Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Arizona in tacos.

"Let's live it up when we go to Arizona," I told the historian. Not like it was an actual proposal. Maybe more like a directive.

"Yes, let's!" he replied, because he is good-natured like that, and also living it up was maybe a more or less agreeable proposition, as far as directives go.

"And let's eat tacos every day," I said, by way of an addendum. A rider on the directive, if you will.

"Sure," he said, for the same reasons as above.

Herewith: a taco report.

DAY 1: We eat pizza, at Organ Stop Pizza. Also, we see Zootopia. Altogether a good way to go, day 1.

DAY 2: We head to Tucson. We arrive at the borders of Tucson just about lunchtime. I Google and FourSquare Tanias.

A photo posted by Lisa Bickmore (@megastore) on

Tania's is excellent. After a rather lengthy tutorial from the proprietor, in which we are told that it would be extra foolish not to get the maximum combo, if we want tacos, because: side of rice and beans plus a beverage!, and in which my daughter-in-law, upon requesting black beans, gets this in reply: "No no no no, this is Sonora, not New York!"--which basically means "pinto beans"--we all order excellent plates: three tacos for me (plus rice + beans + a strawberry agua fresca), including a potato and green chile one, a cauliflower one, and a carnitas one. The historian gets three various vegetable tacos, and so on. It was an auspicious and perfect beginning to our taco extravaganza

After some saguaros on the east side of Saguaro National Park, and a visit to my middle school (!):


 we find our way to the very first Mexican food restaurant I ever ate at in my life. IN MY LIFE.

I have a green corn tamale. Actually, I order two of them. They are enormous. However, I do not have a good sauce situation. Also, and to be truthful, I possibly had eaten more tacos, at Tanias, than I had already digested. Still, and in any case, it is meaningful to me to eat at Cafe Molina. I ate there the first time when I was in sixth grade. That, plus the middle school, plus being there with people I loved, plus the chips and salsa: saturated with meaning. The tamale qua tamale is kind of beside the point.

 DAYS 3 & 4 & 5: We are over saturated with the taco quest. My son had chosen some chorizo concoction at Casa Molina and it is having lingering effects, the details of which I will deftly leave to the side. We go to a Village Inn for breakfast and have various snacks at the cafe in the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Perfectly good and fine.

A photo posted by Lisa Bickmore (@megastore) on

On our way home from Tucson, I admit I ate an apple pie from McDonald's. The next day, we have naps and sandwiches while we continue to recover from our road trip. Also: coffee cake, which one grandson helps me whip up, and which is estimable.

On Memorial Day, we go for a wander at the park, and eat at Flower Child--Dr. Write's recommendation, entirely wonderful--just before we have a visit to the butterfly sanctuary. On the way home, we buy a pineapple and a watermelon and stuff to make my best pasta salad, and a loaf of French bread. These comestibles restore us further.

I hope you're seeing that I am capable of setting an agenda aside if it is for the greater good.

We also get a babysitter for the boys, and see Sing Street, at which we eat popcorn.

DAY 6: Today is a glorious day in tacos. We eat at Mucha Lucha, which is my son's favorite Mexican
restaurant. I have three shrimp tacos and they are pretty much everything a taco should be. The line is just about out the door the whole time we're there, so we have to be patient (which I can totally do, and be), and we have to be prepared (me also). When I take my tacos to the table where the little boys are each eating a small quesadilla, and where the historian is eating a large vegetarian quesadilla, and my son is eating a burrito, and my daughter-in-law is eating street tacos, we all heave a collective sigh of joy, the ultimate joy of sublime tacos entirely achieved.

A photo posted by Lisa Bickmore (@megastore) on

A photo posted by Lisa Bickmore (@megastore) on

In conclusion, here are the lessons we learned:

 1. Chorizo is dangerous. Proceed with caution.

2. A taco agenda, while worthy as agendas go, is, like all agendas, to be taken up with humility and the willingness to adjust, especially where there is new data of which to take account. Data that is chorizo-inflected, for instance.

3. Returning to one's (taco) agenda is, however, a joy. A taco-centric vacation is an excellent vacation, even if the center does not hold, at least not entirely, when chorizo is involved.


  1. You are the sherrif of tacos. Thanks for letting me live it up vicariously.

  2. Taco joy!
    Also: lemonade joy and family joy and movie joy. All the joys!!

  3. Omg, this classic; though I wish you had somehow requested that your food be plated in the form of a taco at Village Inn ;)

  4. Omg, this classic; though I wish you had somehow requested that your food be plated in the form of a taco at Village Inn ;)

  5. Tacos make me happy! Also, your blogs and lovely musings make me happy. Safe travels!



Related Posts with Thumbnails