Saturday, August 19, 2006

Life on The Taco Tour

Earlier in the week, I helped a writer and editor friend do some "research" for an article she's doing. OK, I'll come clean, I was tripping around Washington Street taquerias with the food editor at Indianapolis Monthly. (Somehow that sounds so much more glamorous.) Either way, by the time we sat down to order a full dinner at the third location, I was feeling a lot less enthusiastic about tacos. And sopas. And tortas. Well, she did warn me.

Along the way I learned a few things:

**Every city has hidden gems. You have to look for them and be fearless. Don't be afraid if you don't speak the language or look like all the other customers. Just go and try.

**Make sure you try all the strange food. You'll sometimes find the best food on the menu (and sometimes you won't). We had tinga (a spicy mixture of meat), tounge, and tripe. We skipped brain. We also tried items with unfamiliar names or odd connections. (We're still not really sure why there were hot dogs on a Cuban torta along with the regular pork.)

**You'll find treats along the way. We stumbled on a fantastic Mexican bakery with huge fresh rolls, homemade shortbread cookies, sugary cream buns, and sticky Mexican candy. Fantastic!

**And last but not least, never underestimate the job of a food editor. It's very hard work -- and I'm not kidding here. Talk about eating to live -- After one night, I was done for the week and she still had three more rounds to go. I'd need a clothing allowance for new dress sizes.

Kudos to the food writers and editors in town -- you're better eaters than I am! Go forth and eat! I'm always available to join in for dinners and will continue to enjoy reading the fruits of your labors.

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