Johnnie Does: Queso Taco Kit

With Covid now in the rearview mirror (except for some). the food/meal reviews are back. 

I came across this “Old El Paso” Stacked Queso crunch kit at my local grocer.  It was on the “closeout rack” marked down to $2.  I bought it for a couple reasons. First, I was going to cook tacos and secondly, I had no shells or taco dirt (aka the spices) so I decided what the heck.

The taco kit contains, 6 soft taco shells, 6 hard taco shells, a packet of taco dirt, and a packet of nacho cheese sauce.  The point of this kit is to essentially to make a hard shell taco (you must buy the meat, and fixings) and then put the nacho cheese on the soft shell and wrap it around the hard taco.  The hard shells are flavored with nacho cheese dust, quite similar to the Taco Bell Doritos Nacho Cheese Loco Taco.  I cooked the meat, seasoned it with the dirt, got my fixings ready, and made a few of these for myself. 

Honest assessment?  Not great, ok at very best.  The nacho cheese sauce was a garden variety high school basketball/football game melted plastic type cheese.  There were some pepper flakes in it, so it had a vest.  The soft shell was fine.  The taco dirt was your garden variety dirt, nothing special.  The hard shell was an odd choice.  The shells have a flat bottom so you can “stand and stuff them” a nice change from the old, you have to hold it and stuff it, but the flavoring was odd.  I would describe this meal as eating nachos but with nacho cheese Doritos instead of tortilla chips.  2.5/5

Price point:  $2 is a steal, I went back to the scene of the sale and found the item on the shelf a week later (likely this had to do with expiration dates) retailing for $6.99.  Yikes.  Based on $2 4.7/5.  Full retail? Even a Biden voter would say this economy is causing these shells to be a rip off.  Seriously?  12 taco shells, a package of taco dirt and nacho cheese for $7?  That’s whack.  Hell, a pound of ground beef cost me just $3.

Aftermath: This was not great.  I ate the entirety of the shells.  They were not large, think basically fast-food sized tacos.  The meat, fixings, and shredded cheese were not an issue.  The nacho cheese and hard taco chemical shell caused some issues.  Let’s just say I haven’t seen a blow out that bad since Tampa Bay played the Raiders in a Super Bowl about 20 years ago.  The processed cheese product and the hard shells I would definitely pass on in the future.

Johnnie Does

PS I was able to report back to my doctor that I am able to delay my colonoscopy another year because this taco kit cleaned everything out down there. If you’ve ever considered a cleansing routine and like mildly spicey food this may just be your ticket to better health.

Macaroni Grill is a Strange Experience

Friday night, Johnnie Does and a male friend (both are straight) got together to share a meal and get caught up on recent happenings in our lives. We decided to break bread at the Macaroni Grill. I use the straight term as my co-worker made a comment that Macaroni Grill is an odd option for a couple of fellas to grab dinner.  He wasn’t wrong.  Some background on Macaroni Grill, it’s an Italian chain that is a rival with Olive Garden.  It offers typical Italian faire, here is the review and my commentary.

Peasant bread

Ambiance:  It has a cool, wine cellar/Italian castle vibe to it.  It’s a dark place, but that’s ok. It seems like a “take a girl out on a date prior to prom place.”  They place a white piece of butcher paper over the table to simulate a white tablecloth dining experience, this was cool.  For a typical table, if you ordered wine, they draw a glass on your table, and after placing the wine on the table, you keep track of your glasses.  I would give it a 6.5/10 as our table had no butcher paper and while the place was basically empty it seemed we were an afterthought.  At 7:30 mind you, closing time is 9.

Create your own pasta #1

Food:  As I mentioned, its classic Italian faire; pasta, fish, steak, ravioli and the like.  The chain 86’d its pizza during Covid for who knows what reason as they have a fired pizza oven in the kitchen.  We both had create your own pasta, you get a choice of noodles, sauce, you pick 3 veggie/type toppings, and meat if you would like it.  You also get a loaf of “peasant bread” and oil and balsamic to dip it in.  Overall, I give the food selection 6.1/10.

Create your own pasta #2

Overall:  It’s a chain, and I have blistering commentary at the bottom here.  The open concept kitchen was cool, the décor was nice, but the menu was just ok.  It’s a typical chain, and as I mentioned, it’s a “take your date there prior to the dance” place.  6.3/10.

Scalding hot-take commentary:  Your experience may vary, but mine was bizarre.  The hostess seemed more interested in texting on her phone than trying to seat us.  We were seated at a barely made-up table.  Our waiter seemed pretty off, like maybe he had a hit or two on the devil’s lettuce during his break.  We placed our order, and he almost immediately came back with our food, like disturbingly quickly.  My friend’s order was perfect, mine was served sans meatballs.  When I made comment, I was told they are there.  Okay, I guess I’ll dig around.  When I confirmed their absence, the waiter ran the whole plate back to the kitchen to have the applicable 4 meat balls tossed on the plate.  Not a big deal, but I mean where is the quality control?  Also, no offer of parmesan cheese!? I figured the waiter likely forgot, or got the munchies and ate it all.  Also, there was a wild move with an employee walking around serenading every single table.  I would have had him more like a “for hire” guy because he just kept walking around the store.  Kind bizarre actually, like you could serenade a table for tips, but oh well.  Oh, and in addition, at the top of the bill, a $2 inflation fee?  F*** outta here!  Make Biden pay it, his dementia laden a** caused this.  The only thing I want to see inflated are Jen Aniston’s tots……okay that’s it, Troll. Quit photo bombing my post.

It’s not fair, but Macaroni Grill is in a lot of trouble as a chain, they only have 41 locations left nation-wide.  They challenged Olive Garden mocking their unlimited salad in an ad, but yikes.  The chain has been sold more times than Troll changes his underwear.  Most recently, in 2015 Red Rock Capital bought the whole chain for 8 million.  The chain filed for BK protection in 2017 and is struggling badly today.  If you have a gift card, use it.

Final note:  I did describe this place to the Blog Father as a poor man’s Olive Garden but it costs more.


Johnnie Does

Johnnie Does:  Nick the Greek

We are back, Covid is declared over….er I mean Putin invaded Ukraine.  But anyways here we go with food reviews again!  Blog Father tripled our salary so we will get these more often.

A new place opened in Elk Grove near the Costco called “Nick the Greek” we love Greek people and Greek food on this blog so here we go.

Ambiance:  It’s a typical fast casual (order at counter, be seated, food brought to you place).  Lots of décor and an outdoor eating area.  Its new, and trendy, but very small.  Think like a Chipotle but smaller.  You can watch the cook crew make/assemble the meals.  Overall, it’s a cool concept 7.2/10

Food:  Typical Greek faire, Gyros, kabobs, souvlaki, bowls, and sides.  Basically, it reminded me of Ariana’s.  I went with the chicken gyro pita, fries and a coke.  This meal sets you back about $15.  The fries I chose were the regular fries, they came with sea salt and herbs.  You also could choose Greek fries, which include feta cheese, or Nick’s fries which include meat, garlic and spicy yogurt.   The chicken gyro pita was solid, it was quite large, and I got a very generous portion of chicken.  I also thought the fries were a generous portion.  A patron next to me got a chicken kabob plate over rice, which I also thought looked great.  Call it 8.7/10.

Overall:  It’s a small regional chain. I learned that they have shops in Roseville and Davis among other locations.  I hope they make it and wish them well.  They were very busy since it was opening weekend, and they had quite a crew working there.  The owner was greeting folks at the door and explaining the menu, I thought this is a needed touchpoint.  Some folks are not as cultured as others and if the menu’s not familiar to them it could cause confusion and a back-up at the order kiosk.  Solid 8.3/10.  We will be back.

Johnnie Does

Johnnie Does: The Hungry Pecker Brewery

We are back in business!  Folks we had to wait an agonizing few days prior to our benevolent king Gavin Newsom reopening the state, but we are back to doing restaurant reviews. 

AmbianceHungry Pecker opened about 9 months or so ago “allegedly” since all bars were ordered closed by King Newsom.  The place is an old warehouse I think they used to refurbish hot tubs out of it.  However, it was very nice inside, they had a few seating tables, a high-top bar area, and a separate room where the beer making process is located.  They also had ample outdoor seating.  This seems like a cool place to grab a cold one with the fellas after work.  While the outside could use a little fixing up, I call it a work in progress, and I give a slight pass.  4.3/5

Drinks:  They had about 8 beers on tap, with typical varying alcohol amounts.  A couple took the names of local streets in Elk Grove.  I tried, I believe it was called the Porto Rosa Porter, it’s about 8% alcohol and it was quite good. 

Johnnie Does Sr. had a light beer, he felt the same, even ordering a second.  I would give it a 4.5. Just a note, I am not a drinker, basically gave it up years ago, I’ll have a cold one with my father every so often, but I choose to “hoof it home” as the kids say.

Overall: It’s a cool local joint, has some potential… quite a bit actually.  I would argue between this joint, Waterman Brewing Company, Tilted Mash, and Flatland–just to name a few–my home zip code is more than covered with local brew pubs.  I seriously would wonder about cannibalization.

My overall grade will look bad, and this is not the intention, but man a couple things need to get cleaned up here…. badly…..and pronto.  First, the bartender gal (likely owners’ daughter, wife) had a “what do you want” attitude rather than a “welcome in” one.  This was largely off putting, and she couldn’t be bothered to explain the drinks to us.  We only asked about which beers are lighter vs darker.  She served us and pointed to a couple tables over yonder.  She came by later to check on us and lamented the very sparse crowd for a Saturday at 6pm.  She said they had tried everything, axe throwing, corn hole, and even have BBQ here every Saturday, nothing has been working.  Might be due to having no atmosphere and very little in the way of customer experiences.  In many ways this reminded me of a fundraiser bar for a crab feed.  What do you want?  Ok, here ya go.  NEXT!  1.5/5  Gotta get this turned around quickly.

Bonus Review: JP B QUE located in the Hungry Pecker as a food option.  It’s an Indy BBQ guy, who judging by his size, looks like he loves his own cooking.  He had menus out on the tables and had a buffet type set up outside.  I was actually looking for some decent BBQ. Had a taste for it.  There was no BBQ, smoker, or grill anywhere to be found.  Odd, since, well half the experience is the smell trying to draw you in or make you crave BBQ.  Weirder yet as the owner walked to the restroom right near us; he said under his breath “Its leftover from an event earlier today”.  Yikes 0/5 avoid this place like the black plague!  This is not a surprise as most “mobile” operations do this, rather than cook fresh they offer to re-heat after taking the leftovers from another gathering.  This is a dangerous practice, first it was quite hot outside, and the pans were half covered.  This causes very serious food borne illness bacteria to form.  As much as I hate to say this, JP B Que will never get another look from this reviewer.  Quite frankly I do not think the owner fully understood what he was doing. He could get folks extremely sick.

Proof JP has a grill even if you don’t see it at Hungry Pecker

Full disclosure:  I have seen a smoker out there on the patio before, not sure why he changed it up this day.  But Yikes.

Johnnie Does

P.S. I saw the attempted clean shot by the “Troll” calling me a waste of time and resources on this news site, well let me fire a clean shot at him.  Dear Troll: maybe Jake the Snake would like to discuss “Thou shalt not commit adultery” with you, as you seem to love a married woman, Carli Lloyd.  Stick to what you do best; namely, ogling celebrities in your basement and cranking out 1 blog a month when your mom’s not home.

Johnnie Does: Dine-in Illegally

Blogger Note: no business names will be used at all during this review as to keep Comrade Newsom, Fake Dr. Beilensen and their ilk guessing.

While we respect all laws here at, we love small local businesses!  We do.  Be it the salsa bar, or the new salsa bar.  All the places I review are local, some may be chains, but it’s a local flair.  We recently went under a lockdown where restaurants cannot do indoor or outdoor dining, only take out.  Even after fake, racist, alcoholic Dr. Beilensen admitted only 7% of folks were identified as catching the rona at a eating establishment.  Good luck staying in business doing take out only, unless you’re a Chinese restaurant. 

So anyway, Johnnie Does on a Friday mind you, went to a local shop to order take out.  This place has been around for a while, and it’s rare to see a place on this side of town (sparsely populated) in business hopefully they survive the rona.  The owner asked if I would prefer dine-in, and I said only if it’s ok.  He responded saying if Newsom can dine at The French Laundry you can dine in here, and I did.  I ordered my typical takeout meal here, but it seemed to taste better, maybe it was rona infected as here in CA the rona gets you between 10pm and 5am, also if you dine out or in, and seems to avoid you at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and the like.

I was not the only one dining in, the place was packed, roughly 50% capacity and all were vigilant.  There was joy and a lot of don’t give an f*** going on, I loved it, why should we become slaves to a group of folks (I include both R & D here btw) saying what we can and cannot do, based on wild science that makes no sense.

The food was great, I tipped well, and I will be back.  I may even bring the Chief, Troll, and William here too at some point. 

Sadly, what I wish to point out is this.  These places spent $$$ to buy plexi-glass partitions to go between booths, made staff wear masks, adapted to take out only, and then spent a ton of $$$ on outdoor heaters, custom over hangs, etc.  Now they must go to take-out only.  Money wasted or money well spent?  I say the former.  The rules change here in California literally every 10 minutes, and these folks have adapted, but now the push back is real.  Why are these folks being punished?  This will be the final nail in the coffin of most of these places, before you say; Chilis, Applebee’s, and Olive Garden are going to be ok, those are chains, the parent likely took PPP money, or gave the operators a break on fees.  The small business folks will perish, and it will not be pretty.  Retail will follow them down the drain, likely after the Christmas season.  For context, the end of year blog party was charged $1.50 for using more than 2 bowls of salsa, folks that means this is real!

It’s sad, and I have no way of putting this lightly, the Blog Father, his better half, child, and dog all know my beliefs on this, but it’s going to get very ugly.  Support your small business nearby, and tip for takeout, it may not be tradition, but these folks need it.  Sadly the 90-Day Guy and others think closing businesses and ending livelihoods is the best way to beat this infectious disease.  Think of someone else not yourself for a couple minutes.

RIP Local eateries.

Johnnie Does

BTW Gavin Newsom, 90-Day Guy and others, you’re jerks!  Closing stores and altering lives solely for your own gain?  Think of others, some of us don’t work in government.

Editor’s Note: Just to prove that Johnnie Does is right, California’s chief health official admits that closing restaurants is not related to science. Here’s the meat of the article.

… California’s health and human services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, addressed the matter to the press. According to this expert, science has nothing to do with it.

“The decision to include, among other sectors, outdoor dining, and limiting that, turning to restaurants to deliver and provide takeout options instead, really has to do with the goal of trying to keep people at home, not a comment on the relative safety of outdoor dining.

“We advise against anything that you can do in another way, in a lower risk way, that avoids you leaving your home…”

So, there’s no science saying that outdoor dining is unsafe. It’s just unsafe for you to leave your house in the first place. According to experts. The same experts who told us fifteen days to flatten the curve. Nine months ago. The outdoor dining ban isn’t about science. This “expert” confirmed that. It’s all about control. California doesn’t want you to leave your house. So they’ll take away reasons to leave your house. You know, for your own good. But only some places.

California Health Secretary Admits Real Reason for Outdoor Dining Ban. HINT: It’s Not Science …

Johnnie Doesn’t do Cicada Cantina

Cicada Cantina is a new joint that moved into the old Logan’s Road House near the Best (expensive) Buy in Elk Grove.  They are what appears to be a family owned joint with the legacy store being in Redding, CA.  Cicada serves Mexican food with a traditional style as opposed to American style.  They had a tent set up outside to be Covid compliant, a garage area, and an outdoor dining area. 

Here is the review.  (Blogger’s note: we go easy on places due to it being Covid and all)

Ambiance:  we will leave this blank since outdoor was all that was available.

Food:  Cicada Cantina offers traditional Mexican food such as tacos and burritos, but in addition, they have some cool things on the menu, such as seafood plates.  It’s what you would expect from a chain restaurant based in California. However, …

This place charges for chips and salsa. Yeah, they claim if you buy a food item, they will reverse the charge but that is petty.  By the way the chips and salsa is listed as costing $7.99.  Covid or not, you are a Mexican food joint, that is standard and to be expected.  How about a Chinese place without fortune cookies, or an Italian place without bread.  SAD! 

A friend of mine ordered the Cabo Salad, it consisted of a typical cobb salad, just very little outside of wilted lettuce greens.  The price for this?  $14, not only did my friend say it wasn’t worth it, but it took 40 minutes to come out during lunch.

Here is an experience shared by someone near and dear to me: 

“We dined there in mid-November and since its local we figured we would give it a chance. Since it opened about the time Covid shutdowns began, we didn’t know much about the place. Boy was it a disappointment.  Not having been there before, we looked the menu over and asked our server questions before ordering.  An item that caught my wife’s eye was a spinach enchilada that was listed on the menu as coming in a corn tortilla. My wife asked if she could change to a flour tortilla but was told by our server that it only came in corn. Disappointed, she ordered the chile relleno (think large stuffed jalapeno pepper) for a cool $17.29.  The portion was large, and the pepper appeared to be deep-fried but after a bite or two, it was still icy in the middle and required to be sent back.   I don’t like saying this, but icy food, and unable to change meaningless parts of a dish such as choosing corn or flour tortillas, means only 1 thing, their food is frozen.  Its very expensive freezer food warmed in microwaves and toaster ovens. My chicken fajita looked to be more of the same, processed, frozen, and precooked. There is no excuse for food to come out cold. It’s even more disgusting at the prices that this place has. We are charged for fresh food and get frozen. I expect better.”

Oh, in addition to being microwave meals, my friend’s the total ticket, sans alcohol came to $50 after tip.  Whoa!

I have spoken to a couple other dissatisfied customers that said they were less than impressed and based on the experiences  described above, “unimpressed” is the understatement of the year!

I am going to attach photos of a couple shots of the menu and while some food looks good, look at the prices.

I am sorry it ain’t just Covid, this place is actively ripping off everyone it serves.  This place is basically a very expensive TGI Fridays, where the entire menu can be found at the freezer section at your local grocer.  I see no reason to visit this place.

0/0 seriously, don’t go.

Johnnie Does

Johnnie Does: CA Covid Disaster Continues

With the election in the rear-view mirror we can hopefully begin to look forward to a return to normalcy right? Not so fast! New restrictions have been levied by Governors and Mayors all over the country in regard to “spiking” COVID-19 rates. I use air quotes because this is an infectious disease and is transmittable in ways that we cannot pin-point yet. I can back that statement up by saying we have no idea how this thing is passed from one person to another, we are relying on doctors who have seen no patients to speculate.

Take this example, Sacramento County has now shuttered indoor gyms, dining and church services, saying the virus is being spread at those venues. But where is the proof? These so-called contact tracers? How can they be sure as to where the spread occurred? I have witnessed a Starbucks close for a deep cleaning, but I wouldn’t call that indoor dining! I have yet to see a gym close down for cleaning due to COVID. In all fairness, a church in Dixon was responsible for a breakout of the virus but why must the entire flock be punished for the mistakes of a couple sheep? If one restaurant had a cockroach infestation, do we shut down Restaurants County wide? Nope.

How come it’s a blanket policy when it has to do with a virus? How come folks were allowed to protest Trump or celebrate a Biden victory in large groups, yet the folks who actually love this country could not? Folks can still congregate by the river in this county and have house parties, yet we shut down people’s livelihood? Is this really America? Are we just going to open and close down as we seem fit? Are we actually going to come up with real rules? As in a bar can’t serve chips and salsa to skirt the re-opening laws? The problem is the rules are not uniform and were put together willy-nilly leading to businesses finding ways to get around it.

Things are getting bad and will keep getting worse, there is no two ways around this. Further lockdowns and stimulus are coming, likely another round of bailouts as well. We have a moratorium on evictions in place and that will likely be extended as well. I know several folks who are not paying rent, and quite a few who received forbearance on their mortgage. This may be all well and good from a consumer point of view but what about businesses? Entire industries are teetering on the brink of destruction. Don’t believe me? The retail apocalypse will be here just after Christmas shopping season, if covid doesn’t kill it first. Visit a mall, its eerie. Restaurants shutting down mean more wait staff out of jobs, they won’t be needed in large numbers. Most family run businesses will shut down for good. Here is a sobering thought; in CA, even the least restrictive tier allows only 50% capacity. Yeah, and according to the Restaurant Association they need to be at 80% to roughly breakeven. Disney has laid off 28,000 from its operations, and they are still excluded from opening at all. Professional sports teams are losing millions, layoffs are occurring their as well, ditto for university athletic departments. Movie theatres are gasping for oxygen, retail appears dead. Wait until the music stops, I would be saving money not spending right now.

Who is to blame for this? The cable media/watchers, government workers and retirees. The first group grew this narrative of everyone dying due to the virus, the toothpaste came out of the tube, and as a result we had a narrative out of control. Government workers; Fauci, Beilenson, Sisson et al. decided we had a pandemic on our hands and that all sectors must be shut to stop the virus…. all while still collecting their salaries. The last group…. well they collect social security or other handouts when it rains, snows, or is sunny….so we all need to stay home! In the meantime, others are ruined financially and emotionally, the toll may never be known.

The good news is that during a public health crisis (the government’s words not mine) we shut down the gyms, and most dining at places to eat, yet the golf courses and Indian casinos can stay open? At least the 90-Day Guy can be happy.

God help us all!

Johnnie Does

Really Right Editor does the Drive-thru

Thanks to the Governor’s fear of the Covid, most of us covered by collective bargaining contracts and funded by the few essential taxpayers left in the state are being forced to hide at home for four days of every week; however, once per week we are compelled to trek to the office to work in our Dilbert cubicles. This is supposed to be the “new normal;” at least until the election next week is decided.

Anyway, yesterday was my usual day to show-up in person to the office. On the way, part of my routine is to hit the drive-thru at a local fast-food place that is open at 6 AM. Today I pulled up and was greeted by the usual employee on duty at that time of the morning. I like this employee. He knows exactly which condiments that I want without ever having to ask me. Since I only go there once a week, color me impressed.

Today, I really wish that I had filmed the activity that I observed. The employee was equipped with a face mask and plastic or latex gloves. Typical Covid gear these days.

Anyway, he takes my credit card so he can swipe it in their reader. Then he goes to the shelf with pre-measured bags of coffee. He puts a filter in the removable part of the coffee maker, tears open the coffee, pours it, and walks back to the coffee maker. On the way he drops the empty foil pouch that seconds ago had been full of ground coffee beans. With one hand, he picks up the foil wrapper off of the floor and with the other, he inserts the fully loaded coffee assembly into the maker and hits the switch. Several seconds later, he arrives with a bucket labeled ice only and starts to pour it into the ice freezer next to the drive thru window. In order to pour out the ice, he places the fingers of both hands inside of the ice bucket so he can get the right grip angle to pour the ice into the freezer. Next, he arrived at the bagging station with my order. He places my food in the appropriately sized bag, adds napkins and condiments and then walks to the drive thru window. He hands me my food and then returns my credit card with the register receipt.

I then drove away from the drive thru just marveling. It never occurred to this guy to wash his hands at any point in this process. Why should he? After all he’s wearing gloves. Trust me, the next customer will get the same treatment. Working the register and handling the cash and credit cards of a myriad of people, preparing drinks, bagging cooked food, touching the freight, the floor, and the food, no issues here. Oh, I should add that his duty on Friday mornings when not working the drive thru is unloading the supplies from the Sysco truck in the parking lot.

Remember a few months ago when people were worried that Covid could live on surfaces for weeks at a time? Clearly no application in this context.

Folks part of me would like to flame on the guy but his sanitation habits are just as ineffective as wearing a mask and how many idiots are wearing them just as worthlessly?

I have given up on counting the number of people wearing a mask when driving a car; especially, with no passengers. Ditto for people walking their dogs or bike riding by themselves. Heck, I even see people jogging with a mask on. What’s the point?

If the employee is “safe” and all the customers at risk, what sort of corporate policy is wearing a mask and gloves? Truthfully, washing with soap and water is superior to all this other unnecessary and useless stuff. Only people that believe in global warming or socialism would be stupid enough to think that a mask or other symbol of oppression helps anything. The only reason many places require a mask is not based on science but a fear of the tyranny of tort lawyers and activist judges.

I’ll probably go to this fast-food place again. I’m not that worried. I ask God to bless my food before I eat it and I think trusting in His protection and providence is much better than putting my faith in Gavin Newsom’s ego, his random color codes and all that follows from them.

Johnnie Does Sabor A Mexico

Sabor a Mexico is a family owned restaurant that changed ownership from one family to another a few years ago. They offer classic Mexican food such as tacos, burritos, salads, fajitas etc. It’s a small location in a not so easy to access shopping center, here is my review.

Ambiance: This place is not very big. It has a nice old school authentic almost hole in the wall feel. (Considering the original tenant was a New York themed specialty sandwich shop, the remodel to a Mexican themed place was pretty good–Editor) This business has adapted nicely to Covid by having ample outdoor seating which is pet friendly. There is nice artwork on the walls and windows to make you feel in an authentic Mexican food joint. Since reopening under Covid rules, the manger has furnished authentic music for outside diners. You get full service at your table, like a typical sit down place, in addition to a small bar area, and they have a brisk take out business. Small, comfortable, and homey. 4.3/5

Food: Again, typical Mexican fare on full display, tacos, burritos, salads, fajitas, etc. They had ample meat selection including ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, pork, etc. I went with a 2 item lunch special and ordered 2 shredded beef burritos which came with beans and rice on the side. $10. The food was great, not greasy at all, and I felt this was a great bang for the buck. Only gripe is the chips were over salted, but that’s ok, and the salsa was lacking in the heat department, but again that’s ok since I tend to prefer hotter things than most. 4.7/5

Overall: The food was great, the service even better. It is family owned and it appears family does it all at this place. It was refreshing to hear the words “my pleasure, or absolutely” after speaking to the wait staff. It felt like Chic-Fil-A in many ways, like we were welcomed not a bother. The owner was very engaging, and you could tell he is worried about the Covid lockdowns and the toll it will have in the future. Uncertainty is not your friend in the food business right now. 4.9/5 I definitely recommend this place.

Johnnie Does

Blogger note: The order included a $2 upcharge for the burritos I hadn’t encountered before, that being said $14.55 after tip didn’t seem like a bad price, certainly better than $18 plus for a salad and soda at a certain other place.

The Magic of Outdoor Dining

Folks, no one that I have encountered has ever given me a scientific explanation as to why prohibited indoor activities that are moved outside are magically blessed and good in the era of arbitrary Covid-19 rules. This includes church, haircuts, sit-down dining, fitness centers, and so on.

While I’m sure you can sense my disdain and loathing of such tyranny, I would like to set my political views and emotions aside and just comment on outdoor dining. In the last few days, I have had lunch at three different local restaurants. Of the three places, two are national chains and the other a mom and pop Mexican place. All three failed in fundamental rules issued by Governor Newsom as a conditions of their continued operation.

The mom and pop place no longer gives customers disposable paper menus but their regular ones which are paper inserted into place folders. I don’t recall this being allowed again and I also got no assurance from the restaurant that these things are scrubbed between uses. They have however put a plastic sheet on top of the wrought iron patio furniture table they are using for outdoor service. At least this way the table can be wiped between customers.

In contrast, both national chains that I have visited in the last few days also have wrought iron furniture for outdoor service; however, they don’t clean anything in the customer seating areas. And they don’t cover the tables. Yep, just like normal, one person eats their meal and then the next customer comes along and sits in the very same place with no effort at sanitation. Neither place allows indoor seating and expects customers to eat outside or get food to go. Both places require that I wear a facemask in their business but neither actually takes any meaningful steps to protect their customers from germs.

What prompted me to write about this today was the table of four eating at the national chain with their baby crawling all over the table. When they were ready to leave, the mother told one of the other adults in her party that she couldn’t lift her child off the table because she had catsup on her fingers. So, catsup on your fingers is a problem but letting your infant crawl all over a table that never gets cleaned unless it happens to rain or get blasted by an errant sprinkler is ok? In what universe? Oh, did I say baby was only wearing a diaper? (Said diaper looked like it was full.) How does this make any sense or keep anyone safe from Covid-19?

Folks, the irony is that if these same customers were eating indoors at these establishments, then the tables would get bussed between customers. Thus, it is more sanitary when indoor eating is allowed and more unsanitary when outdoor eating is mandated. Also, said restaurants have more staff when regularly operating.

In my mind, this just further illustrates the absurdity of living in a place governed by fear. Again, I affix much of the blame for this on feckless clergy who fear men more than God and capitulated on following biblical principles. Keeping the 501 (c) (3) is more important. The ghost of L.B.J. looms much larger on this country than just the Great Society and Vietnam War.

Anyway, I hope you think about what I’ve said next time you decide to eat out for lunch or give the wife a night off and let someone else do the cooking.