Espresso & Fish Tacos: keeping me human

Um, how do you take it when someone tells you that you remind them of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock?  Not Tina Fey, but actually Liz Lemon?  I mean, I love her, but is that really fair to Liz Lemon?  She’s actually successful, remember?

I do relate to Ms. Lemon, though.  I often see things (FOOD) that looks good and then go comatose, staring wide-eyed and drooling at the object of my desire (FOOD).  I then say, “I want to go to there.”  In fact, I did that the other night in the middle of a panel discussion of ACTUAL bloggers (not just people pretending to be, like myself).  Teach pulled up one of the blogger’s websites, which had a delectable picture of Coq au Vin, and I just blurted out, “I want to go to there.”  Yup, I got looks, but what else is new.

So the other day, my friend, Angela, and I went to this magical 1,000 ft radius section on Mott St. between Spring & Prince.  Within this magical circle, you can find some ridiculously good coffee on one side and then damn good fish tacos on the other side.  This will definitely go on the mini-miracle list next Monday, because how much better does it get than to find both coffee and tacos with minimal walking/exercise in between???  Maybe this is like cosmic makeup for me spilling coffee all over the place on Wednesday.  This place was meant for me – check out the names: “Gimme Coffee” — yeah, exactly!  Gimme Coffee, damnit; and “Pinche Taqueria” — apparently, it may or may not mean f*ing taqueria.  I kinda hope it does.

My coffee love is genetic.  I’m Vietnamese, and coffee has been part of our culture ever since the French came and crammed it down our throats along with their imperialist, colonialist ways.  When they left and burned down all of our libraries, at least they left our coffee.  No hard feelings, though…  I grew up drinking coffee – I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love the smell of coffee beans being ground or brewed. Anyhoo, I need at least a cup a day to leave my apartment and at least 2 cups to be a functioning human… I guess “functioning” is open to interpretation.  So when I slid up to the bar, trying to be nonchalant, and ordered a double espresso for $2 and change, I almost fell backwards when they said that their “espresso” on the menu is a standard triple shot.  Oh.  AWESOME.  Rich, good acidity, and that awesome, almost-alcohol aroma that floats out of your nose when you drink it.  Sooo good.  I further blew my cool taking numerous photos of my cup, only one of which was decent.

Gimme Coffee Triple Shot

The only other component needed to keep me from having rage blackouts is keeping my blood-sugar up.  People always make fun of me for two things: 1) how much salt I crave and consume (it’s a medical-necessity, people!  I have really low blood pressure!) and 2) how quickly I go from civil to killer if I haven’t eaten in a while.  There’s no real way to gauge when it’s going to happen, but my husband, my family, and now people I work with seem to be able to tell when I’m about to blow.  Maybe it’s because I get a little quiet and the temperature in the room drops ever so slightly…  yeah, it’s that frightening.  No problem, right?  Just give the girl a candy bar and back up slowly, not breaking eye contact.  Not so easy – when my blood sugar does drop that low, I get unreasonably cranky (my husband is reading this and thinking, I didn’t know that she was ever reasonable) and ONLY want specific foods.

I didn’t form my addiction until I went to visit my friend, Angie, in San Diego.  She’s my food-soul-mate — if she tastes and loves something, I can feel it halfway across the world and have an instant craving.  When she took me for fish tacos, we ate in silence, nodded every once in a while in reverence to the deep-fried fish, crunch sweet lettuce, nose-running hot sauce, and house-made corn tortilla.  I know Eric Ripert put Pinch Taqueria 4th on his fish taco list, but now that I’ve eaten at 4 out 5 of those restaurants, I’ve got to disagree.  But, it may also be because while I loved Toloache, I don’t want to eat a freaking fish taco in midtown at a sit-down dinner.  I just don’t.  I want my damn fish taco in a place that doesn’t make me feel underdressed.  You can’t beat the ambience at Pinche.  I know, I don’t usually like Tilapia’s dirty aftertaste, either, but I swear it wasn’t a problem at all.  The fish was well-cooked and the salsa verde and guacamole were perfectly tangy, spicy, a little avocado-creamy, and induced just the right amount of nose run, which I didn’t need to feel embarrassed about because there’s an endless supply of paper napkins.


Delicious Fish Taco


Filed under Eating my feelings and paying for it

3 responses to “Espresso & Fish Tacos: keeping me human

  1. I love this piece!!! I completely agree, fish tacos should be a casual occasion! I am dying to try this place.

  2. Angie

    Clearly, you will need my “expertise” to settle this. You’ll just “have” to do the caffemole (guacesso, if you prefer) crawl all over again!!!

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