Friday, August 27, 2004

The Dreaded Elena Plate

It's been a long time since I've been on to share a little story. Don't ask me why the Elena Plate brought so much inspiration, it just did. Here is the whole sordid tale...

Everyone has a place like this. At every other restaurant in the entire world, you tend to eat like a human being. You get your great big, restaurant portion of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, or good old American food and pick at it until you're ready to pop. In some instances a free appetizer helps to fill the gut even before the entree gets to your table. But there is always that ONE restaurant where the food is soooooooooo good and you are soooooooooo hungry that you start eating like that skinny little Chinese guy in that hotdog eating competition. For me, that place is Los Pericos - a tiny little hole-in-the-wall Mexican food restaurant right up the street from where I work. The food at this place is wonderful and the service is fast and friendly. I get a full hour for lunch, but can be in and out of that place in a half an hour, which is a miracle considering the horrible amount of food that I eat when I'm there.

Let me share a little about the Elena Plate. This is their largest lunch plate - so big, in fact, that it comes to your table on TWO plates. I order this plate every time I go to Los Pericos and have the eating of it down to a science. I order the Elena Plate with no rice (I hate Mexican rice) and extra refried beans. Of course, I snack on a few chips with salsa before the food even comes out. Then in about 5 minutes I get plate number 1: 1 small, hardshell taco and a "cheese puff". A cheesepuff is basically a small tortilla bowl (think the palm of a small person's hand) filled with queso. I eat the taco. I pour some of the hot sauce from the chips into the cheese puff. I eat more appetizer chips with the queso/hot sauce concontion. A minute or so later the waiter will bring me plate 2: a tamale, a cheese enchilada, and a shitload of refried beans. I start by cutting the tamale and enchilada into bite sized pieces. "Why don't you cut as you go?," you might ask. Because I just don't. I alternate bits of enchilada and tamale until both are gone. This leaves behind the gravy that covers both. I scrape all of the leftover gravy to the left side of the plate where the beans are and mix them up. I eat all the beans. Plate 2 is now devoured. I put plate 1 on top of it to save room on the table. The only thing on plate 1 at this point is the leftover shell of the cheesepuff, with some leftover and partially soaked up queso and hot sauce. I crack apart the cheesepuff shell and eat it. That's desert! And that's it. I send two empty plates back to the kitchen and feel like a totally gross pig. Not just a totally gross pig, but a one that has eaten so much I could literally be ROLLED out the farking door.

This is coming from a girl that can fill up on a 6 inch Veggie sub from Subway. This is coming from someone who doesn't even order at a Chinese food restaurant because a few bites from everyone else's plates will fill me up beyond belief. THIS is coming from a girl who has to get that tiny, puny-sized Jason's Deli sandwich because the other is just too much to eat.

How does this Elena Plate Disaster happen? Is it just me???

Contemplating questions for the weekend I suppose....

Have a great one! Darbi :-D


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