WALT.FM

Homemade Radio from Sam Dingman

Eleven Things About Tacos

There are some who would say that ordering three meals from the same tacqueria in the course of a single weekend displays, at best, a lack of imagination, and at worst, a manifest disregard for long-term physical well-being.  I have this to say to those individuals: HUSH NOW.  

Here are some facts about Tacqueria de los Muertos:

  1. Earlier tonight, Ben and I called them to place an order for six tacos and a side of rice and beans.  On the phone, they said it would probably take about forty-five minutes for the food to be delivered, because they were extremely busy with people ordering food to eat while watching the Jets game.  It would have been absolutely fine if the food had taken forty-five minutes to arrive, because good things are worth waiting for—and yet it only took thirty minutes.
  2. The same delivery man brought all three of my orders over the course of the weekend, and he made a total of zero snide remarks about how much I was ordering the same kind of food from the same restaurant over and over again.
  3. The rice and beans platter was delightful when prepared with refried beans, but GET THIS: it was also delicious with black beans.
  4. Tacqueria de los Muertos has really amazing tortillas.  I would venture to say they are more delicious and flavorful than the tortillas at most of the other Mexican establishments I have eaten at.  If you were to ask me why this is, I would say that I think I can taste the cornmeal, but it may also be something else that I don’t know about.
  5. I have lived in a total of six different apartments in New York, and each time I move, I make a point of finding the closest Mexican food establishments and ordering from them repeatedly.  For a long time, I thought El Porton in Morningside Heights was pretty much the best, but then I discovered Los Pollitos in Park Slope, and ate of their chorizo many times, and I thought, “You know what, we’ve got a real competition on our hands.”  However, I’m here to tell you, I think Tacqueria de los Muertos is even better than either of these.  
  6. I just want to say, in general, that the burritos at Chipotle are really pretty excellent and people shouldn’t hate on them just because it’s a major chain.  Also, a lot of people still think McDonald’s owns Chipotle, but that hasn’t been true since 2006, and that was five years ago, which is crazy by the way, that it’s two-thousand-eleven.  
  7. Did you know Chipotle has been around since 1993?  Isn’t that longer than you would have guessed Chipotle has been around?  
  8. Today I went back to the neighborhood in Astoria where I lived when I first got to New York, and I was looking for this Mexican restaurant I used to go to, and it’s gone.  And I was thinking, “Man, that’s too bad, because eating food from that Mexican restaurant was one of the few bright spots of my first year after college.”  Do you ever think about that—how the first year out of college basically just shouldn’t count?  My first year after college Ben and Gerrit and I shared a two bedroom apartment next to a nunnery and across from a rectory, both of which were affiliated with a church called Most Sacred Blood and Gerrit had to sleep in the dining room.  I thought I was going to be an actor but it was hard because I worked as a bellhop from three to eleven at a hotel and ate a lot of cheesecake and meatballs and felt sorry for myself, and Ben had a job at a bookstore where his boss was a steroid abuser and a sex addict, and Gerrit had to sleep in the dining room.  But a lot of times we would stay up until four in the morning writing humor pieces for this magazine we were trying to self-publish, and we would get burritos from this taco place that’s not there any more, and those were the best times of that year.
  9. The place that sold the spaghetti with meatballs and the other place that had the cheesecake are both still there, and as interesting as it was to be back there and remember those times, the main thing I realized is that I’m so glad those days are behind me now.  I think I’ve really learned a lot since then, and I have a much better sense for the degree to which being the person you believe you can be requires that you hold yourself accountable for your own success.  I used to think it was really tragicomical and a little bit poetic that here I was, just a struggling comedian in New York City and I can tell you all about the take-out places and bars in my neighborhood, because what a life it is that we lead!  Then I realized that basically all the time I spent thinking that was time I should have spent being really specific about my goals and working hard towards achieving them so that I didn’t have to tip the delivery man in dimes and quarters, and while I was at it maybe I should create work about something a little bit more significant than unspecific food memoirs.
  10. Another thing that’s really great about Tacqueria de los Muertos is that it’s just around the corner from my apartment, so if I’m feeling ambitious, I can call in the order ahead of time and just walk over and pick it up.  
  11. Usually though, I get it delivered.