Wednesday, July 13, 2016

spinning the wheel with karma miranda

Karma runs a fixed game.

Whenever I start mumbling about being bored, as I did in going commando with the japanese about our local food, fate plops a plate of revenge on my lunch table -- a dish that is not necessarily best served cold. Take last Monday.

On each Monday evening, you will usually find me at my favorite table in Magnolia's with my friends Ed and Roxane. It is one of our local rituals -- to climb the hills to La Manzanilla's enchanting beach to dine at one of our favorite restaurants.

During the summer, Alex, the owner-cook, prepares a special menu for the three days she is open each week. There is always a theme. Mediterranean. Asian. All-American. But always something new.

This week, she did something completely different. She turned the kitchen over to Mari, the proprietor of the
pop-up restaurant Sol y Mar.

Mari is usually our waiter. Last week, she told us one of her offerings was going to be a Puerto Rican sandwich with a garlic sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced beef. The difference was fried plantains would be substituted for the bread.

I was skeptical. I first tried fried plantains in Cuba. They were underwhelming. My subsequent encounters had not changed my initial impression. I was loth to give them another try.

Until I remembered my two rules of dining out: 1) order something that is too difficult to cook at home, or 2) try something new and different. So, #2 it would be.

And I am glad I ordered the sandwich. It may be the first time I have discovered umami -- that taste our mouth devotes to the savory -- in a sandwich.
Tied with a scoop of potato salad and a root beer float for dessert, my sandwich was a practically perfect meal.
I almost passed up that experience for an equally-tempting pink mole and chicken. But life is made of choices.

The nice thing about Magnolia's is that the portions are large enough I almost always take half of the serving home for my lunch the next day. That is my Tuesday lunch at the top of the post.

Morals are playing a big part in my essays these days. But not in this one. I have learned that Karma can easily play the role of Loki the trickster.

So, with apologies to Mr. Stephen Sondheim, I will close with: Morals tomorrow; comida tonight.


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