BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO
¡ASK A MEXICAN!
SPECIAL YEAR-END EDICION
Dear Mexican: Why in the hell does everything have to be in English and Spanish? I ride the bus/train to work (not because I must, but because it’s more efficient) and every time someone requests to stop, you hear “Stop Requested,” then this parrar bullshit! Not to mention the schools are packed with ESL students and teachers. I want my daughter to learn from an English teacher, not someone who just came across the border her damn self. I am tired of catering to you motherfuckers. No other country babysits Americans the way America babysits Mexicans. I’m tired of feeling like a handicapped or less-than TRUE American Citizen cause I don’t “meet the qualifications.” Qualifications? I have a degree! My English in damn-near perfect! Because we refuse to cater to you spics, we as a country suffer. Fix your own land and quit jumping borders!
— Sick of All of You
Dear Gabacho: Between your point in insisting you don’t ride public transit due to economic duress, the fact bilingualism exists in your day-to-day life, your child attending a super-majority Mexican school, your whining about affirmative action, and your fucked-up logic (you mean because the U.S. does cater to spics, everyone else suffers) I’ll peg you as a working-class gabacho who’d rather blame Mexicans for his sad existence than the captains of industry who make our economy the way it is. May the holidays bring your family luck, and may the Virgin of Guadalupe take off your class blinders so you can open your eyes, ese.
Why do you only answer two questions per week? Don’t your publishers know that they could hire a gringo to answer four questions per week at the same price? I know these questions must cut into your tequila time, but at least you don’t have to do any heavy lifting. There’s so much more I want to know about Mexican culture like, “Why do Mexicans wear cowboy boots while playing polka music?” or “Why doesn’t Mexico just apply to become our 51st state?” or “Is Gustavo Arellano really the nom de plume of Carlos Mencia?” If you’re really a Mexican, I think you could handle five or 10 questions a week. Andale, for crying out loud!
— The Blue Prince Of Dallas
Dear Gabacho: I can answer dozens of preguntas in the course of an hour, but that has to be on a radio station, where I take listener calls (hint, hint, local Know Nothing talk-show yappers!). In print, the Mexican is grateful newspapers even carry his column. Don’t know if you’ve heard, Blue Prince, but my profession is just above telegraph operator nowadays in the stability department, with some periódicos that carried my columna folding during the past year, others running me exclusively on the Internet due to space constraints. What secures my existence? Ustedes readers, whose wonderful questions, letters to the editor in favor and against my existence, and attendance whenever I invade your town ensure editors don’t deport me for good.
2009 has been a tough year for all, especially Mexicans, who had to suffer through an año of amnesty limbo, hate crimes, and George Lopez Tonight. But 2010 brings hope. It’s the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s liberation from Spain and 100 years since the Mexican Revolution, so we know la raza will experience another transformative upheaval. Let’s begin the new year with good: the winners of my contest asking ustedes to plug your favorite Mexican restaurant in 25 words or less! The Mexican does not vouch for the quality of this place, and if you don’t like the winner, you should’ve entered the contest, pendejo. Have a feliz New Year, and remember to shoot your guns toward the ground, not the air!
THE RESTAURANTE WINNERS:
Lo mejor de los restaurantes mexicanos de Albuquerque tiene que ser Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen. They’re so good they don’t even open on Saturday or Sunday! 1510 Girard Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, (505) 262-0115.
La Altena: Coming from Los Angeles, their chile rellenos at least make us miss California less. Very nice owners, too. 314 W. Main St, Chattanooga, (423) 266-7595.
Cuquita’s. The Holy Trinity is present, mi hermano: frijoles refried in lard, abuelita’s arroz, tortillas de maiz upon arrival. Start guacamole, order milaneza, finish horchata. Multiple locations.
Go to the Original Chubbys. What makes it so bueno? It’s a real paisa with buen diente the one who is making the suggestion and not a pinche bolillo who thinks guacamole should taste like lime & garlic, vamos a la verga! PS: Invita, güey! 1231 W. 38th Ave.,
Denver, (303) 455-9311.
Chico’s Tacos — need I write more?
Burrito Track in Monmouth. The al pastor tacos are the best! That’s how their best cook won me over! Now that’s Amor! 189 Pacific Ave. S, Monmouth, (503) 838-4997.
La Fonda efficiently serves big hot fresh plates of what seems real Mexican food. They’re not corporate and they employ people from same neighborhood. 1900 N. 2nd St., Flagstaff, (928) 779-0296.
El Buey y la Vaca: There is a huge community pot of charro beans in the corner free for everyone, and the salsa bar is never clean but you can tell the salsa is always super fresh.
Tacos Tamazula’s has chile verde to die for, mouth-watering salsa and shrimp ceviche that’ll make your tongue hard for a week!!!! 3484 2nd St., Norco, (909) 371-3103.
You need to stop at Lindo Michoacan in Las Vegas because they have the best shrimp quesadillas ANYWHERE. 2655 E. Desert Inn Rd., Las Vegas, (702) 735-6828; www.lindomichoacan.com.
Enrique’s is so accustomed to great reviews in print that they no longer care. Their walls are full. Delicious, big portions approved by Mexican natives. 6210 Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-3622.
Tacos El Rey has the best chilaquiles my wife has every tasted, and their sopa de pollo is a meal in itself. Perhaps to accommodate the surrounding Russian/Jewish community the flavors are mild and the decor your basic serapes and sombreros, but the clientele is 90 percent raza. 3168 Coney Island Ave., Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, (718) 769-0116.
You must visit the Barrio Cafe. Just don’t go on Mondays. That puerta will be cerrada. Why’s it so bueno? Two words for your sister: comida chingona. Three words for your madre: comida orgullosamente Méxicana. 2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix, (602) 636-0240.
Lalo’s is notable because they serve fresh huitlacoche quesadillas and the birria on weekends is off the chain! 5063 24th St, Sacramento, (916) 736-2389.
SALT LAKE CITY
Oh, hell yeah. A Mexican-Mormon started this great local chain in Salt Lake City called Cafe Rio that is sure to please. It is not really Mexican food, of course, but it sure as hell tastes good. It is given in typical Mormon quantities, of course. Various locations.
The Original Donut. Best tacos: carne guisada, chorizo con huevo, machacado con huevo. Best plates: chile relleno (viernes), enchiladas verdes (miercoles). Weekend specials: barbacoa, menudo. Donas son fabulosas. 3307 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, (210) 734-5661.
Los Panchos: Tienen tacos, tortas, burritos, y el pinche speedy Gonzales. Para los gabachos y uno que otro pendejo that orders it. 2441 National City Blvd., National City, (619) 474-7194.
Mission, 3 am, battle-staggers and hunger-pangs. Oh, for tender carnitas perfectas, salsa picante solamente. Mira! That beloved Golden Beacon doth Shine; El Farolito. Salvation! 2779 Mission St., San Francisco, (415) 824-7877; www.elfarolitoinc.com.
El Indio es lo mejor! Soy un gabacho pero it’s wonderful food. Most local Mexicans eat there. Come try it! 3355 South 6th Ave., Tucson, (520) 620-0504.
I live in Tulsa but I still go back to Wichita for El Mexico Cafe. Bill’s Deluxe Burrito and Tacos, ever since 1962. Excellent beyond description, seasoned to perfection. 2544 S. Seneca St., Wichita, Kan., (316) 558-8220.