Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tex Miss

Tex Mex was a common after-church lunch in Austin for us. Whether at Chuy's or Mesa Rosa or La Margarita or any number of other at least decent places, we knew we could find enchiladas and tacos to assuage our cravings. Not so here. The Epicurean Food Hall near the corner of Middle Abbey and Lower Liffey has a pretty authentic Tex Mex place, but that is the only place we've dared to try. And unlike Austin, every corner here does not have a Tex Mex restaurant. Howth boasts of a Tex Mex joint called El Paso, though, and we've even seen a show on a public access channel about it where they talked of importing chiles and using authentic recipes. So, our Tex Mex cravings in full force, we set out on Sunday after church for Howth.

Our cravings weren't assuaged, and my wallet was much lighter than it would've normally been after lunch in Austin. Chips and dips, which included a basket of warm chips and four pots with sour cream, queso, salsa and ranchero sauce, was €13. $20 for chips and salsa, something we're used to being free, and the salsa and queso weren't that good. For mains Sharon had a chimichanga and I a beef taco. Each was around €19 ($27!). Sharon pronounced the chimichanga "mild, vaguely familiar, but not outright offensive." My taco was at best weird: a soft flour tortilla smeared with refried beans, topped with a crunchy flour tortilla filled with stewed beef and cheese. It was like a haute cuisine version of that double-decker taco from Taco Bell. Again, not offensive, but neither was it Tex Mex. All in all it seemed to me that this was Tex Mex from someone who has only read about Tex Mex and not actually tasted it. I left with a new dream to open an authentic Tex Mex restaurant in Dublin.

Sharon's friend Helen, who is in Austin on a business trip, is bringing back to us dried chiles procured by our friend Lisa. Soon I will be making pork and potato tacos (tacos de puerco y papas al guajillo) and corn tortillas, and the cravings will be silenced for a time. Until they cry out for tamales.


mom Gunter said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm Chuey's it ain't!!!!

Hey kid's, I'm teaching "English as a second language" at my church every Monday evening. We have 27 signed up so far. I'm there hoping to lead them to Christ. They are a very friendly group. I start out with a short devotion and last night my devotion was on John 17:17b "YOUR Word is truth". I talked to them about how every word in the Bible is true. I will have around 5 in my class. The men and women I will teach already know some English.

I love you two.

Celia said...

There is tex-mex and then there is gaelic tex-mex. You will just have to get used to it!!

bockelmama said...

Oh, do open a restaurant, Bill! Then hire a good manager and staff and come back to the states!! Glad to hear Helen is helping you curb your Austin food craving. Are you sure she can't procure some creamy jalepeno dressing as well??