When I was a teenager in high school I liked punk rock. The lessons I learned from it have profoundly changed the way I’ve viewed the world ever since. I have less respect for authority and for tradition than I might otherwise. I’m a big believer in D.I.Y. I would rather spend an evening with someone who looks like Nina Hagen or Joan Jett than the girl next door. And perhaps the most important thing I learned from Punk Rock – is don’t lie about who you are. Don’t be a ‘fake-punk,’ a ‘poseur.’ The way it worked is as follows: I could wear punk rock clothes, the accepted uniform, complete with safety pins, torn clothes, band logos, and completely punk rock hairstyle and piercings. I was not, hovever, under any circumstances to say I was punk. If asked I could say I liked punk rock, but to be punk rock was to be completely nihilistic; to believe in nothing. If you believe in nothing, nothing can bother you – you’ve already reached an anti-nirvana. This is, like nirvana, an unattainable state. This is why the most punk rock people around died horrible deaths – Sid Vicous, G. G. Allin (do not google GG Allin). Everyone else was fake, or were doing something other than punk rock. Most of the best of the punk bands just said they were making rock and roll. If you listen to the Ramones they sound a lot like Jan and Dean or early Beach Boys. The Dead Kennedies were closer to the politics of folk music than to the nihilism of punk, even if they were treated like pariahs by the hippies of their native San Francisco. The Clash made music that was too polished and sophisticated to be punk rock. In the end, there were few bands a purist could consider real punk. The Sex Pistols were in that sweet spot, which is why they self destructed so spectacularly.
In the real world we all have our public face, and our true selves, and the two are almost always some distance from one another. I liked PIL and the Circle Jerks in high school, but I also secretly listened to James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkle, or (gasp) Fleetwood Mac. I liked Hall & Oates, then and now, and the rest of the world has come around to them it seems after casting them out into the wasteland of ‘uncool’. I haven’t had a mohawk in 15 years, but I still automatically dislike anything that is described with the words ‘traditional,’ ‘heritage,’ ‘mainsteam,’ ‘corporate,’ and ‘commercial,’ even though I have moved on intellectually. I’m old enough now to care very little about what people think of me but I care very much about how I think of myself. I aspire to be someone who is not selfish, who does good, who makes the world a better place, and who lives by a code instead of constantly reacting to the next thing I encounter. I shamelessly listen to Level 42 and the Melvins one after the other, with a Cocteau Twins chaser. That’s right, I like all kinds of ridiculous music. I’m not ashamed of it, well, not very.
What does that have to do with tacos? Nothing. Usually I’ll chime in at this point with some tenuous segue and tie the topic of my intro very loosely to the details of the taqueria in question. I’m not going to do that today. Suffice it to say – this blog is a personal journal in a restaurant reviewer’s clothing. Today I’m not event going to put on the costume.
Here’s the review:
Hermanos Solis #5 is on Port, and has taken up residence in what may be one of those doomed locations where successive businesses open and close with none taking root. See this post for one of the prior incarnations. I hope they can put an end to this because they are really good.
I saw them while driving a bus down Port for my new job. The gorgeous hand-painted signage announced the place like herald angels.
Without prompting I was delivered chips and red salsa. The salsa was good, the chips fresh – both flour and corn. Then with my tacos two more salsas showed up. The green was a jalapeño salsa, and the third was another red salsa – a chile based salsa with a red oily finish, and very hot. The tortillas were big and good. I’ve had them here before where they were so fresh that they felt like a loaf of bread out of the oven that’s too hot to eat withouth crushing and deforming it. These were not quite like that. They were a little charlie brown. Bigger than average, they were still quite fresh and very hot. The chorizo and egg was good, and very fresh. The carne guisada was filled with big tender chunks of nice marbled beef and a straight up beef gravy with a hint of black pepper. Upon eating with the salsas employed on the tacos it there was so much heat it was hard to tell what was temperature and what was pica. My nose was running. The tacos were juicy enough that I had to use 6 napkins to make it through the two tacos, and my cuticles were burning from hot salsa soaking my fingertips. The service was professional, and the coffee was hot and quickly refilled.
Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:
Amy Schumer (pictured right) has bigger balls than just about any comedian out there. She takes the half-hour one-man sketch comedy show format to places no other show can, through sheer strength of personality. Skewering chauvinism and feminism alike, she spares no one, especially herself, from her pointed jabs. Her 12 Angry Men in Amy Schumer parody is a masterpiece.
Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free tacotopia t-shirt. Please redeem this offer on a Friday morning of your choice. Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs. Enter to win by emailing your name on the back of some ‘Milk Milk Lemonade’ fudge to firstname.lastname@example.org.