Viva Mexico

February 23rd, 2015 § 0 comments

In the early days of television (1954) HG and a colleague recently arrived in New York from California, wrote TV news programs that were broadcast nationally. The news was illustrated with still photos (they were called “telops”) which were transmitted by telephone wire to the TV stations (news film was introduced at a later date). HG and his pal were swift and nimble news writers and photo selectors. It was fun. International News Service, the Hearst wire service (later absorbed by United Press) was HG’s employer. INS was housed in the Daily Mirror building on E. 45th Street and HG usually lunched in the hole-in-the-wall Greek diner off the building’s lobby. But, knowing that his California buddy missed Mexican food, HG invited him to lunch at Manhattan’s only Mexican restaurant, Xochitl. A mistake. “This is a bad joke,” he declared in reference to both the food and the high price of lunch. In the 1960’s HG/BSK visited friends in California (their first trip to the state) and were determined to eat “real” Mexican food. Their friends (not foodies) took them to a nearby Taco Bell (then only in California). HG/BSK found it satisfactory but felt there was something missing. HG thought about all of this at a Sopaipilla Factory dinner last night (the eatery is in Pojoaque, New Mexico, a few minutes from HG/BSK’s home). HG/BSK and their visiting eight-year-old grandson, Haru, feasted on menudo, enchiladas, green and red chile of a quality simply unimaginable to a New Yorker of the 1960s. Not so to present-day New Yorkers like grandson Haru, who knocked off a bunch of chicken tacos declaring them to be “awesome” with the caveat that, as a Brooklyn guy who regularly dines in Sunset Park (a Mexican neighborhood near his home), he has devoured many an authentic taco. In fact New York is having such a Mexican food renaissance (with both high end and low down options) that HG’s Californian pal would probably find much to smile about. As part of this renaissance, HG is looking forward to next month’s opening of Rosie’s, Restaurateur Daughter Victoria’s next New York restaurant. This will feature farm-to-table Mexican cooking. (Husband/chef Marc Meyer has just returned from a two-week visit in Mexico with Diane Kennedy, the ultimate authority on Mexican cuisine). Meanwhile, HG will be off to nearby El Parasol to give visiting Haru another taco fix.


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