I’m not alone in the expat world when it comes to missing American goodies. Some expat bloggers show pictures of themselves munching away on the things they miss (presumably to make the rest of us jealous). Some shamelessly boast their goodies and showcase their love notes (Again…jealousy)! While, still others post helpful recipes to help us charge through the cravings. (Grazie mille!)
Can anyone name the one thing YOU think I miss most about Texas??
(Friends and family don’t count!)
You got it!
Well, my blogmates, the search has ended.
A few days ago, Peppe came home and announced, “Cicina, I found a Mexican Restaurant!”
“Actually,” he continued, “It is a Pub/Pizzeria/Messicana place! We’ll go tomorrow night!”
And, bless his heart…he was sooo excited. Not for himself, as you may remember, but because he knows I have been on a never-ending search for the ultimate taco. Or, fajita. Or, and even and more importantly, actually, the ultimate margarita!
But, a Pub/Pizzeria/Mexican Restaurant?? I was skeptical!
All day I fought the urge to think of chips and homemade salsa. When the wayward quesadilla made its way into my thoughts – I pushed through. I would not let myself become overly anxious.
“At the very least we’ll eat a good pizza,” became my daytime mantra.
“I will not get too excited…I will not get too excited…I will not…”
As we approached the restaurant, I began looking for signs that Calabrese natives could produce guacamole.
I saw this.
“An American flag,” I squealed! “That is a good sign!”
We parked the car and upon walking towards the Pub/Pizzeria/Mexican Restaurant, this advertisement greeted us.
“LATIN NIGHTS. Another good sign!”
And, around the corner!
“I’m home, baby!”
We are offered a balcony table underneath a cute, thatched roof.
She hands us a menu.
Still worried, I open it with apprehension. I am afraid to look down.
But, Pep isn’t, so he boldly announces….”They have it!”
And, indeed they do.
And, this very tiny picture shows a sampling of their offerings.
YES – you are reading that correctly. Quesadillas – 20 Euro!
After I picked myself off the floor we made our decision…chips, salsa, and a mixed grilled plate. Peppe orders a Heineken.
“Do you have margaritas?” I ask the server (who just happened to have lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years.)
“He can make you one,” she answers with a smile as she hands us our chips and salsa.
See that white “powder” on the chips? It isn’t salt. Can you guess what it is? It is grated parmesan cheese!
Ladies and gentlemen…here she is. My friend, Rita!
We felt an “instant connection.”
Seriously, the owner “Joe” made the best margarita I have had in Italy, comparable even to some in the states.
When I complimented his bartending…he sent out another one! On the house!
“It doesn’t matter what anything else tastes like,” I giddily told Peppe. “I am drinking a margarita and eating chips. I am home!”
Which was just as well, since the food (in all actuality) wasn’t really Mexican. It was, however, Mexican’esque…which worked for me!
About halfway through our meal, I turn around to see…
Now isn’t that just perfect?
As we pay our conto, I admire the restaurant interior.
Yes, my friends. The search has ended.
And, I’ve been found.