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.

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.

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 with 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 entries 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. He told the waiter that he had made a mistake in English 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
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I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. Maria -

    very funny! I’mGlad he wanted toGo to the mom and pop place those are the best. Mucho Besos! Maria

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Maria,Deana

  2. Libbie -

    This made me laugh out loud. I have a horrible ear for languages but would love to get better, so I do try but can see people cringe when I order. :-

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Libbie,Deana

  3. That is really funny, sounds like something my brother in law would do. he likes to think he is great at other languages. A long way to go for burger and chips. lol

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Anita,Deana

  4. How funny! At least it was a hamburger and not some unknown animal part! LOL! I speak a little Spanish having lived in San Antonio for a bit, but not sure I'd trust my stomach to my Spanish skills!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Nancy,Deana

  5. Rutu -

    Amazing. It's so true that we learn new things we should used it wherever it is necessary.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you so much for reading my story. Please come back read our new story coming out this weekend.Deana

  6. What a great story and gave me a chuckle! I congratulate your hubby for stepping outside of his comfort zone...but...I wonder, have you gone back to Progreso for dinner?

    • Deana Landers -

      Lynn, we went back many times and as our Spanish got better our food orders were less of a surprise:)Thank you for commenting.Deana

  7. Very funny! I speak Spanish so many of the words can sound likes it a Mexican dish but really is American dish . I actually had that happened to me with a dish that I thought was taco but was a sandwich torta

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, we still use Spanish now that we are not in South Texas. It is fun to try to communicate in a language other than our own. I love Mexican food:)Thank you for commenting,Deana

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