Monday, September 12, 2011

If Looks Could kill....

     In the mid 70s the retail company I worked for transferred me from San Francisco to Oxnard, California, fifty miles north of LA. Oxnard had a rough and tumble reputation, and as a newlywed I was concerned about bringing Sue there. When I expressed concern, my boss put an arm on my shoulder and tried to calm me with, “You like Mexican food, don’t you?”
     “Well, downtown Oxnard has the best Mexican restaurant in the world. It’s called Cielito Lindo, and the food is to die for.”
     Jobs were hard to come by and it had taken me a long time to land this one, so I brushed aside my concerns. Sue and I rented a truck and filled it with our belongings. We scooped up the cat and hit the highway for Oxnard. Three hundred and fifty miles later we reached the outskirts of the city. Our stomachs were rumbling and I was eager to sample the food at Cielito Lindo, but first things first; we were driving on fumes so I pulled into a gas station. 
     On the other side of the pump I overheard an interesting conversation. The fellow behind the wheel said to the attendant, “I want to take my wife to a restaurant called Cielito Lindo. Have you heard of it?”
     The attendant leaned toward the driver’s window and said, “Man, it’s a dangerous 
place. Knifings all the time. Cops were there just last night. I wouldn’t take my woman 
there if I were you.”
     The driver responded, “Yeah, but is the food as good as they say?”
     If looks could kill, that man’s wife would have been guilty of murder.
     I sized up the expression on my own wife’s face. After filling up and leaving the gas station I quickly drove to the nearest McDonalds. 

*So tell me, where was the best Mexican food you've ever eaten?


  1. Cielito Lindo! xox Debbie Ballanti

  2. So you DIDN'T eat there?

    The best Mexican food I've had was at a place here in Madison called "La Hacienda." It, too, was in a bad part of town... but "bad part of Madison, WI" isn't all that bad of a place to be.

  3. I did eat at Cielito Lindo, but much later and not with Sue since the restaurant's reputation for violence was well deserved. As for great Mexican food--I'll always have a fondness for the original El Cholo Restaurant in Los Angeles. Of course I was last there in the 70s when I was going to UCLA and there might have been a munchie-inducing reason the food seemed so good!

  4. Mexican restaurants are a dime a dozen in California. There are too many good ones to name just one. I'm glad you went to McDonald's. Wise move on your part.

    Have a terrific day and thanks for the visit. :)

  5. Here in Rain City we have a great restaurant called Las Margaritas. I took my ex there once years ago but she found her way back home.