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Menu from Los Primos Restaurant
Restaurant Review: Los Primos

In the quest for delicious Mexican food in the middle of Louisiana, Los Primos is an oasis of deliciousness. Come along for a trip with me and BF.

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Hello again, Dear Readers:

This week marks six years since I crossed the Sabine River to visit BF for the first time. We didn’t “celebrate” like we did last year. We’ve decided on a movie for Valentine’s Day: Ghostbusters: Afterlife. We’ll get that from the red kisok somewhere.

I suggested the fourth installment of Hotel Transylvania, which is only currently available for streaming. But BF thought the newest Ghostbusters film would be better. The menu is yet to be decided, but we’ve got some great choices. There may be some chocolate waffling going on, too.

Update On Spencer

We’re still mourning the loss of our little free spirit, Spencer.

My phone went off with a text notification a couple of weeks ago from our very nice animal communicator friend, Ami Pope. She read my previous post describing him and enjoyed reading the stories. She said that Spencer was glad I shared all the memories and was surprised that I remembered everything. He is very happy with a new family, running around, and sends us much love.

Spencer was unforgettable. And I forgot to mention one more thing about him: he was also a mouser.

Living in the “piney woods,” mice are a given. We’ve had them a few times but have taken steps to keep them out. Mousies are especially persistent when it gets cold because they just want to be warm.

You’d think with a cat, we wouldn’t have any. Sealing up the holes has kept them out for some time, and we’ve not had any inside since. BF caught one or two with a sticky trap, Tab E. Cat has caught six, and Spencer caught three. No kidding, he really did, but we didn’t take any pictures.

When he found them, Tab E. Cat’s feline hunting nature would quickly become activated, and he sprang into action. The mouse didn’t last long after that, and I apologized to each one for the outcome of their visit. In BF’s case. he picked up the trap and took it out. Spencer would just leave them in the middle of the floor and stare at them, wondering what they were.

The Big Mouse

Actually, Spencer caught four if you count the “big mouse.”

Picture of north American Possum

Source: Google Images

A few years ago, we went to someone’s house one summer evening so BF could help a coworker work on a car (naturally.) Anticipating a short visit, we put the dogs out with fresh water and left. It was only about five miles up the road.

As things often do with cars, it took longer than expected. One of BF’s favorite mechanic memes says, “Every 20-minute project is just one broken bolt away from becoming a three-day nightmare.” That was certainly true in this case, and we returned home at about 1:00 am.

Nature’s Surprise

When we pulled up to the house, I looked over at Spencer’s little spot and he was not alone. There was another creature lying on its side, looking, well, deceased. Spencer was looking around like he didn’t understand why the creature wasn’t moving. I said to BF, “Honey, there’s something over there by Spencer.”  Both BF and Spencer were unfazed by the creature’s presence. I didn’t know what to think but was still a little freaked out.

North American possum

Source: Google

I stayed in the truck, and BF fearlessly approached the creature that was somewhat smaller than Spencer. He quickly discovered that it was “playing possum.”

Carefully, BF picked up a shovel and approached what he realized was a standard American opossum. This beast opened one eye at BF as if to say, “hey, can you help me out here?”  BF then gingerly scooped up the animal with the shovel, carefully carrying it to the back part of the property behind the house where there are large trees. On the way, the possum looked at BF with a look that said, “is the coast clear?”  As BF slowly lowered the shovel to the ground, the animal gave him one more look that said, “Hey, thanks, Buddy!” Off he went into the dark night, never to be seen again.

BF just laughed. Spencer didn’t understand.

Los Primos The Restaurant

A few months ago I told you about the accidental discovery of the grocery store called Los Primos in Hammond. I was ecstatic, and still am. Finally, I got BF to consent to a dinner date at the restaurant side. We were not disappointed, either.

When most locals think of “Mexican food,” two places come to mind: Taco Bell and La Carreta. While the food is good, I’m not a real big fan of La Carreta. Mardi Gras decor and Fleur de Lis on the metal tabletops in a Mexican restaurant? No. But it’s *the* place here, with steak nights on Thursdays. (There’s also a La Carreta in Hammond, but we’ve never been to that one.)

So one particular evening, we set out to Hammond for dinner. We happened to have been on a long phone conversation with Ami’s husband at the time, no kidding. After hanging up, we went in to have some delicious and authentic Mexican food.

Salt and pepper tray on table at Los Primos

This greeted us, along with the menu. Cute, isn’t it?

Then a nice lady handed us the menus.

Menu from Los Primos Restaurant

The Menu

She didn’t speak too much English, so you know it’s authentic. (Most of the staff in La Carreta speak fluent English with varied accents, none of them Hispanic.) Oh, and don’t forget!

Chips and salsa in Los Primos

Of course!!

Yes, you’re all about self-control until these show up. Hey–I’m not sedentary!

While BF ordered his usual Coca-Cola, I had no problem asking for slices of limos for my water–and they brought me some.

Mexican Coke

THIS is the real thing!

BF didn’t seem to mind that it was Mexican Coke, famed in Texas for having cane sugar.

Looking around, we saw some equally authentic decor:

Antique picture in Los Primos

Emiliano Zapata portrait

It’s a nice portrait of a man named Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican revolutionary and political figure. There was also music by:

Pepe Aguilar music in Los Primos

Music, maestro!

Pepe Aguilar was actually born in San Antonio, Texas but raised in Mexico. Born into a musical family, Pepe is very famous in Mexico for his music as well as being a businessman. We just enjoyed the music while we were there.

What We Had For Dinner

As I’ve said before, I don’t speak much Spanish. Fortunately, these nice folks at Los Primos do understand enough English to take orders and whatnot. We were the only Gringos having dinner that night, and it was a Tuesday or something, just a week or two prior to Hurricane Ida.

So BF ordered steak fajitas on this date night:

Steak fajitas on hot plate

For BF

And as is my habit, I ordered shrimp fajitas:

shrimp fajitas on hot plate

Oh, YEAH!!!

Because they are shrimp that I don’t have to mess with. Both plates also came with accompaniments, including handmade tortillas:

Plate of beans, rice, salad and limes

Oh, these were good!

Needless to say, there were takeout boxes involved. And a spot of shopping in the grocery store side after we were finished. BF sat in the truck while I shopped.

Poking Around Los Primos

I’ll just admit that the wait for dinner wasn’t long, but my curiosity also got the best of me.

Chances are you’ve seen regular-sized bags of this masa harina in the grocery store, especially if you’re in any grocery in Texas.

Stack of large bags of masa harina in Los Primos

That’s a lot of masa!

I’ve got one in the pantry, sealed up for the next time I attempt tamales. But like any restaurant, they buy larger sizes of everything, and masa harina is no exception:

50 pound bag of masa harina

That’s right–fifty pounds!

I’ve never seen these before, even in Houston. After trips into so many Mexican restaurants, I’ve never seen a bag this big. Even visiting places like the El Dorado Mexican Restaurant in Clear Lake never let anything like this sit out. That’s OK, since Los Primos is an authentic little place much like El Dorado, which is also family-owned. (And they’ve got a new location in League City.) These 50-pound bags were just eye-popping!

Much as I enjoyed going to El Dorado, I’m also glad to find Los Primos for a little taste of Mexican food right in Hammond. We’ll be going back for another delicious meal.

Until Next Time

Los Primos is located at 1320 N. Morrison Blvd, Suite 118, Hammond, LA 70401. As I mentioned in the last blog, the information I found says that the restaurant is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. As always, call ahead (985-429-1722) before you go. Hopefully we’ll be visiting them again soon.

Winter is still here, and Mother Nature is offering bipolar weather with up-and-down temperatures that look like lottery numbers. But since it’s still winter, I thought nice hot soups would be a good idea. Two easy and tasty recipes are lined up for the next blog post. Both are good, easy to make, and. . .vegetarian. But there is a considerable amount of cheese involved. BF actually likes one of them, so stay tuned.

Ole!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carb loading: cookies, bread and Twinkies

Evening, Fellow Foodies:

I found out this evening that as part of Taco Bell’s new menu, they have dessert. Not only do they have dessert, they have one that looks fantastic: The Cookie Sandwich. Holy Shish Kebab. My bar buddy brought Taco Bell tonight, and while we drank white zin (him more than me) I had the chicken Cantina Bowl, and he had a couple of tacos and two of these. Surprising, because he doesn’t eat a lot, and he had two–AND he didn’t offer me one! That’s OK–I’m glad, because I know I would end up driving to Taco Bell and getting them through the drive-up window after one sugar-loaded taste. I will also tell you that the ones he had contained twice the vanilla filling you see here. They’re about the size of the palm your hand, but the cookies are thick. OMG–if I really need dessert, I’ll be heading that way to get me one. Maybe two. And you have to admit, they do look interesting.

Two food-related stories from today’s Wall Street Journal today–one on the ubiquitous bread basket served in many restaurants, and are either disappearing or cut back.Some restaurants have artisan bread, some come up with new bread creations, regularly to show off their creativity, and some have cult followings, like Cheddar Bay Biscuits at Red Lobster. They cost–especially the butter part. But as one expert points out, eating white flour on an empty stomach, which is how it usually goes, is like eating sugar from the sugar bowl–and will cause an insulin spike. I try to avoid it myself, because I know I can’t stop eating it. And you fill up with bread or chips before dinner–bad idea. Some bring it with dinner, some bring bread only on request.  Whatever your feeling on bread before/with dinner, you can see the video here.

About four years ago, we had a restaurant in Houston called Bailey’s American Grill, and they had the most delicious pre-dinner nibbles ever. They had these little cheesy biscuits with bits of prosciutto in them, and a couple of others I can’t remember, all freshly baked. An experience in and of itself. I went with a supper club from work and it was fantastic, three kinds of nibbles! Two weeks later, my brother was in town, and that’s where we went to dinner. Worth the trip, I tell ya.  I told him about the great “nibbles,” but he said something else in a fake hick voice I won’t repeat. I can’t take him anywhere, and in the car on the way back to my place, I called Mom to complain about his behavior (while he called his wife on his cell.) Suddenly, about 2 years later, Bailey’s American Grill closed suddenly for no reason. Shame–I was hoping to go back again one day.

So the other bit of WSJ news for Twinkie fans is that Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulis & Co. are offering $410M for most of Hostess’ brands–yes, Dolly Madison, Ding Dongs, HoHos, and even the incredible Twinkies.

All this for a line of junk food. No kidding. But it’s also a big, creamy, sweet piece of Americana. We only do this in America, right? What a country. . . .

The deal they are working will set up a “floor price” at a bankruptcy auction for some of the well-known assets–the aforementioned brands, five bakeries, and “certain equipment.” I’m guessing that’s proprietary stuff that makes Twinkies so special. It’s called a “stalking horse bid,” which this chef wannabe has never heard of, but it has to do with Hostess’ bankruptcy auction they are planning for Mach 13th. . .an odd day for an auction, but OK.

It was previously reported that Mexico-based bakery Bimbo (pronounced BEEM-bo) would likely be the new owners, but, well, it doesn’t say that here. Also, there are a total of interested 9 parties bidding on either pieces of the Hostess pie or the whole enchilada (puns intended, I’m a foodie, darnit.) I’m guessing Bimbo is one of them.

They need to get a move on. Although you can still buy remaining Hostess Twinkies on eBay for varying prices, they will eventually go away, and people will remember them fondly but not buy them anymore–or at least be skittish about the new ones. There will be push-back from purists, no doubt.  Competitors are fighting for that shelf space that Hostess used to have, and people may eventually get used to something else. Then when you say “Twinkies,” the response will be, “who cares?”

This eBay seller has a recipe for Twinkies that she claims will sell out, but why the heck she’s feeding one to a beautiful kitty cat, I’ll never know. Cats aren’t supposed to eat that kind of stuff. Well, neither are humans, but humans can handle it better than felines.

Apparently you could, at one time, buy a Twinkie kit from Hostess–sure enough some are for sale, this being the cheapest (there are actually three for sale.) And as I reported to you previously, you can also buy a kit on Amazon.com that you can use to bake Twinkies on your own.

So as I predicted (like a lot of other people) Twinkies will be coming back, maybe even sooner than you think. Sit tight, America–you’ll have your Twinkies again, maybe even this year if they can get the legal wrangling finished. (Note: that’s speculation on my part.) Cross your fingers and pray that Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Dolly Madison treats come back to your convenience store shelves soon.

Happy Dining!

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