Pandemic-based restrictions can be a real buzzkill come date night, even in Mexico. That doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on a big night out with some tasty street food.
Following Local Laws in Mexico
Currently, retail operations and in-restaurant dining are not permitted after 8:00 pm where I live.
It is important to respect local laws no matter where you live, so when the local government says it’s to-go orders only, or as we say in Spanish, “para llevar,” we should adhere to the guidelines.
Luckily, takeout food is permitted, and outdoor taco stands vendors are happy to meet local demand. These eateries generally uphold the current social distance requirements and follow sanitization procedures.
When talking about street food, keep your health in mind. If something doesn’t look right, it is up to the foodies themselves to decide what to consume.
Talk About a Taco Night
Last Friday, I was craving something spicy. Then it occurred to me: I could go pick up tacos and bring them back to my place for a romantic candlelit dinner for one.
Knowing where to go is key, though. The town where I live is split by a busy highway.
On the beachside, there aren’t many street food vendors. There are plenty of good eats; they just happen to be full restaurant experiences.
Street food is on the other side of the highway.
Crossing that busy road certainly is worth it!
Many food stands are set up directly in front of a person’s home, converting their front lawn into a restaurant. The local street food gives tourists, locals, and expats front-row access to family recipes, some of which have been served for generations.
Why Not Try Tacos for Two?
On my little jaunt, I thought about what a romantic rendez-vous “tacos for two” would be, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner.
It all comes down to how street tacos tantalize the senses, making for the perfect date night (even for one—treat yourself).
Smell the grilled onions. Hear the sizzle of the “carne asasda.”
Feel the warmth of the roaring flame as you steal a glance at the glow of the sweating meat cooked to perfection.
Then taste, taste, taste!
By the way, be sure to grab your plastic containers when heading to a taco stand. These stands tend to use a lot of “unicel” (Styrofoam) and plastic. Waste can be avoided by bringing reusable containers.
To tell them you have your own food storage, say “traigo mi tupper” (I brought my container).
Ask if the salsas are “suave” (soft) or “picante” (spicy) if you have to know before digging in.
When the meal’s over, say “la cuenta” (check) to pay the bill. Taco stands are almost always “solo efectivo” (cash only) and paying with a large bill and expecting change is a kind of cultural taboo.
In other words, stash some pesos in your pocket before heading out.
Make the most of your next date night! If you’ve got Valentine’s Day on the mind, or just feel romantic (or hungry), make it a taco night!
I’m curious! What’s a romantic date for the twenty-first century expat in other parts of the world?
by: Dale Hanstead