May 10

Musings for 5/10/2017 – An Ode To El Palacio

I thought some of you might get a kick out of the title! But in all seriousness, I find these past few days that I am contemplating the impact that El Palacio has had on my lifetime. Even though I haven’t eaten there much in the past few years, I have been eating there since I was around 3 years old (that’s about 43 years total). And in 2 days it will be closed for good. I have to admit I am grieving it a bit, a bit because I can’t take on any additional grief but still sad nonetheless.

I tried to go eat there today for lunch around 1pm but the line was long and they said that once you went in, it was about an hour before you could get your food. I had planned to eat my historical dish even though I have not eaten beef in over 10 years – taco, beef enchilada, and chile relleno. Double re-fried beans, no rice. Hot “sauce” which is what they call their salsa. It’s the best I’ve ever had, anywhere, hands down. I used to buy it by the gallon back in college and take it back to school with me.

We had lunch there the day before Erin was born. I figured it was the hot sauce that put me into labor a day early, but who knows. I do know that I had my first labor pain during lunch. I thought that was what it was, but kept quiet because I wasn’t sure until a few hours later. I remember it was Shaun, me, my mom and her husband, and I believe Betty M. and Mandy. That was a while ago but I still remember where we sat.

In high school, Dawn and I would go eat there and then go to cheer at our football games. How did we do that? It was a lot of food. Now if I ate that much I would want to go to sleep. LOL

And best of all, there was Pat. I continuously forget Pat’s last name but you all know him. I think someone said he used to work at Dipper Dan’s back in the day, but I have known him as my favorite waiter since around the age of 7 or 8. I suspect he was in high school or his early 20’s then but he was the best. He knew what we ate every time and would have our order in and hot sauce and drinks at our table mere seconds after we sat down. As an adult I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him out at a bar here and there…this is us with him last year at the Furniture Factory.

Funny story about that picture…Pat’s friend said “So you used to work with Pat?” I laughed and explained that no, I’ve known Pat since I was about 8 years old and he was our favorite waiter. I am sure the guy got a good laugh.

They say things go in cycles of 7 and I guess 43 years is a 7 (4+3=7) so that’s mildly interesting. What I do know is that there are, and will be, many endings so that change can come. El Palacio closing may seem trivial, but I have seen enough to know that nothing is trivial in my life. I will grieve it for awhile for sure, and always remember it fondly. It’s like an old friend leaving. When we decided not to stay, I thanked it and told it goodbye before getting in my car.

I had honestly remembered whatever it was I keep wanting to write about but cannot pull it from memory again. I guess today was all about El Palacio, my favorite Mexican food place. Always.

Namaste, and #missingerin <3

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