Wednesday, September 22, 2004


And speaking of disgusting Mexican food, I am reminded of an event in junior high school:

For the record, I love good (or even decent) Mexican food, but there's just something about it - when it's good, it's great; when it's bad, it's sickening. Our language department (which only taught Spanish and French at my school) decided to take the two classes out for a culinary cultural experience. I was in the French class, since most of the attractive girls took French. We didn't go to a French restaurant. Instead, we went to a pastry shop and loaded up on eclairs and other sweets with moderately Frenchy names (I had a multi-layered sticky gob of sugar called a Napoleon). We were the lucky group.

The Spanish class went for Mexican at a restaurant called Casa Gallardo. I was told the second word was pronounced as Ghee-Yard-Oh, but I preferred to say Guh-Lard-Doh, or call it by my pet name "The House of Lard." I had been forced to eat there a few times before, and labeled it disgusting fake Mexican. For example, I found the most edible best meal there was the Mexican hamburger. It was a normal greasy burger with four slices of pickled jalapeno peppers on it. I once read its description in a dining directory, the type that only lists the place and type of food without rating the restaurant. The official description was "inauthentic Mexican food created by Indians."

We returned to school later that afternoon and spent the rest of the day in our language classes. They were separated by one of those scrolling partitions, which we pushed back into the wall to let the two classes intermingle and share the experience. The French students were on a sugar high, running around and bouncing off the walls. Most of the Spanish students stretched out on the floor, unbuckled their belts and groaned in pain. There wasn't much cultural exchange that day.

BTW, this took place in Nashville which, despite its reputation as the home of country music, is actually a large metropolitan area that features both French and Spanish cuisine. I don't know how our school picked the places they did. Chalk that up to more idiocy. Follow up note - Casa Gallardo closed less than a year later. Rumor was that it was closed due to excessive health violations, but I can't confirm that.

Ahh, the memories. Why won't they go away?

Frog, out

1 comment:

the phantom said...

great story! speaking of health violations, my sisters fiance is a volunteer firefighter and one call he went on was too a chinese food establishment. turns out the guy was bombing it for roaches, and accidentally caught the place on fire. the sick part of it all is that when they were trying to put the blaze out the owner was losing his mind because he had all the cooked rice for the next day set out near the woks and did not want them to get water on it. its a nice guy who bombs for roaches while food for the next day sits in the open. sorry to ramble, just wanted to share.