Friday, May 17, 2013

Hockey Night in America. What's for dinner?

A Taste of Mexico, A Little Bit of Heaven!

So tonight was another "Hockey Night in America!" In the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New York Rangers had traveled to Boston to play my beloved Bruins in the first game of their best-of-seven second round series. Huge game! Time to order up some chow and settle in. I was going to go with the traditional sports viewing meal of pizza. As I started placing my online order I thought, well, maybe a couple of wings as well. But in the midst of  going back and forth on three websites, trying to decide just whose pizza I wanted, I decided maybe I'd give a nearby Mexican restaurant a shot. The place used to be a sports themed restaurant that specialized in wings and pub food. But there was some problem with the owners wanting to show college and professional sports on their multitude of wide screen TVs while at the same time having an aversion to paying licensing fees. So the franchise headquarters pulled the plug and the local owners pulled outta town. 

The place sat empty for awhile, and then one day it had a "coming soon" sign on it for a new restaurant called El Tolteca. I'd eaten there once since it opened, and was really happy with the food. Service was great, too, but this time I was ordering to-go. This really good Mexican restaurant is a neighborhood gem! The food is awesome, authentic. Much better than what you'd get at a large chain restaurant. And they have a huge selection that is very reasonably priced. But the decor...let's just say the decorator went to Michael's AND The Party Store AND Dollar General and bought one of every Mexican decoration they had. Then she went to World Market AND Pier One and bought out their Mexican, Mayan, and Aztec inspired decor. And put it all in one place. Calling it overdone is an understatement. Literally all the space that wasn't covered by a TV was decorated in an "I'm not really sure what it is but it looks Mexican so let's get it" kind of style. At least it keeps customers entertained while they wait for their food!

Then there was the poster advertising a Mariachi Band in Indianapolis -really, there's no Mariachi Band closer to Cleveland?- featuring Pedro, Diegoberto, and...Dudley. Nothing against Dudley. I'm sure he's a very good musician. It's just that the only man named Dudley I've ever heard of was a Canadian named Dudley Do-Right. And he wasn't real. But hey, I know an Irish guy from Boston named Matt who lives near Los Angeles and loves to sing with the Mariachi bands at restaurants and clubs. He's so good they let him sing solos! So I guess maybe being named Dudley isn't THAT unusual for a Mariachi band member! And he did look like his ancestry was more Mexican than Canadian, and he IS real, unlike the aforementioned Canadian Dudley, who is actually a cartoon Mountie. This Dudley was indistinguishable from his bandmates in their matching mustaches and costumes complete with sombreros. They looked so much alike they could have been brothers!

But to get back to the restaurant... As I was deciding on my to-go order, I saw something I'd never heard of on the dessert list. it was called Xango. I checked it out online and it looked good so I thought I'd try it. OMG! It was delicious! It's pronounced chango (thank you Google) and it actually looks like an egg roll on steroids. It's a cheesy, almost cheesecake kind of filling wrapped up egg-roll style in a flour tortilla, then deep fried until the wrap is really crunchy, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar! Who can resist anything with cinnamon sugar on it? It was a multi-cultural delight! A Mexican dessert that was kind of like an Italian cannoli but looked like a Chinese egg roll! If you see this baby on the menu, make sure to save room for it because you HAVE to try t! Deelish! Enjoy!

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