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Monday, March 3, 2014

El Hombre Oso Hormiguero

It was a grey Saturday and I craved piquant Mexican food. Ground beef tacos with shredded cheddar were not what I wanted. I wanted home style Mexican stews. I needed those flavors. I immediately called my squire, Dolphus, and demanded that he prepare my anteater, Sebastian, for a ride.

"Dolphus!"

"My lord."

"Water and saddle, Sebastian. I ride in one hour for Carnitas El Atoradero!"

Carnitas El Atoradero is a Mexican stew parlor in the Mott Haven region of the Bronx, which has been raved about in the chronicles of Serious Eats. I often will peruse the various adventures recounted on Serious Eats while Dolphus bathes me.

The time came for my adventure and I mounted Sebastian, who had been gloriously attired.

"You've done well, Dolphus. I shall be home this evening around 7pm. Please have the water drawn for my bath."

"Yes, my lord," said Dolphus.

"Sebastian! We ride! Yahhh!"

We rode into the drab Bronx day at speeds not often reached by North American anteaters. How majestic we were! As we went along 149th Street cars honked in admiration, and many a Bronx native stopped to cheer and shout words of adulation. “El Hombre oso hormiguero!” they yelled.

Upon arrival I dismounted Sebastian and called over a boy who was standing close by.

"Sebastian here is a true and loyal anteater, so it's not necessary to keep him tied, but I ask that you attend to his every need while I'm inside dining. You will be well compensated for your efforts," I said.

"But how will I know what he wants?" said the boy.

"I will be back shortly!" said I as I entered my destination.

Carnitas El Atoradero is a humble, cheerful place, full of locals getting their coffee or tacos. I was seated and brought a menu.

"Young lady, I am a man who knows what he wants, so please do not insult me with your menu. I'll have the costillas in salsa verde, and make it snappy!"

Fresh tortilla chips were brought, along with complimentary guacamole and an earthy, intense salsa. When my plate of costillas (pork ribs) was brought, Lina, the chef and owner, also sent over a sampling of chicken drowned with mole poblano, a rich, intoxicating sauce of various peppers, seasonings, and pleasures. My costillas were in a piquant green sauce which was as flavorful as a billygoat on Sunday. Speaking of goat, the kitchen also brought out a complimentary goat taco. I ate my feast and moaned in pleasure and had many spasms of ecstasy.

"Lina, you've outdone yourself!" I said as I unbuttoned my pants and ordered an horchata to help digest.

After some time spent allowing various fumes to be expelled, I left a generous tip and bade my Mexican friends a fond farewell.

"I shall return!" I said and immediately turned and walked into the door, hitting my head rather hard. "Damn it!" I grumbled to myself and managed to slip out.

When I returned to the street, the young boy charged with caring for Sebastian was laughing wildly. He had painted Sebastian purple, and when he saw me he started to run, but I quickly grabbed him by the arm.

"My dear boy, I told you Sebastian would let you know what he wanted! He looks marvelous!"
I rewarded the boy handsomely with a Dunkin' Donuts customer appreciation card which had all 10 stamps.

I mounted Sebastian and we set off. We rode in a blaze of purple fire down the streets of the Bronx, at times attaining maximum speeds of 20 miles a year.

Upon my return home I asked Dolphus to treat Sebastian to some Pueblan fire ants for his day’s work.

"When you're finished attending to Sebastian I'll tell you all about my adventures."

I retired to my chambers and awaited my bath, playing over and over again in my mind the day.