The experience

Tonight it was a late start as Mina had to deliver a few pies from her Christmas business Sweets by Sweet Mina.  We still had to pick up Benjamin from Lala and Lolo’s also.  It was so late that I’m sure Benji had eaten already because my parents would not let him starve while awaiting a dinner for this blog.  And I was right.  He’d already eaten dinner, so he’d be along for the ride.  The rest of Team Phipps was starving as the aroma of Pecans ‘n Cream Pie had tantalized our appetites for the last hour!  We needed to eat somewhere close and quick.  Ogre drove in search of a Taqueria.  We passed Taqueria La Paloma, which we have passed many, many times before and had never stopped.  Tonight, we stopped.

Taqueria La Paloma

It was counter service and seat yourself in this very casual eatery.  Ogre tells me it was once a Taco Bell, a Taco Bell that he frequented many times in his younger days.  I looked up at the menu above and saw something I love and can never seem to find in your run of the mill Tex Mex restaurants.  I call them “street tacos.”  You have to come to a hole in the wall to get these goods!  They just called them tacos with cilantro and onions here.  I was sold on the Taco Platter.  Ogre went over the menu with Mina and ordered up his dinner and got our drinks while I sat at our table. Benji and Mina were running around happily -very intrigued by the chicklet machine that stood right before the counter.  My pediatric mind was spinning with thoughts of that chicklet machine toppling onto them if they set it off balance.  Luckily, I checked my paranoid thoughts at the door and just kept a close eye instead of freaking out and forbidding them to touch the thing.

Ogre came over with the drinks and with the mention of the availability of juice, Benji was read for “uh uh ee” (up up please or pick me up) to be put in his chair.  Benji and I got guava juice tonight and, oh, was it tasty!  We sat down and Mina brought her big ol’ activity book.  Unfortunately, Mommy did not bring her purse, so she had nothing to write with.  We told her not to worry as our food would be here very soon.

We did not wait long at all for our food.  We asked for an extra plate for Benji.  He immediately stole my spoon and started scooping up beans for himself.  I made him a little mix of rice and beans and let him have that.  Mina dressed her sandwich with ketchup (it got a little overdressed for the party in her tummy), but she didn’t seem to mind. 

She did note, however, that we’d forgotten to get her a drink.  Ogre was going to get her a water, but I caved and decided to let her have the rest of Benji’s guava juice that was in the bottle (she had her drink privileges taken away when she decided to drink out of the juice carton at home yesterday and was to only drink water for the next week).  That’s consistent parenting right there! 

I always give her brownie points when she makes us laugh and she did so tonight by pointing to the man on the bottle and telling us it was Papa.  (Sorry about the poor quality, we forgot the camera again!)

Papa?

 

Ogre and I were very surprised at how good everything was.  Not surprised because we thought it would be mediocre; more surprised that we’d passed this place a million times and had never gone in and we’d been missing this tastiness all this time!

Turned out that Benji really wasn’t very hungry and did not eat much of what I gave him.  Instead he wielded his spoon at Ogre intimidating him with his crinkled nose and arched eyebrows! 

Benji attacking Papa

 

The rest of dinner was spent trying to finish our dinner while Benji became increasingly frustrated with his “uh uh doo” (really this is his word for apple juice, but has become a more generic term for juice in recent weeks).  He kept tipping the cup so that he couldn’t get any juice when he tried to sip with the straw and any attempts by Ogre or I to help were met with frustration and crying.  And after that, throwing of his cup.  This vicious cycle played again and again.

Meanwhile, Mina was slowly but surely eating her sandwich.  I accused her of trying to avoid the avocado on her sandwich, but she pointed out that she had, in fact, eaten some of the avocado.  When I investigated further, I noted that she had also eaten the tomato on her sandwich.  Very good!  I let her know she was doing a great job. 

We were all done and Mina was still munching away.  Ogre took Benji to see a donkey on the other side of the restaurant.  When Mina announced she was done, I let her off the hook even though she technically had not eaten the requisite half of her sandwich.  I told her to join Ogre and Benji at the donkey.

Cheese and Yeehaw

When they returned, Benjamin was doing his cheese-y smile that’s more of a scary face and saying, “Don..key.”  Very cute, but we needed to head home as it was already the kids’ bedtime!

 

The food

This is a fast food-ish hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. 

Taco Platter de BistekI ordered the Taco Platter (Beef).  As I mentioned before, I call these street tacos because that’s what they’re like on the street in Mexico.  I am not as worried about Montezuma’s revenge here.  The beef was nice and tender and not overly seasoned like they do when they try to make it a hip part of a more pretentious Tex-Mex Restaurant.  It had just the right proportion or cilantro and onions and had a couple of limes to squeeze atop the tacos.  Perfect!  The rice and beans also deserve mention as the beans were very creamy and the rice had that great mild garlic-y flavor that I like.

 

Sopes de Barbacoa, al Pastor y BistekOgre ordered the Sopes (Barbacoa, al Pastor, and Bistek).  Ogre commented that these were excellent.  Actually, he said, “I don’t know what those things were, but they were super tasty.”  He describes as being along the lines of a chalupa concept.  The veggies and the meat were atop a lightly fried ”corn cake.”  I agree that it looked good, whatever it was!

 

Mini TortaMina ordered, basically, a ham sandwich with beans, avocado, and tomato.  The ham was grilled.  It looked really good and she ate it pretty well.  She told us that she couldn’t taste the tomato (which means the tomato didn’t taste bad). 

On their kids menu, you can get that sandwich (torta)  with fries, quesadillas with rice in it, or a regular quesadilla -these come with rice or beans.  But, Ogre points out that you can get just about anything on the menu a la carte for the kids.

 

The service

Counter service here.

Virgin Mary

 

The kids

As this place has very fast food restaurant qualities, it’s definitely a kid-friendly restaurant.  No crayons or activities here, but you won’t need it because the food comes out lightning quick.  They have a good Mexican food kids menu, but the torta (or sandwich) would probably work well for the child who doesn’t like Mexican food (if that child exists!).  We felt very comfortable with our kids here -just watch out for those chicklet machines, don’t let your kid knock it down on top of themselves!!

The total: $22.63

 

Rants, Raves, and Ramblings

One of Mina’s favorite songs and now stuck in my head…

Don’t ask me why there are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on this video.

Related Fiascos