trading food for t-shirts? A yes every time. Just maybe not for armadillo tacos. 

Standard
Celebration, Food, Mexico

Cinco Celebrations

I currently have three drinks in the car. This is a habit that drives the people around me crazy. I have a lime water, coffee and tea. I like to stay well hydrated, what can I say. Plus, I have 9 stops on my list today, so I’m gonna need the proper amount of caffeine to make it through all of this. My brother thought it was a good idea to make Teacher Appreciation gifts to give out at local schools with our business information on it. Good idea? Yes. Driving around Northwest Arkansas to execute the good idea? Me.

Our

Our “In a Crunch and need shirts fast? Call us!” promotional (idea creds: me)

Since its Cinco de Mayo and since I have an admittedly involved and tangled love affair with Mexican food, I thought that deserved a special post. Am I right or am I right? My mainstay: a little taco shop where they let you pile on as much cilantro and onion as you please. This gem was discovered a couple years ago and me and Wanda (the owner’s daughter and my order taker) are on a first name basis. She also knows my order, which makes it super convenient for me. Is it bad that I get the same thing every time? Maybe. Is it bad that I go here often enough for someone to know my order? Probably.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.45.11 PM

You order at the counter and then when your food is up, they yell your number from a window, in either English or Spanish. I don’t know how they know which language to use, but trust me, they always know. Your #1 job at this point: know your number. And, as soon as they yell your number, you better be hustling because they’ll continue to yell it until they see it’s claimed. It holds up the whole process if you don’t get up there quickly, so you’ve always gotta be on your toes. This is Mexican food, it’s serious business.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.45.48 PM

Ok, let me take a side road here into a different topic, but still related. The place I just told you about is a taqueria (meaning they specialize in tacos and burritos, although this one also offers sopes and tamales, both of which are delicious as well, but I digress). There are also pupuserias (specializing in pupusas, a special and altogether different delicacy from El Salvador) and panaderias (specializing in baked goods) in our area. Rule #1: don’t go into a taqueria and ask if they have pupusas. Rule #2: don’t go into a pupuseria and ask if they have chilequiles (a Mexican dish with eggs, don’t forget: you are {hypothetically} in a Salvadoran restaurant at this point.) A pupuseria will typically have tacos but taquerias won’t have pupusas. It’s confusing, I know, but seeing as how I basically have a degree in Latino dishes, it all makes sense. Just trust me. These are pretty hard and fast rules. But, there are always exceptions. Doing this is essentially the equivalent of going into a pizza place and asking if they have fried chicken. Which, come to think of it, they might. This is America, after all.

Not the mainstay, but another very good option

Not the mainstay, but another very good option

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Mexican food. So, I have my standard orders at all my different places, but sometimes when you see something different, you should try it because you never know. So, I ventured into La Super Quesadilla (not as Americanized as it’s name would lead you to believe, don’t be fooled.) It’s weird how walking into a place where no one speaks English and everyone stares at you because you are literally the only white person there can make you feel so at home. I decided to order the most difficult thing to pronounce on the menu. Tlacoyos. And when I executed the pronunciation correctly in my first try, my waitress seemed thoroughly impressed, like maybe she had judged the blonde girl all wrong. (Thank you Mrs. Henson for all the Spanish you did and didn’t teach me. Remember: today is Teacher Appreciation day)

I ordered mine with chicken

I ordered mine with chicken

Tlacoyos is one I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. It is pretty much a huge tortilla with a bunch of vegetables and nopales on it. And in case you aren’t up on your Spanish, nopal is cactus. And I have to tell you, it was really good. I would definitely order it again. If you see it on a menu, it’s a must try! Plus, this was the biggest tortilla I think I’ve seen in my whole life. And, trust me, I’ve seen a lot of tortillas in my day.

And, no, I didn't finish this whole thing, in case you were wondering.

And, no, I didn’t finish this whole thing, in case you were wondering.

And to end this post, I feel it is my duty to have us all take a moment to remember General Zaragoza (of the Mexican army circa 1862) and his victory over the French army and thank this kind man for making a day where it is appropriate for millions of Americans to gorge themselves on Mexican food to honor a victory in a battle in which we didn’t even fight. Amen.

Standard
Food, Mexico

Talkin’ Tacos

I’m cutting up my first melon of the season, which makes me pretty happy. Except that I didn’t grow it. But, I did buy seeds for four different types of cantaloupe. So, come July/August, I hope to have some homegrown. That remains to be seen.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.05.20 PM

I drove by this sketchy little Mexican restaurant the other day while passing through a small town in southwest Missouri. Delivering t-shirts takes me in a lot of interesting directions. But, I saw the sign and thought: I have to try it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.05.30 PM

It just so happened that one of my friends was going to be in town and wanted to have lunch. Word to the wise: don’t ever give me the choice of where we’ll eat unless you are feeling adventurous.You know how sometimes you just know when someone gets you? Yeah, that’s Christina for me. I think she might be my oldest friend. We started out in children’s church together and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s like the little sister I never had.

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 4.12.42 PM

And, she was happy to go to the Mexican dive with me. I knew it was authentic when we walked in and sat down and one of the other customers whistled loudly to a man, who dashed out from the back to bring us menus and three different types of “salsa”, which I titled hot, hotter, and hottest. Apparently, whistling is the secret signal for new customers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 4.05.40 PM

We took a while to order, mostly because the entire menu was in Spanish and because we were busy catching up. Finally, we got around to figuring out what we wanted. So, what did Christina order? Tacos de la lengua. And in case you haven’t brushed up on your Spanish lately, that translates to “tongue tacos”, as in beef tongue cut up and wrapped in a tortilla, and topped with a generous portion of cilantro and onions.

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 4.13.20 PM

So, three hours (yes, we literally talked for three hours) and three tongue tacos later, we wrapped up lunch. I knew we were best friends for a reason.

Standard