Monday, August 30, 2010

Meals on wheels

I love food. I love to look at it, smell it, taste it...


In my opinion, a good meal is one of the most enjoyable experiences a human can have. Seriously folks, the way to my heart may be through a really epic plate of pasta, or a perfectly cooked steak. Yes, I said steak because life would just feel gray without a nice hunk of red meat on my plate once in a while - and if that makes you squirm or judge me you may want to stop reading right now.

In fact, I once dumped a guy for being a vegetarian. I just couldn't take it. (Actually, that wasn't the only reason. He was also a huge fan of Thomas Kincaide, the painter of light... that's two very big strikes against him, so I broke up with him before he got to 3. I'm not a baseball fan anyway so two strikes is enough to be 'out' in my book)

But I'm getting off track here.

Now a really good dining experience can come in many forms. It could be a picnic in the mountains, a dressy fine dining restaurant, an out-of-the-way dive or a hearty home cooked meal. It all depends on what your mood is, how much is in your bank account, and how motivated you are.

Today, I was in the mood for tacos. Not just any tacos though, really good tacos. Now, there is a difference between just wanting something and craving it. If I just want something, I can live without it. If I'm craving it, it's basically gonna be a choice between me getting a damn taco or hulking out and destroying things. I was craving tacos today.... and I wanted the best Charlotte has to offer.

Who's the best, you ask? Who in this fair city can provide a taco so delicious it feels as if angels are dancing a heavenly polka on my tongue?

Well folks, the answer is simple, yet so complicated.

A taco truck.

I know you are wondering, "what's so complicated about that?" Well, funny thing about trucks: they have WHEELS and they MOVE from place to place. So really, unless you are Sherlock Holmes, finding the elusive taco truck can be quite the crapshoot. At best, you can pinpoint a general area and drive around craning your neck out the window until you spot one, but that of course is by no means a foolproof system. My taco truck lunch missions have lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, and that's only with about a 60% success rate. It used to be so easy to find a taco truck, but they seem to be disappearing like friggin humpback whales. Pretty soon we'll be more likely to spot Sasquatch plodding along South Blvd. than that little white trailer filling the summer air with the delicious smells of carnitas and pollo.

Sigh. Once again I'm losing focus. Back to my story...

It's really best to go on a taco truck mission with at least one buddy. That way one an drive while the other watches for the truck. Usually, I go with my buddy Jacob from work. So today Jake and I got in my car, hungry, with the tantalizing prospect of delicious authentic tacos on the brain. We started driving. Minutes passed as we craned our necks in the hopes of spotting our prize. We headed further and further South until we ran out of civilization. Could it be that today lady luck was just not smiling upon us? Would we miss out? Defeated, I pulled a sharp u-turn and began to head back. I was now so hungry I was beginning to feel weak and shaky and irritated. I felt tears prick the corners of my eyes. Just as I knew hope was lost I saw it. Actually I passed it.

Tucked in the back corner of a dingy Citgo gas station was a white truck. I couldn't believe it! Shrieking with joy I pulled another sharp u-turn and sped into the parking lot. Leaping out of my car, the first thing I did was close my eyes and take a giant breath of air that smelled of cooking meat and happiness. Rushing over to the window, I triumphantly ordered my three steak tacos in broken spanish.

They were everything I needed them to be today. Just steak, onions and cilantro in a soft corn shell, a little lime juice and some incredible green sauce (is it salsa? I don't know! who cares!?!). Mmmmmmmm.....

Suck it, Taco Bell. You got nothin.

What a perfect, incredible meal.