My folks took us out to eat New Year’s Eve.  They said the owners of this place have a bunch of kids that run around the restaurant and they wanted to “get them back” by bringing my four kids.  As my folks are not normally vengeful people I was intrigued and I asked if I should encourage my kids to be naughty, or just let things happen.  We walked in and two little boys greeted us.  After we got our table set up the boys (there were only the two of them) came over to visit.  They chatted and pretty soon the ladies at the next table were moving the extra chair at their table to our table then another chair appeared, making us a party of 9 at a table meant for 6.  We found out Adam was 5 and going to pre-school and Gabriel was nearly 3. 

As their mom took our orders she took her kids’ orders too and they ate with us.  Adam thanked me when I broke his burrito for him, and Gabe thanked Mom for helping him with his taco, so they were polite. 

Gabe and Adam spend half of the meal running around the restaurant, using the candy dispensing machine and in general staying on top of the happenings on their home turf.  When Adam decided to crawl around under our table, I told him if he was going to eat at our table, he had to sit in his chair, and so he did.  Their mom commented that whoever had been watching them at their home had brought them over earlier than they had originally planned, but Mom says they are always at the restaurant.

 Mom said they went there one time and the boys were eating Spaghettios.  My step-dad asked if the menu had changed and their mom said they were tired of Mexican food.  I find this hard to believe.  If I could only eat one kind of food for the rest of my life it would be Mexican. Mom said she would choose Chinese.  I pointed out she would be giving up cheese and bread.  She is thinking it over now.

It was excellent food, I see why my folks keep going back there, although the atmosphere was perhaps more homey than most restaurants.  I pointed out that “Hacienda” is in the name of the establishment, not “Restaurante.”

Things I Never Thought I Would Say                                                     Paul, a famously messy eater to begin with, started drinking his Sprite and then letting it run out of his mouth.  He was wearing a shirt with a huge rubber eye on it (Mike Wazowski…with one “i”) and I found myself telling Mom, “He has spit out more than you think, it just doesn’t look like it because his eyeball is not absorbent.”  We left the high chair sticky and the floor covered in rice, not all of it from our kids.

Speaking of Mexican restaurants, I used to work in a town whose population was primarily Polish in descent, including some WWII prisoners of war who immigrated after internment in the area.  This town wanted to be a happenin’ town with a Mexican restaurant and a pizza parlor.  There was only one restaurant though.  Note:  Be wary of Mexican food cooked by Polish people.  Don’t get me wrong, you should probably be wary of eating Polish food prepared by Mexicans as well.  The pizza was also pretty mediocre.  I would have loved to try authentic Polish food there…