Monday, May 3, 2010
Cinco de Mayo: The Long Wharf Trucks
With a bright spring day shining through the silk curtains of the blogcave and a slight rumble in their tummies, Hans and Mendez, rose from their bunk beds. "Would you like to fly kites today at Long Wharf Mendez?" Mendez groaned in response, wiping vodka sleep from his eye.
"The twins! the twins!" He cried in a confused rage. "Did they leave already?" he looked around holding his two favorite stuffed bunnies. "But... no....do you remember what happened last time we flew kites? Your working Mothra reproduction almost got us laser beamed. Let's just go for the trucks and high heels."
The boys drove to Long Wharf, a place known for its superb Hispanic cuisine and the accompanying reggeton and drawn on eyebrows. The stretch of road next to the beach serves as temporary home to several Mexican food trucks, Puerto Rican trucks, and the George Washington of American street food; a hot dog truck. Although Sweeney's Hot Dogs and The Flag Guy still remain a lot has changed in that past few years- and for the better. Once a haven for male-prostitution, hard drugs and drag racing, the New Haven Police Department has transformed this once setting of pulp-fiction, (or one of Hans's weird BBQ's) into a family friendly mobile emporium of ethnic cuisine. It is now a popular weekend spot for Hispanic families and Gringos in the know.
Geographically Long Wharf is a stretch of coastal land divided from East Haven by Long Island sound. Not quite a beach and close enough to the highway to be thoroughly littered with fast food remains, this area receives few tourists from the local suburbs.
On this particular day the sea side was packed with faces young and old. Kids carried balloons; adults carried paper plates full of colorful food. A stage was set up for traditional Mexican bands to perform and dancers in varied costumes to dance and clap along. Tents were set up for t-shirts and ice cream. Hans and Mendez considered this all before walking to the trucks. This is not your usual Sunday at Long Wharf. Why all the extra commotion? Then it dawned on them. Before they could say "Santa Anna," the bloggers discovered Long Wharf was celebrating Cinco De Mayo. Cinco De Mayo is a holiday that is to Mexican beer what St. Patrick's day is to Irish beer and what Valentine's day is to candy and the rejected plea for a threesome.
"This is even better than kites!" They walked up and down the designated fair ground looking for the most appealing taco truck to eat at. The Puerto Rican truck being no where in sight, the bloggers settled on Taquiero. They passed a soul food truck which was parked a few lonely yards away from the festivities. This truck sold pricey meals, not cheap snacks. When eating at a Long Wharf truck party one must sample a little bit of everything. Its kind of like attending an orgy.
When ordering the bloggers stuck to what they loved best and what they could get the most of for the least amount of money. They stuck with tacos. A Taco truck is only as good as its name sake. Have you ever ordered rib eye at The Ground Round?
Think of the trucks as glorified Ice Cream trucks. Instead of circus chimes to entrance the hungry, the smell of spices and meat blow through the wind. Hans and Mendez carefully ordered with the hope that Muffy taught them the right verbs and nouns. After a few minutes wait the order is called out. On a busy day like this one, this can be a very stressful ordeal. Spanish is the excepted language and this isn't your middle schools version of it. Several plates where handed out before ours and several times we almost took the wrong order. But like true love, when you see your plate for the first time you know that it was meant for you. The tacos are the size of silver dollar pancakes. They are priced reasonably for their size; five dollars will fill you up. The bloggers chose an assortment of beef tongue, pork, chicken; one of every food group found in Charlotte's Web.
After dining the bloggers sat on the warm grass looking out upon the water. The Q Bridge was to there left, next to huge holding tanks of petroleum. Closer to the sun sat water front property. Children played soccer and threw rocks into the water. "You know Hans, we could solve all of the worlds problems." Hans knew that New Haven Eats It brings countless people together, but how would it solve the world's problems? Mendez continued, "You take one group of people who don't like another group of people. You introduce them to the other groups food, music, and women, and viola! Peace and understanding! Let me prove my point. Shout out any ethnic group."
"********!" A few heads turned.
"That's the easiest of them all: Pizza, Tarrentelli, and Sofia Loren."
"******!" More heads turned. A few men rolled up the sleeves of their shirts.
"Tapas, Penelope Cruz, Flamenco." The sun started to dip lower and lower, cooling itself off in the sound. Hans quizzed Mendez until the street lights came on, unable to stump him. Love really is a simple thing to conjure. Understanding could be gained with in only a few bites. This realization got Hans to thinking. "We could throw a huge party and invite bigots and members of the Republican National Party over. We would serve ethnic food and invite women representing every nation of the world!" It sounded like a good idea, Mendez even tried to remember a few good caterers that he knew, but what to do with that many rednecks and suits after the party? They thought back to the time when hippies and Hell's Angels partied together at the blogcave and the carpet they had to drag secretly to the pier afterward. Surly they couldn't stay at the blogcave. Would people like that even know how to fold a pizza slice in half? World peace would have to wait, but a catered event with women representing every country on the globe could happen as soon as this weekend.