Yesterday I was visiting Karen while she was working at Slate Gray Gallery and got hungry.
I decided to walk down the block–scandalous, I know, to walk here; and do folks actually mark distances in “blocks”?–to Rita’s Famous Tacos. I don’t know how “famous” they are, but they are good. Some people think they are the best around. I personally think Mary’s taco’s are better (on Broadway). Those same “some people” and other Rita’s devotees will immediately discount my opinion prima facie, because I’m not from here nor will ever be from here. I must remind them that my taste buds are not provincial nor do they discriminate. Like the scales of justice, they are cloaked in darkness and therefore blind, and they awake only at the detection of something noteworthy.
And so with these oddly imaged buds, I ventured forth to Rita’s to procure said taco. I ordered a “Dale,” which is fajita (yesterday was chicken), egg, and cheese.
“What makes a meat or poultry ‘fajita’,” you ask?
I’ll tell you.
For beef, fajita meat is flank steak or skirt steak versus, for instance, ground sirloin for a “beef taco.” It is also marinated and grilled. As is the chicken, versus being shredded. There’s more to it than that, but you get the picture.
It reminded me of a story Karen would tell.
She was living in Lubbock. This is pre-New York (< 1995). She and friends went out for a bite and on her salad she wanted fajita meat, not whatever regular meat they offered.
The waiter responded, “Well, that’s going to cost more.”
“How much?” was the expected rejoinder.
“A lot more.”
“How much is ‘a lot’?” went the volley.
“I don’t know, but a lot.” This waiter was clearly compensated for the number of responses he gave to each simple question.
One of Karen’s friends piped up. “Like: a thousand dollars?”
That ended the exchange. Karen got her fajita meat. For $2 extra, she recalls.
And $2 is a lot. It’s almost enough to buy some of the breakfast tacos at Rita’s.