Friday, March 08, 2013

Mad for Mexican

This evening we returned to Lucha Loco, a Mexican restaurant near our flat that combines wonderful food with terrible service. This is surprising, because they're one of the few places not to automatically add a service charge to your bill, which you think would be an incentive to the staff to be more attentive and helpful. Which they are, it turns out, as long as you sit at the back of the restaurant.

Unfortunately, we nearly always sit at the front, a demented whirlwind in which either nobody appears to take your order for half an hour, or as soon as somebody takes your order, somebody else arrives to ask if you're ready to order, just before a third server arrives to see if you'd like something to eat. You'd think they'd be able to have a system to divide up the tables into some sort of zones. You know, like almost every restaurant in history.

At the back of the restaurant the same chaos isn't evident, and we were seated there and served without fuss. The staff were solicitous without being over enthusiastic, and the kitchen is like a terrifyingly efficient machine for producing tacos at near-light speed.

Usually we go overboard and stuff ourselves silly; tonight, feeling fat and also cautious, I limited myself to two bean tacos and some chips, meaning I had room for the blue corn cake. This is a wonderful dessert, sweet and yet earthy, as though they were feeding us fresh loam. I don't think I'd ever have thought that a sweet dish that was redolent of soil would be enjoyable, but there you are.

Today I don't feel I learned very much, until late afternoon when I read about the Helsinki Bus Station Theory of Creative Endeavour. According to this, like all the buses leaving the Helsinki Bus Station, everyone starts off on the same path. It's only if you ride it for long enough that you notice there are different, interesting places that you might be heading. Time to pick myself up and try again. Although what optimist thought a bus could be a cure for scepticism about feeling joy?


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