Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Airport, A Burrito, and the Beginning of an Obsession

Here we are. Aren't we fabulous? ;)
In November of 2010 I flew out to Washington (the state) for a visit with one of my bestest friends. While in an airport in some state (Texas maybe?) on a layover, I walked into a little Mexican Grill (I believe it was Qdoba).  I had started trying more things at this point, but I was still heavily altering my food at most restaurants (hold the tomatoes, no onions, etc.)  I decided I would try a burrito, but I planned to ask for it without several things.  I stood there for a few moments, and looked at the menu.  Finally, I told myself, "Just get it as listed!" So I did.  I walked up to the counter and ordered the most loaded up burrito on the menu.  That thing had sour cream, guacamole, salsa, beans, and all sorts of things I normally wouldn't go near.  I watched nervously as the guy wrapped it up for me.  Could I really eat this? It had tomatoes in it.  I had only just started occasionally trying to eat tomatoes, and I still wasn't crazy about them. (Once upon a time I wouldn't even eat something that had come in contact with a raw tomato.) I liked baked beans and chili beans, but would black and pinto beans be scary and gross? Would guacamole be disgusting?  However, I was determined.  I was alone (which is sometimes the best way for me to try something...I don't have to worry about other people's reactions to my reaction) and I was hungry and I was really trying to make a better effort to broaden my eating horizons. 

I took the burrito and headed to the waiting area at my gate.  As I took my first bite I realized something amazing; this thing I was eating was incredible! I didn't just like it, I loved it.  I was a little troubled by the fact that all the cold ingredients were at one end of the burrito and all the hot ones at the other, but I chalked that up to an incompetent burrito wrapper (is there an official name for that position).  It was still delicious.  I think I called my mom after I finished it.  I needed to tell someone about my brave new journey into Mexican (or at least Americanized Mexican) food.  I'm pretty sure I also texted my boyfriend to tell him about it as well.  I was so excited.  So many new foods all wrapped up in one deliciously wonderful meal.

While visiting with my friend that week, I got to experience another burrito at Taco del Mar, and I'm pretty sure I got another one in the airport on the way home.  I was hooked.  I couldn't wait to go home and start eating more than just chicken and cheese quesadillas at Moe's and Bajio's.  I couldn't get enough! At home, I started making myself big taco salads filled with anything I could think of.   Eventually, I started eating the burritos "naked" to save some calories, but my love affair with them has still not died down.  I've even branched out to more authentic Mexican food though I think I will always prefer the Americanized versions (only because it always seems to be loaded with more yummy stuff).

On Wednesday nights, I usually get together with some friends to play games or watch movies or just hang out.  Last night we had a taco night.  Our hosts provided the shells, beef, chicken, salsa, chips, and sour cream.  The rest of us brought other stuff to go on the tacos.  As I piled my taco with my homemade guacamole, beef, veggies, and cheese, I looked over and saw my friend's taco made of only cheese and chicken.  Man, it took my back to my not so distant past.  There was a time when that would have absolutely been me.  I don't miss those days!

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