Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tacos of the Sea

I came across a list of the best spots to have fish tacos at in Southern California.

Whether kitschy Mexican restaurant or mini-mall taco chain, the drill is the same. Wrap 'em with foil and love. [Serious Eats]
This reminded me of The Fisherman's Cove, my grandparent's Mexican-style seafood restaurant in El Paso, Texas. The place where I spent some of my most awkward years before, during, and after high-school. Where I learned work. Back-breaking work. Everything from dish-washer to server to line chef to buss boy. I ate some fantastic foods, even when, at the time, seafood was my least favorite type of food.

I grew up around the hot stoves and the steamy kitchen. Peeling shrimp. Chopping up produce. Setting up plates. The whole nine yards. I learned a lot of my current culinary cognition from watching my uncles play around with fire and knives. Showering my palate and dowsing my taste buds with the likes of Camarones a la Diabla, Langosta Veracruzana, Coctél de Pulpo, Ensalada de Cangrejo, amongst a million other deliciouis dishes prepared and served by my family, at what seemed to someone be reasonable prices.
That's me at the far left in a puddle of cousins and a faded uncle at the door.

The story of the restaurant is pretty much as clear as it gets when it comes to analogies to the family history. The Rise and Fall of the House of Gamboa. Of sorts. The story is a long one that I hope to recount and start making sense of through a number of posts, being that it is a long one, with many, many characters, and many, many stories.

My grandparents proudly stand before their successful business, still quite ignorant of it's soon-to-come, pre-mature demise. El Paso Times, 1995