Monday, June 6, 2011

Guilty Little Pleasures

Two of the things I miss most about not being in the US (other than friends and family, of course) is good Tex-Mex and bad tv. Yesterday we got a healthy dose of both, and it was pretty amazing.

I've always had something of an affinity for Latin America. When I was in high school, people thought it was silly that I was studying Spanish instead of French; a couple of decades later, immigration and migration patterns have made me look pretty smart. Along with language and culture, Latinos have dumped fantastic cuisine into the melting pot, and I think it's become a part of American culture to a point where we don't even think about it. Even in the Northeastern part of the US, this is true. But here in western Europe, there are very few people from Latin America, and hence, there is no decent Latin American cuisine. I'm in a major city, and I can probably count all of the Mexican restaurants on one hand. We've scoured the city for decent Mexican. I can't even find jalapenos fresh at the market (and at home, I cooked with them every week!). I asked my secretary if she had any idea where to find them, and she had no idea what I was even talking about!

So it was a pretty big deal last weekend when we finally checked out a restaurant we'd heard about, and it turned out to even be pretty good--the best Mexican food we've been able to find. It was so good that we went back this weekend, and I happily paid 15$ for two small fish tacos while T. scarfed down a $12 steak burrito. Our bill, for chips, salsa, guacamole, a soda, a mojito, a cheese quesadilla, a burrito and my two tacos, was $60, including tip, but it was worth every last penny. Heaven! (As a side note, it is insanely expensive here, and I can tell from my willingness to spend $15 on tacos that I really have been here for a while.)

Miss M was hilarious at the restaurant. She loves the chips, and would eat little bits of quesadilla, but was mostly too delighted to be sitting at the table to really eat. They had cool high chairs that pulled right up to the table, and she was loving it. I tried to give her guacamole, and she REALLY didn't like it (no worries--it wasn't at all spicy). She was trying to scrape it off her tongue to get it out of her mouth. My husband doesn't like avocados, either, so I guess she's taking after daddy on that.

Don't tell anyone, but last summer, we became totally hooked on that ridiculous show called "Pretty Lit.tle Liars." Sadly, they've only been showing last summer's episodes here. Although there is a lot of American television on cable here, it's ridiculous how far behind it runs from the U.S. schedule. For a few shows, we get the episodes just a few weeks later, but more often, it's MONTHS. We hadn't seen a new episode of PLL since last August, and today T. mentioned the show, so I looked it up online. Where have we been? It's been airing in the US since January! Sadly, we can't stream it from any of the free sites, because they require you to be in the US (damn licensing laws!). So, we bought a couple of episodes from i.Tunes and indulged. It's so bad, but so delicious. (Who is A? What does he/she want? It's clearly not Toby or his creepy sister, given the last episode. Is it Noah, or is that just another ruse? No, don't tell me--I still have this entire season to watch!)

PS I started the Clo.mid. It's a little weird to be taking in on CD2. Like, I already have to deal with my period--it feels a little unfair to be struck with it and Clo.mid at the same time. The good news is that it was inexpensive. They gave me the entire prescription (for 6 months worth) all at once, and it was only about $40 US for all of it. I didn't even both to use my health insurance, which would have only doled it out one month at a time, and charged me a copay of $10 each month. It made me wonder how much of a medication's actual cost is covered or even exceeded by copays.


~Jess said...

Unfortunately I think the whole insurance copay/prescription thing is definitely a money maker for the powers that be.

I'm glad you found a great place to eat! Too funny about the avocado....that's Miss A's favorite food!

Eb 40+ said...

as an ex-pat I get the food thing. I pay $40 for Fish and Chips in NYC!!
I also buy British DVD's since BBC America has a bias toward costume drama and sometimes, you just need your northern roots fix

I love reading about your Euro-adventures. I try and work out where you are! So far I've guessed Brussels, Italy and Spain!! Clearly - no idea.