there’s this place in lincoln park — allende — where a bunch of us have taken to going for some food, fellowship and a quickish bite to eat after meetings, and here and there. it’s ostensibly a run-of-the-mill taqueria. nothing special or fancy. but, for whatever reason, i just love it.
i’ve lived in chicago for years now and had my fair share of bad, good and indifferent little hole-in-the-wall mexican places. i ended up going to allende one night after my sunday meeting because i was sick of going to the usual diner with the overinflated prices, the mediocre food and the terrible service. i was going expecting to find a decent meal, and found a piece of deliciousness.
i don’t know what makes it really any different from anything else, but i do love it, and the server is always super nice to us and i think we’re pretty nice to her. well, to start, we’re not drunk. that’s got to be *something* when you’re at the hub of a ton of bars in the middle of a college neighborhood (depaul). i always like to think that being sober starts us off on at least two good feet — literally.
seriously though, i know the waitress knows us and it’s nice to be a ‘regular’ there. one night, we went into allende late on a saturday night and it was just crazy. wasted people, girls in slutty outfits, a line nearly out the door. we got a table and one of our friends got in line with our order. there would be no table service at this point. it was just so crazy up in there. it was never like that at 10 pm on a sunday night.
tonight, my friend joe and i were headed toward the red line after a late night meeting and i wanted something to eat. we weren’t exactly sure where to go, and we both had the allende inspiration. it took awhile for the train to come, but we found our way there. as we exited the train, joe looked at me and said, “you know this is going to be a shit show.” and i took in his words and remembered the last time we were at allende on a weekend night. i remembered the line out the door and the chaos. i realized he was right. i was trying to gain some understanding and then some acceptance of our very near future as we descended the first step down to the street, when a guy starts chanting “let’s get tacos!” followed by the baseball clap (clap-clap — clap-clap-clap). joe and i looked at each other and started laughing our asses off.
was this a fucking movie? joe says it’s “going to be a shit show” and then we are surrounded by a group of people that start chanting “let’s get tacos?” and we KNOW where they’re going. they’re not going to taco bell up on addison. they’re on fullerton with us, and we know they’re headed to allende. fucking perfect. hysterically perfect, actually. it couldn’t have been any more perfectly planned …. so, we joined in and chanted and clapped along. if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
until i look at joe and and realize, ‘hey. they’re drunk and there’s a big group of them. we just need to pick up the pace and beat them to allende.’ joe senses my urgency and says something out loud about us beating people there. the chanter says, “you’re right. i’m going to kick this up to a light jog.” SERIOUSLY? joe nearly pisses his pants at this point as the guy and his friend and the girl who is with them start *lightly jogging* to allende. too fucking funny. AND they know the alley shortcut to get there, too.
unbelievable. for all the times i’ve said my life is a movie, i swear i just keep getting more and more scenes written for me all the time. it was too good to be true. luckily for us, we made it there in good time, too, and got a table and got served by the waitress i love. but still. “let’s get tacos (clap-clap clap-clap-clap)! let’s get tacos (clap-clap clap-clap-clap)!”
who doesn’t love a good taco chant? i know i do.