How Not to Order Mexican Food

My husband loves Mexican food. When we lived in south Texas, he worked very hard to learn Spanish. As a hospital chaplain and a nurse, we needed to know how to speak and understand Spanish to better communicate with our patients.

My husband loves Mexican food. When we lived in south Texas, he worked very hard to learn Spanish. As a hospital chaplain and a nurse, we needed to know how to speak and understand Spanish to better communicate with our patients. One afternoon, not long after we had completed our Spanish classes, he picked me up from work early. He...One afternoon, not long after we had completed our Spanish classes, he picked me up from work early. He said he wanted to go to Mexico for some Mexican food. We only lived about 20 miles north of Progreso, a Mexican border town.

I pointed out the fact that we had great Mexican restaurants right near where we lived. He agreed but insisted on going to Mexico. "This will give us a chance to practice our Spanish," he said.

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It was the middle of the week and the end of a long day, but I agreed. After we arrived, I suggested several excellent large restaurants, as we crossed the border. But he said he wanted to go to a small "mom and pop" restaurant where no one spoke English, and the food was authentic.

We walked through the entire town until he found a tiny little restaurant that had a large picture window where we could see there were only about six tables inside. "This is perfect", he said.

We went inside, and he asked for a menu; "Un menu' por favor." The waiter shook his head and replied in Spanish, "Sin menu". No menus.

It appeared that no one in the restaurant spoke English.I told him that we should probably go somewhere else. But he declined, saying this would be a perfect place to practice our new language.

The waiter recited the list of entrees in Spanish. I heard the word, Taco, and told the waiter that is what I would have. I suggested to my husband that he should order the Chalupa because we knew what that was.

But he said no. He wanted to hear the list again. Finally, he recognized something that sounded good. He stopped the waiter and said, that is what he would have.

After he placed his order, I warned my husband that he didn't know what he was getting, but he said it sounded like great Mexican food. I noticed everyone else in the restaurant glancing at us and smiling. I thought they were being friendly and smiled back.

When our food arrived, I was glad to see my order- a couple of simple Tacos. However, when my husband's food came, he was surprised, and I heard the people around us chuckle. In English, he told the waiter that he had made a mistake because he had ordered Mexican food.

The waiter patiently nodded and told him this is what he ordered. "Qué es esto?", my husband asked. "Es hamburguesa y papas fritas", replied the waiter.

Then the waiter replied in English, "Hamburgers and French fries!"

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more