Gustavo's Five Commandments of Dining in Orange County
Recently, some Weeklings have been patronizingEast/Borough
at the CAMP, and raving about it despite my protestations. See, the pop-up restaurant charges $4.35 (before tax) for an eight-inch bánh mì, and an outlandish $6.40 for a foot-long--this, in a county that's America's nexus for the Vietnamese sandwich. They come back to the office with their great-smelling sandwich, happily nibble on their bánh mì, while I stew.
The prices! Too much! It violates one of the commandments I have about eating in Orange County, commandments all of you should follow to keep the culinary cosmos happy. There are always exceptions, of course, but behold the commandments...
1. Thou Shalt Not Pay More than a Dollar for a Regular* Taco
I remember when tacos were a quarter. I remember when tacos were 50 cents. I remember when tacos were 75 cents. I remember when tacos were a buck. Currently, most places sell tacos for over a dollar--and I've largely stopped eating them. See, tacos are just tacos: delicious, sure, but small and ultimately not meant as a meal. If you're paying over a buck for a taco, you'll probably need about four or five to fill you up. By that point, why bother? Might as well order a full dinner for a couple more dollars.
*By regular taco, I mean your basic Mexi foodstuff: a corn tortilla, your choice of meat, salsa and maybe cilantro and onions. Definitely not the taco acorazado.
2. Thou Shalt Not Pay More than Four Dollars for a Foot-Long Bánh Mì
I have Vietnamese friends who remember when bánh mís used to go for a dollar. I remember when they went for a buck-fifty. I think the going rate for a bánh mì right now is around three dollars--still worth it. I personally wouldn't pay more than that for the sandwich, but I also understand inflation will keep pushing the price up. But after four bucks, the bánh mì turns from the greatest meal dealever
into any other find. Above four bucks, the bánh mì turns normal.
3. Honor Thy Citrus Heritage, Even if That Means Uprooting Orange Groves
The land where orange-crate labels usually pass as historyloves
its orange motifs, whether the bas-relief pillars on the 22 Freeway, the dink saplings currently growing at SanTana's Bowers Museum, or the boutique orange groves that still dot the landscape. But actual, living, working orange groves? Why bother with them, if we can push more development on the lot, ehSan Juan Capistrano
and SanTana City Councils?4. Remember to Honor Carl's Jr., For it was Once Good
As I've elaborated before
. That new Philly cheesteak burger should pay royalties to the pastrami burger, so late and pitiful a ripoffof the Anaheim-originating Utah standard it is
5. Thou Shalt Never Buy Habaneros at Northgate Supermarkets
Last week, I saw organic habaneros at the Irvine Farmer's market for three dollars a pound; Northgate, the Anaheim-born Mexican supermarket juggernaut, never has them priced cheaper than six bucks a pound--this, from a market that serves some of the poorest folks in OC.Pendejos
I can go on, but I am no culinary god--that is Dave. Add your own!
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