Smack dab in the middle of searching for playgrounds in the morning and swimming in the afternoon, Madison and I met Lynnette for lunch in Wahiawa. I was almost certain that we were in for a burger lunch (yes, Teddy’s again), but Lynnette suggested Taqueria El Ranchero.
Taqueria El Ranchero opened just a few short weeks ago and I’ve heard Lynnette’s ravings about it ever since. It’s that I’m super-huge on Mexican food or anything – Taco Bell is about as cultured as I get on that front – but Lynnette said the food was great and the prices were very reasonable. Still, Lynnette may as well just have opened with “They have Mexican Coke” because that’s basically all it takes. Only Madison wasn’t immediately thrilled with the idea of eating there, but that would change quickly as you will see.
Lynnette got two tacos. I ordered a burrito that probably took longer to make than for me to consume it. Madison got a quesadilla. To my recollection, there wasn’t much conversation going on during our meal because we were all eating and drinking in some kind of family trance. You know those commercials where all the actors seem to be moving in time with a beat or song playing in the background? Well, that was us during lunch. Even Madison – who chatted away about fake cacti on the wall of the restaurant when we first sat down – settled into a red soda cheesy tortilla grove.
I won’t try to hard sell you on Taqueria El Ranchero other than to say I enjoyed my meal there today. It reminded me of those rare occasions back in college when someone would commit to a Baja Fresh run. *Wipes tears from eyes, sniffles, says “No, I’m fine”, clears throat* I’m so used to the Taco Bell’s patented technique of remixing the same 8 ingredients over and over that I forget how fresh this kind of food can and should taste. If you ever find yourself in Wahiawa and you’re in the mood for some really good food, hit this place up.
If you’ve been following my Instagram account then you know I’ve been posting pictures of Lynnette with the hashtag stuffpregnantwomensay. I try to capture any moment that strikes me as hilarious and can also be explained away (by Lynnette, of course) as a symptom of pregnancy. These posts are something of an outlet for me. You see, I have two jobs now that Lynnette is pregnant and I did my other one job correctly. My first job is to provide food for Lynnette. This includes driving her to restaurants, picking things up for her on the way home, and finding street parking in high-traffic areas. My second job is to remind Lynnette not to overeat. You can see how these contradictory directives might be frustrating. In I, Robot such paradoxical commands drove the docile robots into a state of rebellion. All I can do it write and take pictures.
Perhaps the finest example of this no-win situation I’ve been put in happened today. As we were wrapping up our meal at Taqueria El Ranchero, I started gathering the trash and piled it onto the tray. “I wasn’t…finished…with the chips yet…” Lynnette said. I looked down at the small paper bag atop my mound of trash. There were a few more chips in there. I looked at the tray sitting before Lynnette. Six containers of various salsa types were placed within. I looked up at Lynnette’s face. Just pitiful. Of course I felt bad. But I got over it really quickly. Because if she did eat those extra chips, she would have waddled back to her office next to me shouting “Oh, Philby! Why didn’t you remind me not to eat so much?!” I would have lost either way.