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Tengo Hambre: Global View Goes Out to Eat — April

Hello. I don’t remember what round of Global View Goes Out to Eat this is, and I don’t care. Let me tell you why: Senioritis.

I can’t make myself go to class. I haven’t done a reading in I don’t remember how long. This is the longest sentence I’ve written in a month. My friend just texted me telling me we’re going to Rick’s tomorrow night. Today is Monday.

El Oasis, on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

So, in the true spirit of my disease (I think senioritis has been certified as such by the CDC at this point), for this month’s column I declined to actually go to a restaurant where I have to sit down, wait for food, and in general behave like a normal, civilized human being, and instead went to a food truck. But it’s a food truck that doesn’t really move, so is it even really a food truck? That is too existential of a question for my level of brain function right now.

You have probably realized that I am speaking of El Oasis, the Mexican food truck (?) located on Michigan Avenue as you head west towards the Capitol, kind of across the street from Theio’s (the place that I don’t understand why everybody loves; its takes forever to get in at breakfast which is the only time you want to go, service is super slow, and the food kind of sucks). It is in a parking lot and there is nowhere to sit down and eat there. For where I’m at in my life right now, this is ideal. For you, it may not be. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

The menu is pretty standard Mexican fare – tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and so on. However, don’t expect Taco

Part of the (very well-priced) menu; pretty standard Mexican fare except for the beef tongue and tripe tacos.

Bell. This stuff is legit (or at least it seems legit to me, but I am not exactly a connoisseur). The food is all homemade (truckmade?) and there was a woman wearing a pink polo shirt that said “La Jefa” (The Boss) on it giving orders in the background, so all in all, the scene is pretty awesome. There was also a token hipster in line, a given with any food truck experience.

So my friend and I grabbed our food and ran back to the safety of our apartment to take pictures of it without the hipster judging us for being so lame. I had “Gregorio’s Special” (who is Gregorio?), which consisted of a beef taco and rice and beans, and I got some pico de gallo on the side because I had chips at home and I am obsessed with pico.

The taco consisted of a soft tortilla (the good kind, not the kind from the $1.50 pack you get from Meijer), ground beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese. It was definitely really great – flavorful and clearly fresh – but I had severely underestimated the size. I’m used to Americanized Mexican places where the servings are for, like, that kid in Matilda who ate the whole chocolate cake. This was for a normal person, even a not-super-hungry normal person. All of my illusions about Mexican portion size have been shattered. The rice and beans saved the meal, being kind of spicy and delicious, and most importantly, filling. I got the hot sauce on the side, but it wasn’t that great. It was a strangely electric orange color and weirdly bitter, although, it was indeed, very hot.

The pico de gallo, on the other hand, was really good – it was pretty standard tomato, white onion, cilantro (all uncooked) mixed together with some lime juice. The ingredients were definitely very fresh, probably the only really important thing about pico de gallo, but in my opinion the amount of lime juice was excessive. But what do I know? I’m just a white girl from the suburbs.

Beef taco, rice and beans. Tasted a million time better than it looks, I swear.

My friend got a small burrito (like me, she was expecting Chipotle-like sizes and so opted for a more human-like portion) and also ended up wishing she had ordered more. That being said, it was a good option for a vegetarian – it contained beans, rice, sour cream, avocado, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese. She also got the mild sauce, which was definitely the better choice of the two sauces. It was kind of a green chili sauce with a bunch of cilantro, which is personally one of my favorite herbs.

What? You don’t have a list of favorite herbs?

Also in the plus column was price. The burrito was $3.50 and my taco plus rice and beans plus pico de gallo came out to $4.25. However, you might spend a little more if you are actually getting enough to create a whole meal – we had to supplement with the little food we have left in our cupboards (we have too much senioritis to go the grocery store).

All in all, it was a successful outing. We ate good Mexican food. We didn’t have to hide the fact that we ate it all in five minutes, since we were in the privacy of our own apartment. And most importantly, we avoided the dreaded scorn of the hipster.

Here are my conclusions:

–       Order more than you would at a more Americanized Mexican place; portions aren’t huge

–       If you own a fixie, you should ride it to El Oasis. You would fit in there.

–       Go for the mild, not the hot sauce

–       You should try either the beef tongue or tripe tacos, because they’re on the menu and I wanted to but was too scared/hungry

–       It is hard to accomplish things in April of your senior year

THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT!

One Response to “Tengo Hambre: Global View Goes Out to Eat — April”

  1. Love this place. Vegetarians fare well if you simply do not choose meat. And they will make everything with corn tortillas for those of you who are gluten-intolerant. The Coke is also the real kind – with sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.

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