Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Mexico City, handbells, pinhole experiments

Last night we drove the twenty some-odd miles into Dallas to have a delayed Valentine's dinner at
Javier's. Javier's has been around a couple of decades, and now qualifies as a "tradition". It's a Mexican restaurant, with a twist on the local Mexican fare. The "twist" is that it is a Mexico City style restaurant, rather than the Tex/Mex border food which is done here so often and so well.

Accordingly, Javier's lacks tamales, enchiladas, burritos, refried beans, and the other border foods so often assigned the generic label "Mexican food". I'm a big fan of Tex/Mex food, and don't feel any of that snob-orientation in which one sniffs and says "that is not real Mexican food". Indeed, I find little fellow feeling with the kind of traveler who imagines that anything from northern Mexico is somehow less "real" than things further to the south of the country. I love the modern spires of Monterrey as well as I love the traditional haunts of Guadalajara.
Still, Javier's is a good reminder that Mexican cuisine is a more varied palette than the Taco Bell menu.

When we pulled up, we saw an assortment of vintage corvettes, Mercedes and Saabs, signaling that Javier's still has the seal of approval of the north Dallas/Park Cities affluent crowd. Indeed, many of our fellow diners had that vague and indefinable "big hair" look about them--not the literal big-hair platinum blonde Neiman Marcus look of a generation ago, but certainly a look with more than a fond look backward at SMU fraternity and sorority days. Yet the couple beside us could not have been more different than that, but instead were ex-military retirees as down to earth as blackberry cobbler. Javier's is a place and an event, but not a social ordering.

Our meals were simply sublime. I had Barra de Navidad, a wonderful array of grilled shrimp coated with special sauce diablo. My wife had snapper in garlic sauce with a mild Veracruz overtone--the extremely light crust on the fish was Heavenly. This was some of the best Mexican food I have had in my life--and I have had some awfully good Mexican food in my life. After dinner, we just headed home, as any other entertainment would have seemed superfluous after such a meal.

This morning they turned the church worship service over to the youth. The whole affair started with a handbell choir. I believe that most sermons could be dispensed with if more handbells were substituted in for the words. This choir used lots of mallets and those curious box-ringers that sound so delightful. I wished, for a moment, for my own bell set. One of the teens offered a sermon about how a friend's real-life seizure trauma somehow convinced her that Jesus was something the sermon-giver called her "best friend forever". The girl's earnestness won over the somewhat "My little pony" feel to that term "bff". The coolest part was when the kids sang a song the sermonette had written, which had a lot of heart and a dire and met need for a cool bass and acoustic guitar line.

Early this morning I constructed pinhole camera from a kit I got off eBay for a song. My first pictures sit in my pocket, ready to develop. Will they come out? Will they fail? Sometimes with crafts, as in faith, the pursuit of the questions is itself, in a way, the answer. We'll see if I have pictures or merely anecdotes to post about my first pinhole odyssey.

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