As a prize for attending my bff's bf's soccer game this morning, which happened to be wet and cold, I got to have a small adventure. For anyone looking to get me on board for anything, you should know that I work for adventures, particularly those involving food.
Let me also clarify that, in stark contrast to all other athletic ventures, it's not that hard to get me to go to a soccer game. I am not an athlete. I love to be "active" but active+coordination= disaster. I gave my dad a small concussion during a golf lesson, I got a massive black eye playing softball and I have given MYSELF a hematoma in the thigh at the driving range. I also faked pneumonia in 2nd grade to get out of ski school. Not an athlete.
However, for some strange reason, I love watching soccer. Many of my friends (guys and girls) played in high school, there's the whole international angle, it's fast-paced and the games are 90 minutes long, no matter what. So what I'm telling you is that I got up early, made a PB&J, packed a Diet Coke, two blankets and two bags of white cheddar popcorn and waited for Molly to come pick me up.
She arrived and after a quick stop to drop my knives off for sharpening, we arrived at Douglas Park. Which is beautiful, by the way, until you step out of the car into a disguised puddle of sloshing, frigid mud. I will not quote myself, let's just assume you'd be offended by the grocery list of profanity running out of my mouth while I shook out my Pumas and hot pink chenille socks. So no sitting outside for TKTC, lest she catch pneumonia this time rather than fake it.
Better idea. Let's build a fort in Molly's back seat and watch from the car. So now you have two girls in their mid-twenties watching men's rec soccer (where everyone is yelling things out in Spanish) while splitting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and alternating between heat to dry out my sock and shoe and having the window down so we can hear Argentine, Mexican and Venezuelan nationals shout at each other. Even with only one sock on, my mood improved.
Unfortunately, our team did not win but it was decided we would celebrate anyway when Jai told us he had the perfect place to take us for lunch. He is not lying. And in case I didn't already like him for liking my best girl so much, I like him now because he understands me as a girl who should be fed and fed well. Off to EL TACONAZO at Western and Cermak! (TKTC Note: You're not crazy, it's Monday and I JUST figured out what the name of this place was)
What they brought to the table to start, pictured above. Any one of these salsas might kick your tail but watch out for that one on the end. It tastes like cucumbers up front but as it moves over your tongue, it incinerates all things in its path.
After much back and forth and Mol and I assuring Jai that "we are adventurers, we will try anything," Jai decided this was the perfect day for a mammoth bowl of pozole. Pozole is only made on Saturdays at El Taconazo and it's a soup served with hominy, "pork head," radishes, cabbage and delicious. Jai added about four limes to his and some salsa and I followed his cue. We also split chile rellanos for the table and everyone had hot chocolate- whole milk and cream spiced with cinnamon and Mexican chocolate. Insanely good. I also forgot I was in Chicago which is something to love in a restaurant.
So Jai gets my stamp of approval. And an extra star for wearing a Mexican wrestling mask to lunch and just about convincing Mol and I that we should take a double date to the Dominican Republic. Adventure as currency and I am readily available to be bought off.