Friday, October 16, 2015

Lessons from the Road, Part Five

The Cheapest Meal is Sometimes the Best

It was Day Three of our Epic Road Trip - the longest day on the road was behind us, we had a thirst for adventure and a can-do attitude. Waking up in Albuquerque, we first made our way to Chocolate Dude (where we met the actual Chocolate Dude and brought regards from our friend Eric) to meet my amazing, beautiful and talented friend Robin for coffee and catching up. All too soon (mostly because I was late,) it was time for Robin to head to school (she's a super-cool professor) and for us to hit the road.

We had a four-ish-hour drive planned until we made it to Winslow, AZ. We pulled into town and immediately headed for Standing on the Corner Park. (It was such a fine site to see!)

Me and Alex, and a bronze guy takin' it easy.

We had a great time hanging out in the park, taking pictures and being goofy. It was a quiet day in Winslow, being a Thursday and all, so there wasn't a heckuvalot happening. One thing is certain: it was hot.

(But it's a dry heat.)

It was cruising toward noon and our bellies were hungry (even after the delicious mochas and chocolates from Chocolate Dude), so we decided to head to lunch.

Careful research (aka, "yelp") recommended a Winslow restaurant called E&O Kitchen.We keyed the address into the GPS, and off we went.

Right up until we lost connectivity. Winslow, it seems, is not a hotbed of cellular activity.

Alex, it turns out, has a great sense of direction and a very good memory. So, just as the screen went blank, he saw the airplane symbol near the dot representing the restaurant on the map.

Great. We'll head for the Winslow Airport. #WeAreNotLost #WeKnowExactlyWhereWeAreItsTheRestaurantThatsLost

I would have given up and headed back to the highway, but the Young Prince was determined. We were practically on the runway when we saw the sign; we had arrived.

The "muy bueno" part? They're not kidding.

We were seated by a gentleman who took our drink order - all the water, please - and brought us menus. We looked out the window (hey, a plane!) and took a quick scan until we found what we wanted - E&O Tacos. They looked like this:

I, Maggie, take you, taco, to be my lawfully wedded lunch.
Yeah, they look good; that's nothing compared to how they tasted.

The chicken was cooked to perfection. The onion and cilantro on the side gave it just the right kick. The avocado was the ideal touch, especially if you're like me and you like avocado on your avocado. Quite simply an amazing meal; we were making yummy sounds the entire time as we enjoyed our meal.

And then the bill came.

We ate at a lot of great places while we made our way across the country. Some of them were good (hello, Sonic? You're everywhere.) Some were great. Some were cheap, and some were decidedly not. But none was as delicious as this one, so it was rather shocking when we came away with a bill that totaled all of about $17. Seeing as my dad provided the food budget for the trip, I can tell you this much for certain: it was the best $17 he spent the entire trip.

Sometimes it's far too easy to get caught up in the price = value dilemma. We want the purse with the logo on it, the car with the right emblem, the newest mobile phone (please, Santa, bring me a rose gold iPhone 6S!), the whole nine. We want them because we're convinced more expensive is better. But one simple, rustic, perfect meal convinced me otherwise. I'll take an airport dive over a Michelin-rated joint any day of the week, if it tastes as good as E&O kitchen. #Swoon

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