Thursday, May 20, 2010


Saturday May 15th 2010
Garduno’s, Cherokee and Iowa, St Louis, MO

I awoke next to a piece of art, a sculpture we had collaborated on the night before. Carefully, a mountain bike had been placed amongst a pile of overturned chairs, blankets draped haphazardly over certain sections. It was nearing 2PM. Slowly the others woke up and we straightened up the van in preparation for our drive to Nashville.
“We need to get a stuffed sopapilla.”, Jeremy told me, his face and neck decorated with multi color marker smears, dreaming of the New Mexican gut bombs we had enjoyed several days before. Neither of us had tried a stuffed sopapilla previous to this trip, and were worried that maybe it was a regional specialty and we’d have to wait til we were back in Albuquerque to have another. We asked last nights host if she knew where we could find some.
“Yeah, stuffed sopapilla’s, you can get those right down the street. Yeah, the ice cream.”, she told us. Our excitement faded rapidly into confusion. Ice cream? “Sopapilla, yeah it’s a dessert with ice cream.” Something was very wrong, so we set sail to Garduno’s to get to the bottom of it. Jeremy was out of the van and in the restaurant before anyone else, face to technicolor face with the owner, trying to get a few things clarified.
“I had a sopapilla with meat in it in New Mexico. Is that crazy?”, he told the man. And the man nodded yes, confirming our fears that in Missouri sopapilla’s come with ice cream and not beans and cheese. “Well”, Jeremy carried on, “can I get one with chorizo instead of ice cream?”
“You want sopapilla with chorizo?”, the man asked in total disbelief. And upon confirmation, he drifted back into the kitchen prepared to give some special and apparently confusing orders to the cooks. Noah and I sat in a booth with Jeremy perusing through some menu’s, most items were in the $8 and up range, which at this point in the trip wasn’t much of an option. The guy came back over to clear a few things up. “So, you want just chorizo? No lettuce, tomato, sour cream right?”
“No, I’d like it with everything.”, Jeremy let him know.
“With everything?”, he double checked, shocked.
“How much is that?”, I inquired.
“$3.95?”, he sort of guessed.
“Well, I’ll have one too.”, I placed my order.
“Yeah, me too.”, Noah chimed in.
“You all want the sopapilla with chorizo?”, his mind = fried, as the whole table agreed that’s what we’d be eating.

These differed greatly from the ones in Albuquerque. Those ones were more like a thick pocket that held all the slop inside, the bread would tear nicely. The bread on these ones was deep fried creating a tough shell (no longer bread at all really) which would break with contact and had all the ingredients piled on top. Definitely a utensil meal, not something you eat on the go.
“Whats so weird about this?”, I wondered aloud.
“Are you kidding me,” Jeremy answered, “this is like asking for a hot dog in an ice cream cone!”, and then I got it, that would be weird. I’m not opposed to the idea, but I guess if some Spanish guy came into a place where I worked and was like, “Yeah, I’ll have the hot dog, but put it in a waffle cone. Yes, with mustard please.”, I would have to double check with him. We ate, enjoyed it, and left to the strange looks and laughter coming from every other person in the place. Just another day of waking up in the afternoon, hanging out with a marker faced man, and butchering traditional cuisine.

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