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Tacos & Love | A-Review-For-A-Review!

May 11, 2021

New York, United States
   Tom threw his ingredients on the floor. Soggy corn, wet lettuce, and raw meat littered the floor. His mother wouldn't like the mess, but he didn't care. He sighed as he thought about what had gotten him into this. His mom and dad were going on their anniversary dinner and left him to cook for himself. Mom had said no unhealthy food, only a "dinner-time" food. Tom had said that he wouldn't get up to cook; that was silly! He was only twenty-five years old. But then his stomach growled. He was used to having food at his reach 24/7. This was a nightmare! So, he had gotten up and found an easy Fast-Food taco recipe. But it was... hard! It had already taken five minutes, and he hadn't even put it in the oven!
    In frustration, he kicked the oven. It was too difficult for him. He would just have to try to survive without food for the next hour.
    "How can anyone love these lousy tacos?" Tom grumbled.

Bucerias, Mexico
    José loved tacos. Tacos were literally his living- and he adored it. There were so many different variations, but all turned out beautiful- and delicious. José was thinking this as he made the beef & veggie taco sprinkled with cilantro. The smell of the spices wafted up to his nose, and if his nose could smile, it would've done so just then. The flour felt so nice and warm in his hands, holding on to him tenderly. José put the taco on a plate next to the other two, then handed it to Rosa Rivera, the fantástica camarera
    José leaned on the counter as he watched Rosa hand the tacos to a happy couple. Their faces lit up when they saw the tacos, and they practically beamed when they bit into it. That was José's favorite part of making tacos. He loved bringing joy to others through the soft bundles of spice, meat, vegetables, and cheese.
    Rosa spun around and walked back over next to José.
    "They told me to tell you personally that they loved your tacos," she said.
    "I know," José said. "I saw them."
    "I agree with them, you know," Rosa said as she slipped her hand into José's. "Your tacos are asombroso- just like you."
    José smiled shyly at this, but before he could say anything more, José's abuela came over from the kitchen to the counter. She set down her bucket of sweet-smelling maize before turning to her grandchild and Rosa.
    "Hola, Rosa," she said.
    "HolaSeñora Diaz," Rosa answered. "You look bonita this morning." 
    "Ah, here's my Jo-Jo!" his abuela said. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek before continuing on. "Come estas?"
gracias, Abuela," José said. "There has already been quite a few orders this morning." 
    "As full as a year ago?" his abuela asked. 
    José looked at the empty restaurant and sighed, saying, "No. Not at all." 
    José worked at Tacos Del Corazón. It was run by his family, the Diazs, and their family-friends, the Riveras. They had owned the restaurant since José's abuela was a little girl. But times were rough. People now liked modern, extravagant restaurantes, not little "run-down, antique hole-in-the-walls", as his cousin put it. Money was getting tight, and all because people would rather go to one of the sixty-eight thousand fast-food restaurants in Mexico instead of their one-of-a-kind.
    "At least the people who come here once always regresso," Rosa said, sensing José's thoughts. "The hard part is luring them in."
    "But it's almost impossible to lure them in," José said. "Unless we started advertising as most of the fast-food places do. By lying." 
    "But we will never go that low," José's abuela said.
    "And that's what makes us better than the fast food places," Rosa said fiercely.
    José looked around the little room with different eyes. It was not as grand as the other places in Bucerias, but at least it felt like home. There were only two tables occupied- the couple from before and a bearded man eating as he worked on his laptop- but at least it wasn't stuffy in here. He smiled. He loved this restaurant. With the wooden tables and chairs that were hand-carved. With the hand-painted Talavera floor that was cool to the touch. And maybe it wasn't the prettiest, but it was true and authentic. Rosa was right. José would rather take this place with the little money that came with it than one of the fancy-schmancy restaurants with its meaningless money. As he took in the sight of his second casa, his eyes lingered on the couple.
    The novio and novia had finished their tacos. The lad sent his fork down and cleared his throat. The man's face broke into a giant grin.
    "I was going to wait until tonight at the party- but I don't think I can last that long," he said. "Alejandre, you are preciosabrillante, and maravillosa. And I am forever yours. So- I need to ask- ¿quieres casarte conmigo?"
    The lady's mouth dropped open. Then she squealed, "Si, si, por supuesto!
    She practically leaped in his arms. They hugged, both of them smiling so bright that would make the sun itself jealous. Tears flowed freely down both of their faces.
    José watched them, jaw dropped. No one had ever proposed over his tacos before. He had seen his mamá's tacos be proposed upon, but never his.
    "You're increíble, José," Rosa said.
    Then she went on her tiptoes and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. José stared at her in amazement. She smiled back. 
    "Aren't you going to send a thank-you gift in return?" she asked. 
    José hugged her close and kissed her, although longer and on her lips. They both blushed the color of a dalia, but they didn't care. When the kiss ended, they still stood there, hugging.
    Oh, how much joy could tacos bring!
992 words

Thank you so much to Stone of Jade and hyac1nth for the reviews!

    I went to Mexico about a month and a half ago. This story was based on two places. The first was Guadalajara. Covid really took them hard. There were literally no authentic places to eat besides one breakfast place. It was all fast food! The fact that people were now taking fast-food places over authentic restaurants was what drove the Tacos Del Corazon vs. Fast Food fight in my story. The second place was a restaurant on the outskirts of another place we stayed, Bucerias (where José's story takes place). There was a teenage boy working at the counter, making the tacos, which were delicious. As we ate, I wondered what his story was. Fuzzy details of a story started to come into my mind, but I had long forgotten the teenage boy by the time we boarded the airplane home. But when I saw the Food Writing Competition, the idea came back. And here you have this story!

Here are the meaning of the Spanish words in the story:
Abuela- Grandmother
Asomroso- Amazing
Bien- Good
Bonita- Pretty
Camerera- Waitress
Casa- Home
Dalia- Dahlia, a Mexican flower
Fantástica- Fantastic
Hola- Hello
Increíble- Incredible
Maize- Corn
Mamá- Mother
Novia- Girlfriend
Novio- Boyfriend
¿Quieres casarte conmigo?- Will you marry me?
Restaurante- Restaurant
Regresso- Return
Señora- Mrs
Tacos Del Corazón- Tacos From the Heart

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1 Comment
  • Stone of Jade

    This is coming along so great!!

    about 1 month ago