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Monday, December 31, 2012

Winding Down the Year with Wienerschnitzel

A Beef Tamale coated with Chili and Cheese

When we lived in the house where we raised our dog Sport (Covered in “On Rescuing Dogs: Part 1”), my parents would usually go out with their friends from church after the Sunday and Wednesday evening services.  One night, at the nearby Wienerschnitzel, the pastor, his wife, and the others egged my mother into pouring a few drops of her coffee cup onto my father’s head.  He responded by upending his cup over her precious hairdo.  Gallant his action might not have been, but my father wasn’t a pushover.  He never backed down to anyone.

We never go to our local Wienerschnitzel, as it’s a rather primitive affair, only offering drive-up service, and a few tables outside.  But there’s one in Orange County that has a nice restaurant.  When we’re up that way, we sometimes stop for lunch.  They have a nice range of items, and dining there is a rare pleasure. 

Before we left for Florida, we got an advertisement heralding Wienerschnitzel’s new beef tamale.  I searched for restaurants in Florida, but the chain’s reach doesn’t extend that far.  Smothered in chili and cheddar cheese, the tamale looked terrific.  But they would only be serving it during the holidays, and I doubted we would make it up the restaurant in Orange County before they stopped serving it. 

After we returned from Florida, our days were filled with all our normal tasks, plus getting ready for Christmas.  Finally, at the end of last week, my wife made an extraordinary suggestion: that we pick up necessary supplies at the grocery store, then stop by Wienerschnitzel for their tamales.  We never get restaurant food To Go, as by the time we get home, and get everything else ready to eat, the food has gone cold.  But this time, it seemed the ideal solution.  After waiting in line for about ten minutes (despite the fact that there was only one car ahead of us), we drove slowly home in the darkness, gazing at the glowing Christmas displays.  I had to take the bag off my lap and set it on the floor: they were that hot.  They still got a little cold by the time we arrived home, and got the rest of our dinner ready, but the microwave warmed them sufficiently, and they proved as delicious as we had imagined they would.

It’s been a tough week or so since then.  Apart from expeditions to the doctor and the pharmacies, we haven’t left the house due to lingering illness.  But today we ventured out, as we needed a few items from the grocery store.  We decided against sitting in a restaurant, where the temperature might prove cooler than at home, and the other diners object to my wife’s ragged cough.  So we stopped by Wienerschnitzel on the way home.  This time, we picked up two corndogs to go with the tamales.  The cornmeal covering the corndogs was denser and sweeter than that of the tamales, and the two items went perfectly together, providing a wonderful meal. 

Mexican restaurants usually cook up special tamales for the Christmas season, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed them covered in hot sauce or salsa nearly as much as I do smothered in chili and melted cheddar cheese.  If you’re looking for a special dish to ring in the New Year with, you could do worse than the chili cheese tamales from Wienerschnitzel.  Like say, Pimento Cheese sandwiches.  No, not the Sandwich demon!  Alas, mention of that dreaded delicacy (and how I was once cursed with it) must wait for now.

Please, don't everyone cheer at once.

Dragon Dave

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