Oh, come one now, this is fantasy world we’re talking about! So of course, being married and having lovers is considered totally normal. ;)
In my happy huge mansion of a home, Tyler Florence, my all-time favorite all-American southern sweetheart would be my househusband, taking care of our English bulldog named Winston and cooking the most amazingly mouthwatering meals with ingredients that we’ve bought together at the farmers’ market. I’d come home from my job as a savvy, sophisticated oh, food-related something-or-other (hey, I'm dreaming here!), and we’d laugh and talk over dinner and a bottle of wine. Afterwards, we’d unwind comfy sweet cuddling on the couch while watching a DVD – a movie, featuring...
Nicolas Cage, my weekend lover. So after weekday happy home-making, I give Tyler a *kisskiss* goodbye, a loving *patpat* to Winston, then twirl away to faraway lands with Nic because there's no such thing as aviophobia, traipsing through jungles and deserts by day like many a movie character he plays, then ending up in some cosmopolitan city at night, dressing up in my million dollar wardrobe including incredible shoes eating dinner in starry restaurants, drinking and dancing the night away in glamourous clubs.
I flinch and my eyes snap open. I’m awake now and find myself sprawled out face down on the living room floor with my right cheek pressed into page 127, a tiny puddle of drool collecting on the full-bleed full-color photos in Tyler Florence's Eat this Book. The television screen is flickering on mute but all of the images are blurred. When I finally release the left-handed deathgrip on my eyeglasses and hold them up backwards to my sleepy eyes because I have not the energy to lift my head and actually put them on my face, it’s a Nicolas Cage movie on tv. I couldn’t identify the movie's title to save my soufflé. *sigh* The closest I will ever get to my Florence/Cage fantasy is leisurely flipping through Tyler's cookbook, glancing up at the Nicolas Cage movie playing on the television screen between commercials.
I’m not dining on Tyler’s Ultimate Food 911 cooking, nor on exotic erotic ethnic with Nicolas Cage. Then what am I really eating here decked out in once-black college sweatpants and sweatshirt that are mismatched except for the fact that they’re both faded and tattered, hair pulled back in a sloppy bun to hide the grease from not washing in three days, and scratched lenses as thick as Coke bottles?
La Salsa, of course. Taco salad from La Salsa.
The taco salad. How on earth does this behemoth of beans and rice just shy of 1000 calories qualify as a salad?! La Salsa’s taco salad has beans, and don’t think that selecting black over re-fried beans is the healthier choice. Any semblance of “healthy” gets completely negated when they add a giant ladle-ful of white rice that has been fried light red, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Sure, there is pico de gallo made of fresh onions and tomatoes, and the meat might be “grilled,” but come on, who are we kidding? The whole thing is served in an enormous deep-fried flour tortilla bowl. The taco salad is truly one of the world's great culinary mysteries. Let’s face it, the taco salad is the marketing alias for Nachos Supreme with a shred, maybe two, of iceberg lettuce. Salad, my big fat, lazy La Salsa ass. Taco salad is a salad, just like bacon, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs and avocadoes are a Cobb salad.
Now I’m not saying that there’s is anything inherently wrong with the taco salad. Or the Cobb salad, for that matter. For fox ache, they are delicious, but the name “salad” is just so wrong. The sly marketing minds over at La Salsa, Baja Fresh and even Taco Bell have deceived us into thinking that it’s good for me because it’s a "salad." From a marketing standpoint, it’s absolutely brilliant, but from a California health-conscious consumer standpoint, it’s just not fair, because really, there ain’t no way the taco salad is healthy. If you order it sans guacamole, sans sour cream, sans cheese, and somehow manage to resist the temptation to nibble on the deep-fried bowl (like that’s really going to happen), maybe it’ll help trim your waistline. But then, what would be the point of ordering the taco salad?
Oh, heck. Just pass me the cilantro-lime dressing and let me continue living in my Florence/Cage fantasy world as my taco-salad-eating svelte little self.