Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brother Can You Spare a Lime?

I've been told by a reliable source, my best friend, let’s say Lenny, that I’m prone to exaggeration and conspiracy theories. I’m not stretching the truth by sharing with you that I once ran myself over with my own truck and another time I threw myself down the Ballroom Staircase at Bally’s Casino in Reno, Nevada. No kidding. So on the exaggeration front, he’s wrong. He may be right about my tendencies toward conspiracy theory though, because I really think someone in control of a powerful information network in Flint is out to get me.

For those of you who’ve been following me from the beginning—I mean following my blog posts, not following me around like a creepy ex-boyfriend —you might remember that I wrote a post a month or two after starting Eating Flint where I mentioned Changing Perceptions of Flint, a daily e-report of all the good things happening in Flint, a report sponsored by the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Since their report’s opening mantra is “This is a daily report on Flint and Genesee County, and where it appears in the news, blogs, etc. I'll provide the links and your job is to help create a positive light around Flint,” I gave then editor Matt Bach a good-natured ribbing for not noticing the good things Eating Flint was doing for the city. He responded by welcoming us to the fold and by mentioning some of the food and culture stories from the blog. But then, and this is where it gets conspiratorial, after Matt left, Eating Flint was never mentioned again.

I happen to follow the Changing Perceptions of Flint daily report (and so can you by sending an email to Katie Bach at kbach@flint.travel-- hey what a coincidence, she has the same last name as Matt) so I’ve seen what kinds of stories have made the report. This week, for instance, there was a link to a blog by a dog and an announcement about the Flushing Snowflake Race. Recently there was mention of a blog by a kid who grew up in Flint and is writing about it. AND THERE WERE TWO LINKS TO STORIES WRITTEN ABOUT THE NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANT, FUJI BISTRO!!!!.

Based on my objective assessment of the situation, I can only conclude one of two things: A) that Changing Perceptions of Flint is run by not-so-happy-with-me ex-Catholics who don’t have a sense of humor, or B) they’re too embarrassed to introduce my parents to their readership. Neither conclusion bodes well for me. But I have a plan.

I’ll clean up my act, and write a good, wholesome tale. Changing Perceptions of Flint likes happy stories and they don’t like people bashing Flint. Even though I had a really bad experience at a restaurant last week and feel I need to be honest about my assessment, I thought I’d mask my story in a fairytale-like adventure where nobody dies, Flint will be portrayed in a glowingly positive light, and somehow, a dog with a blog and a Snowflake Race will appear in the story. How could such a beautiful tale not make it into The Daily Report?

So, without further blah blah blah, I give you my first fairy tale food review.

Once upon a lunchtime, two weary travelers, Enjalatta and Jimmy Jonga, wandered in from the cold to a magical place they’d never seen before. Laid out before them, like a feast to the eyes, was a wee little Inn called Puerto Vallarta. This quaint little lodge was adorned with the most colorful chairs and tables; they had bright suns and smiling moons painted all over them. It was as if they’d been moved from the land of El Cozumel, another pretty o.k. place the weary travelers once visited.

A quiet young stock character offered them water, but the weary travelers were parched, for the Evil King Flushing had forced them to run in the dreadful Snowflake Race, a 5K trek through town that only the strong survive. Shrimply Divine, friend of the weary travelers, made it half way through before curling up and collapsing in the crushed ice. Water would not do this time. Only a frozen margarita would quench their horrible thirst and help them forget the fate of their delicate friend.

The pair settled in, though their drinks were quite weak and the limes on their glasses were equally thin. But the chips and the salsa, both free by the way, made them happy and warm. As they stared at their two sided menus with three flaps on each side, a second salsa appeared, carried by the young stock character. The travelers found the first salsa a magical treat, though not very hot. The second was hot but no magical treat. The third of the dips, a queso as white as the snow (except for the chunks of Chorizo) was just right and the weary travelers ate most of it up between swigs of their frozen delight.

Though the menu looked suspiciously like that from the enchanted Nuevo Vallarta in a small village to the south where the travelers once dined—it even had vegetarian specials A-F—there was no reason to doubt its authenticity for the travelers were sure that this other Vallarta had been duly vouched for by Eating Flint, a blog by a dog who shares all the wonderful news from the Kingdom (and surrounding area).

In a flash that seemed not more than twenty minutes long, the stock character emerged like an angel with broken English, carrying a bounteous plate of Enchiladas Verdes for Enjalatta, and for Jimmy a Chimi with a side of relleno-like chile. There was great rejoicing at the sight of the food. Well, except for the chile relleno, which looked, sadly, like it had taken a great fall. (Really, this thing was a train wreck.)

The green enchiladas were not bad at all, but the beans and the rice might have been spun from wet straw. The chimi was yummy and all topped with free things, but Jimmy’s sad chile was not fit for Kings (or for weary travelers). But something magical happened that day, for the pair was still happy when their food was all gone. “Only in Flint” they laugh as they say. They paid for their meal and went on their way, with everyone else to the King’s celebration of Mark Ingram Day.

The End.


  1. Are you sure Lenny wasn't referring to your proneness to exaggerated conspiracy theories, which is quite different from being prone to conspiracy theories and, separately, exaggerations? Also, should you want to be mentioned, as a serious foodie, in the same place where dogs and snow are brought together in the reader's mind?

  2. I didn't think about the dog and the snow connection; but then again, I'm not a philosopher, I'm an exaggerater.

  3. OMG RTFL! What a very clever fairy tale review. :)

  4. *cough* Nuevo Vallarta is owned by the same people *cough*

  5. It's been a week and I know you had two plane trips in which to write. Pick up the pace, man!