Friday, June 29, 2007

SoHo and the Search for Tex-Mex

Walking around SoHo today...

In the window of "Zamfir Furs." (Be sure and click on the picture to get a larger view of the fur dolls!)

In the courtyard of buildings owned by NYU.

While wandering, I didn't eat here at "El Paso" (just took the shot 'cause I liked seeing the Texas name and the quaint look) but after asking someone for directions to a "good Tex-Mex place," which I was craving, I did end up at a place (not the one recommended) called "Silver Spurs"...where the beef fajitas were godawful---the meat nastily stringy and covered with some sort of sauce that was decidedly NOT Tex-Mex!

I've discovered there's actually not a lot of "Tex-Mex" food in NYC---there's Dominican-Mex (in my hood, which includes nasty things like guts and snouts of things), interior Mex (more high-end restaurants), barbecue, and Cal-Mex (lots of soft-taco burritoes, often with CARROTS in the wrap!!), but no real Tex-Mex (of which fajitas are an invention and a staple!).

I had to actually send the fajitas back, which I've never done in a restaurant before. I'd also vowed that once here in NYC, I'd never saying something like, "Back in Texas..." But, alas, this time I had to!! "I'm from Texas, and ya DON'T PUT ANY WEIRD SAUCE ON FAJITAS!" But I said it nicely and apologetically and the waiter, a young, cute gay guy was very sweet and not mad at me (he and the cooks just spit in my new plate of chicken fajitas, I'm sure!) :) Anyway, the decor inside was cute. Not very "Western-y" but there was some silver corrugated stuff on the ceiling and a huge fan... oh, and ketchup on the tables. And, of course, nothin' says "Texas" like ketchup and corrugated tin!

Speaking of decor: This below photo isn't from a SoHo spot, but rather from inside a NYC BBQ chain called "Dallas," the one on W. 72nd Street:
Yee-haw! (Also on the walls of "Dallas" were huge murals of mountains with desert at the foot of them... I shall not be the one to break it to the restaurateurs and New Yorkers, but...There aren't any mountains and/or desert or prairies anywhere near Dallas!)

Anyway, back to SoHo: As I was ready to leave "Silver Spurs," which is on West Houston St., I had to ask the nice, patient waiter for directions to my subway train. "Oh, just go down HOUSE-ton to 7th Avenue..." Didn't say it aloud (since I'd made enough trouble), but thought it: "HOUSE-ton?! It's HYEW-ston!"

Funnily, once I got on the train, I ended up sitting next to a couple of guys who happened to be from Texas...who were arguing good-naturedly with two laughing women across the aisle...about "HOUSE-ton" versus "HYEW-ston"!! I should've chimed in, but was beat and was content to just listen to the boisterous guys: "Just ask Mr. Sam Houston how to pronounce his name!" But finally, they were humble: "Well, when in New York, do---and say---as the New Yorkers do." Agreed. (Just not when it comes to fajitas!)

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