I learned a few things Sunday evening. The overall lesson would be that you shouldn't order Peruvian food in what is supposed to be a Mexican restaurant.
Mark took me out to dinner Sunday. We checked with Yelp, and the restaurant had four and a half stars along with two hundred and sixty six reviews, of which two hundred and sixty were positive. What could go wrong? I'll tell you what could go wrong, ordering the #1 Peruvian Combination Plate. They had tacos, burritos, carne asada, every other Mexican dish that I could have ordered, yet I decided to go with the #1 Peruvian Combination Plate. No more than five minutes after ordering, our food arrived at the table. The nice lady plopped a huge dish down in front of me and scurried away. I had no idea what anything was on that plate. So I just started digging in.
"Mark, what is this? What am I eating?" I asked as I shoved a fork full towards Mark's face. He tasted a small sample.
"Potatoes. That's a potato."
"Really? Are you sure that's a potato, because it tastes like it's been passed through a drifter's anus."
Mark made a face of disgust and told me to shut the hell up. So I moved on, forgetting about those weird potatoes.
"What the hell is this?" I asked while holding up a strange yellow blob on the end of my fork.
"Looks like a tamale to me." Mark mumbled while shoveling refried beans into his mouth.
"Maybe it's the papussy. I saw that word on the menu, it's supposed to be part of the combination plate."
"Papusa. It's called a papusa not papussy." Mark answered with a note of impatience in his voice.
"Well it tastes like papussy to me. Did you see any cats hanging around when we drove up?"
So, on and on it went. Each thing on my plate tasting worse than the one before it. I made a mistake. I should have probably ordered a Mexican dish that I was familiar with instead of being so experimental. The thing is, maybe there was a warning before I even walked into that place. Maybe the fact that they still had all their Christmas decorations up on May 24th including icicle lights, Styrofoam snowflakes, and holly leaves painted on the windows was a tip off that things just might not be right. I'll tell you what was really not right, what really put the exclamation point on the end of that meal. It was what I had to go through Monday morning. Not pretty. Really, not very pretty.