In the Mood for Mexican

Often I’m asked for recommendations of restaurants. I’d like to think that’s not because I eat a lot, but possibly because I have a palate which is speaks for itself. Whatever the case may be, the occasional ring of the telephone or ding of the text message or email asking my thoughts on a particular establishment is becoming more common than uncommon.

Recently someone asked for thoughts about a good Mexican food restaurant in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Like rapid-fire darts thrown at water balloons to win a prize at a state fire I was able to fire off names so quickly even I was impressed.


So here it is. In no particular order, and for varying reasons, here are my top three favorite Mexican food restaurants in the ‘Ham:

  1. LaPaz Crestline-I’ve adored this spot since being introduced to it in the late 90s. The quaint Mountain Brook setting is the ideal backdrop for some delicious Mexican cuisine, full of flavor, spice and everything nice (Hey, I like to rhyme.) Simple and plain, their Tacos Supremos also known as beef tacos (sans the lettuce) do it for me every time. Add to that some Chile Con Queso with a cold Co-Cola (that’s Coca Cola for you non-southern folks) and lunch is perfect.
  2. Superior Grill-This one is for nostalgic purposes. Back when I was an on-the-go, roving producer/reporter for a local news station and lived in a few spots off of Highway 280 my girl friends, guy friends, and I would meet after work for their all you can eat, as long as you buy a drink worth more than $2.50 Happy Hour buffet. The food was delish (it still is), and authentic. The atmosphere was always festive, especially the patio. And the tortilla chips were hot and crispy, coming out of the tiny little warmers in masses. It was there I fell in faux-love with a couple of fly by night ex-boyfriends and fell in real, deal food-love with Superior’s Chile Con Queso dip, virgin strawberry daiquiri and Single Puffed Crispy Taco. That was until they shut it down when they caught a lady stuffing food in her purse in the restroom.
  3. Cantina Laredo-Fresh Guac (also known as Top Shelf Guacamole) made right at your table is what drew me in to this gem of a place. It’s so good it makes a girl like me who’s no fan of avocado forget that she’s not a fan or avocado. Add to that the hustle and bustle of Birmingham’s Uptown Entertainment District, some amazing desserts like Mexican Apple Pie, that BIG ol’ big screen atop the roof which is perfect to yell Roll Tide with friends during football season, and order up a few fajitas and one could easily stay five or six hours there. For real.
  4. Some other notable establishments include Cozumel Grill & Mexican Restaurant in Pelham which is super affordable and serves the most plenteous, velvety smooth refried beans I’ve ever had and Moe’s…well, simply because it’s near my home and I love it. No other explanation needed.

So there you have it and of course now, I want Mexican food. Anyone treating or down for a little chat and chew over a tortilla chip or two? (There I go rhyming again…LOL!)


Don’t Sweat Their Technique

A friend and I were sharing our concern about another friend who was visibly affected by the actions she deemed unfair from others. It was taking our friend away from her normal way of being, thinking, and even looking. Whether credence was given or not toward the unfairness, what was showing more was her attitude taking a painful turn for the worse in a place and position she could not afford it to. At this point, regardless of whether her concerns were true, her attitude was what was speaking most loudly and clearly. Sadly, she’s not alone.


It’s often hard to take the high road with a happy face when one feels they’ve been treated unfairly, especially when they’re called to carry on “business as usual” in the midst of internal or external madness. I’ve been there, done that, had to smile in front of hundreds while hurting, work through tears which would have flooded a small village (or at least it seemed) and will one day write a book about it. However, all the adversary (the devil) or your adversities would like is for you to get huffed up, fired up, hot as fish grease, defeated, isolated, or disengaged and let that be your lasting impression, especially if your time and presence had truly made an impact. You see, it doesn’t matter if what they did is/was wrong if what you do or don’t do supersedes all of that. Keeping calm in the midst of chaos is a craft which can take you far and keep you sane.


There was a nifty little song by one of the greatest duos ever known to man (or at least this woman). The song was “Don’t Sweat the Technique” by Eric B and Rakim. Over a catchy and infections 80’s hook they rapped lyrics that brought out the best “ohhhh, snap” or “ohhhhhhhhwwwweeeeee” a vinyl record or cassette tape could buy. While their lyrics didn’t exactly sum up the sum total of this post the title surely was inspiration. I’d like to take a cue from this dynamic duo and encourage you by saying “don’t sweat their technique”, meaning don’t let them catch you slipping or off your game having you appear to be the unstable, cra-cra, overly-sensitive or unprofessional one. You better shake it off. Put your best foot and face forward. Deal with them the right way and maintain your character. Regardless of what others do or don’t do, how they act, the energy they carry and the attitude that joins it, don’t let it internally or externally affect you to the point of robbing you of being who you are, how you are and who you were meant to be. There’s a blessing, even in your troubles, which can come more quickly as you gracefully endure whomever or whatever you’re facing and get to wherever it was sent to take you, and do it sweatless. Don’t sweat their technique!