Sunday, September 25, 2011

El Rey Abides

These Dudes Abide.
Anyone who has seen the cult-classic: "The Big Lebowski" knows that it is at its core a formula detective whodunit except that the "detective" is a stoner. The "logic" flowing from a conversation between The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Donnie (Steve Buscemi) and Walter (John Goodman) is so spacey that the fact that vandals who by a case of mistaken identity break into the Dude's apartment and pee on the Dude's oriental rug "that tied the whole room together" becomes the responsibility of the other or "Big Lebowski" the vandals meant to terrorize. It is sort of like the logic which we often utilize on LITG to tie current events with restaurants.

So what do El Rey (the King of Burritos) and The Big Lebowski have in common? Here is what El Rey had to say about that:

"On the evening of September 15 the President of Mexico will begin Mexico's Independence Day with the ringing of bells and the Grito Mexicano.  Each year we celebrate by cooking our famous version of carnitas.

We've managed to get the Capri Theatre to participate in our celebration by showing The Big Lebowski. We are almost certain that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla used the words "dude' and "abide" at least once in the Grito de Dolores."

I say: YAAAAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...... the.Dude abides! (And Mexico should be free from Spanish colonial rule...I guess). 

The 15th was a great night to stop by good ole El Rey, devour some carnitas and catch one of my favorite movies.  Carnitas consist of braised (as opposed to debased) pork and are eaten alone or they can be used to fill tacos or burritos. The pork is first simmered for a long time to make it really soft and then braised in the oven to make it crispy. The recipe is very simple and does not involve any chili sauces.  At El Rey they serve them by themselves.

Carnitas on the right.
Unfortunately, while a big fan of El Rey, the carnitas were not very hot (temperature-wise) and sort of bland.  Perhaps they are famous for other types of carnitas but the ones I had were not very noteworthy. Coupled with the fact that you have to buy the chips and salsa at El Rey, if it were not for the PBR tallboys, it might have been a downer meal not suitable for watching a classic Stoner movie immediately thereafter. But as the Dude would say: "Well, man, that's just your opinion, man."
PBR to the rescue!

Fortunately, after two tallboys the meal came together sort of like the rug in the Dude's apartment brought the whole room together. It was an appropriate prelude to one of the funniest movies that ever sprang from the loins of the Coen Brothers.  Seeing Lebowski on the big screen (completely uncensored) is a must for those who get it. Those that do not get the movie just will never understand it.  Sort of like Raising Arizona.  Either you thought it was hilarious when the wife tells the husband: "Ty, go back there and get me a toddler. The've got more than they can handle" or you don't. Which brings me back to El Rey.  Either you like the artsy-fartsy bohemian atmosphere and the food or you just don't. We at LITG like it, especially when seated in your bathrobe outside with a White Russian in fist. From such a perch the Old Cloverdale world jogs by at a snail's pace.  And as the warm glow of a Montgomery afternoon and alcohol washes over you, you can almost hear "The Stranger," in his cowboy twang say: "The Dude Abides? Why, we can all take comfort in that."


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