How Eric Ruined your Cinco de Mayo

It’s Cinco de Mayo and so, like every stereotypical White person in America, I am thinking about Tex Mex.
Maybe I’ll go get some at one of my favorite places…

Maybe we’ll head over to “Acapulquena.”

Well then, maybe we’ll walk over to “Matt’s Lakewood.”

Well, then, maybe we’ll jump over to “Herrera’s West Dallas.”

Well, then, maybe we’ll head up to “Blue Goose Greenville.”

What follows is probably not the rant you wanted on this day. But I’ve been holding it in for weeks, and today feels like the day. I’ve been mulling on this, ever since the stunning and sudden demise of Matt’s. I was already reeling from the loss of these other three, since May 5th a year ago.

Look, I don’t care how old-manish, “get off my lawnish,” this will sound…I’M STILL PISSED.
Really pissed.

And beneath the anger is the sadness/loss of four places where I got “comfort food.” If I was making a list of “Best Tex Mex in Dallas, “ all four of these would have been (still are, and ever shall be) at the very top.

Unlike a lot of folks, who maybe only think about Mexican food on this May-day, we could reliably be counted on to frequent all these places quite regularly. We experienced so many important events in our lives over DECADES. (Even our wedding day!) Or, we just stopped by after a hard day. These were the places of great comfort. These were places we took dozens of friends to, especially out of town ones, to introduce them to the glory of the One True and Apostolic Tex Mex. Our daughter grew to love these places too.

So, no, I don’t want some fusion food.
And, yes, I know there are other options.

Please don’t make a list.
Really, please don’t.
Don’t tell me “you need a new dog.”

Just make space here for this long held-in grief I am spewing today that has accumulated over this past year.

“Matt’s is gone.”
“Acapulquena is gone.”
“Herrera’s is gone.”
“Blue Goose is gone.”

Yes, I know that in some of these cases, they still have suburban locations that I suppose could drive an hour to visit.
Gee, thanks.

For me, I am sitting here, asking the question:

What does it mean for the core of our city…East Dallas, West Dallas…that these four….which had been around for DECADES…over a hundred years of collective existence…are all suddenly GONE within one calendar year?”

This does not give me hope for where our city is going, friends. It really does not.
It feels like a bad omen, as surely as all the ticky-tack apartments popping up everywhere.

So, other than saying “sorry for your loss,” please don’t tell me to “just get a new dog.”

And, dear God in heaven, whatever you do, if somebody jumps in here to defend “Mi Cocina,” swear I will defriend you.
Seriously, I’m *deadly serious* with this last part. Don’t try me.

I can’t tell you how little regard I have for Mi Cocina. Any time some typically Park Cities/Preston Hollow White person defends Mi Cocina, my internal thought is: “I likely cannot trust this person’s judgment on a whole range of issues…”

Their chicken SUCKS….I mean really SUCKS….it’s cold, hard, soulless, tasteless cardboard. Which is exactly how I feel when I go there.
You can get a good Margarita anywhere.
And, oh yeah, you *do* know they’re owned by North Texas’ largest Trump mega donor, right?
(Pro tip for the quality of any Tex Mex restaurant: Not the chips, the margs, the salsa….it’s the CHICKEN. If they can’t do chicken, run —don’t walk— out the door…)

These four are gone, and Mi Cocina is still here?!

Mi Cocina is the new, ticky-tack apartment complex of Dallas’ Tex Mex universe.
Yes, I said that.

Sure, today is a festive day. And don’t get me wrong, all of this makes me even *more* grateful for good friends/folks like Jesus Carmona, Jimmy Contreras, Luis Olvera, the Urtecho Brothers…and, sure, dozens of others who are still offering amazing choices in our city.
(And perhaps this post helps explain for you my utter JOY at the opening of “La Comida”)

Just… hold space for the LOSS, friends.

Draw near.
Bow your head.
Sit for a minute with all of this.

Four in one year?!

What we are to do with such a loss?
You can’t just replace that kind of history over night. And it feels like a metaphor for a lot of other troubling cultural change.
I’m not just sorry for my loss…I’m sorry for OUR loss…our cultural loss here in the city core.

And I can’t see it anything but a very bad sign about where we are going.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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