SombreroI live near the University Village mall, just down a hill from the University of Washington, where 20,000 students and 5000 faculty play out their lives. The mall has had ongoing remodeling activity, for years and years. It's not owned by a major outfit like Simon, but local owners. The storefronts are always being updated, it seems. Currently two sites are being updated, with construction crews hard at work.

The brightest place, it turns out, will be a Mexican cafe, food outlet, bright and shiny colors. I spoke to a carpenter to inquire what the place was going to be. And that was his answer, Mexican cafe. I replied "There seem to be more Mexican eaters now." He said "There's more of them than me." His voice and demeanor indicated he was unhappy about being a minority among workers; he was Caucasian, twenty-something.

There is already a thriving Mexican restaurant nearby. So now two in the immediate area. And Mexicans all live in the opposite end of this city, the south end, this is the north end. So who's eating the food?

James Wisdom replies:

I am. Big white guy delighted by the endless appetizing combinations of beans, rice, tortillas, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. And let's not forget about the Margaritas. And the hats. Such spacious hats.

As a fan of Mexican food, I've not visited a Chi-Chis in years and will always take a local Mexican joint over the chains. We had an independent open in our town recently whose menu was entirely in Spanglish and inexplicably had a huge callout for hot dogs of all things. But, the guacamole was to die for (as were the entrees) and the servers, if mystified by the group of six boisterous gringos, were very nice.


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