Friday, December 16, 2011

FINALLY - A Lunch Out with Co-Workers!

I've been back to work now for about a month and haven't been able to get out to lunch with "the boys" in the office because I'm still taking Dad over to visit with Mom each day.  Friday, bless his little heart, one of the guys suggested we take an early lunch so that I can get my Azteca fix for lunch.  I jumped at the chance.

Azteca is another of our favorite hangouts for lunch.  Located out on East Market Street, it's an easy jaunt from downtown if we hop onto the freeway and it's easy to get there, eat, and be back at work in a little over an hour.

There's nothing fancy about the place, they are slowly adding some new chairs and tables to the rooms to upgrade a little.  This is a basic, sit down, order and eat place. You won't find tablecloths or nice cutlery, but the staff is friendly and the place is always packed for lunchtime.  Everyone seems to come here - men in business suits, cops on their lunch break, tons of people with Goodyear badges on, and just about everyone in town has been here at one time or another. 

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or not that the staff pretty much knows my lunch order.  Iced tea usually appears without my saying a word and Jamie asks whether I'm having a lunch #5 or a hot and spicy lunch burrito today (burrito today, thanks!).  Those are two of my regular orders, but everything on the menu is good.

Hot & Spicy Burrito - not really spice,
just filled with goodness.

Lunch specials are fast, inexpensive and typical Mexican-American fare.  Tacos, burritos, rice, beans, etc arrive swiftly lined up on hot-mitt-covered arms from our wait staff.  "Hot plate" is the standard statement as your plate is set in front of you. 

The burrito is very filling and it almost always ends up in a "to go" container for me.  The leftover beef chunks make a terrific hash on Sunday morning.  Speaking of beef chunks, if you stop here, order the Mexican Stew.  It's a hearty, beefy dish served over rice.  My friend Cathy got it for me once when I wasn't feeling well and it turned out to be the best thing for a nasty cold. 

Also, try out their Chicken Tortilla Soup.  At $4, it's the best lunch bargain on the menu.  The bowl is as big as my head and is filled with chicken, rice and a broth that is just spicy enough to get your nasal passages cleared out. 

One additional treat for myself this weekend was a trip to see my "hair dude", John.  At the holidays, our tradition is that I bring in a bottle of wine with some cheese and crackers and we enjoy the experience of a slightly loopy hair cut and color.  John is going through an especially tough patch at home as well as my challenges, so the wine was welcome opportunity to unwind a bit for both of us.  A little brie and a new discovery of a stilton cheese with blueberries were great accompaniments to our bottle of malbec from Argentina.

Most of us wouldn't consider wine at the beauty shop, but as long as there isn't any strong perm aroma floating around, it works out well.  And even after a glass or two, my hair still looks great.  I was only slightly concerned about John's 2:30 appointment though.........

All winter season is covered with
footballs and snowmen on the
Krispy Kreme menu

This weekend I got holiday cards for us to sign and send out.  More to give Mom and Dad something to do than anything else, but it was great fun once Mom stopped addressing them all to me and Dad finally learned to spell Mom's name with 2 "n's".  We managed to get glitter all over everything which for some reason tickled both Mom and Dad. 

As our after signing treat, I stopped at one of the best places is town, Krispy Kreme.  For the holiday season, they've gone all out and have cream filled snowmen in the case.  Who could resist!  I got us three snowmen and a small bottle of chocolate milk and we all enjoyed that after our glitter-fest. 

The floor nurse heard us talking about Krispy Kreme and stopped in to talk to us.  She recalls going in for the fresh, hot, glazed donuts in the mornings with her kids.  They were awed by the sheer number of doughnuts rolling on the line and under the glazing bath. Me too, it's always an awesome sight.

From me to you, happy holidays!  May they be filled with burritos and wine and snowmen all iced! 

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