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Saturday, July 29, 2006

El Gallito Drive In

Can I be lame and not type out a long ass post like I usually do?

I can?

Oh good, cause as much as I love doing this, I realize that whenever I start writing I can go on, and on, and on, and be really, really long-winded, which is good in some respects because I've ended up with a readership that reads and thinks as much as they drool over pictures of pork feet (which is difficult to cultivate in this age of point and click, 5-second attention spans, of which I'm also guilty), but means that sometimes I don't get this shit posted for frickin' days, or even weeks!

Uh oh. I've already started.

OK, well, El Gallito Drive In in Brentwood, California.

I had to do some web searching, and at one point I thought of asking a Mexican, but I finally found out that El Gallito means "The Cock" in Spanish. It's also a pretty popular Mexican restaurant name.


One would naturally think that The Cock would be a pretty common and irony-free descriptive name of a gay bar, but after searching high and (mostly) low...ok, I mean loooowwww, I came up with plenty of names like The Stud, The Powerhouse (Jesus, I feel sore just typing that word!), Aunt Charlie's, Ginger's Trois, more of "The Eagle" than actual eagles existing in the wild, and even a gay latino bar called Esta Noche ("Tonight"), which has that "shhhh, I won't tell if you don't, Father O'Sullivan" ring to it.

Yet, only two Cocks. What gives?

Anyway (see how I'm already starting to get off track), I'm not a frequent visitor to Brentwood, so to find a place to eat, I did a Google search and found El Gallito. God only knows what search terms I typed in to find a place like this, but my Dive-ine Higher Power must have been guiding my algorithms that day.

The El Gallito Drive In was everything I wasn't expecting and more, and what that means I'm not sure yet, but give me a minute to think about it. It's mascot (I assume from the sign) is a sombrero-wearing, goose-stepping (which is weird in so many ways), red pistolero Cock.

It had that casual, hole-in-the-wall, "whattya have, honey" quality about it, and that's simply my first impression from the outside. Half of the restaurant is walk-up/take-away while the inside has sit-down service.

Good sit down service. Friendly waitress, clean tables, and the bathroom...(record scratching).

Actually, the bathroom was ass-nasty.

But other than that...

Prices here are cheap, probably because the price of an updated cooling system isn't included in your meal. Because there isn't one. However, like so many people I know who live in hot climates do, cooling down a room is often as simple as closing off every source of natural light and sticking a floor fan up on a counter to blow less hot air towards you.

This, as well as a cool neon Corona beer sign, has the bonus effect of making you feel as if you've suddenly been whisked away to some tropical nightclub somewhere in, say, Tijuana.

The chips and salsa here were good, and when I say good, I mean the chips weren't stale or greasy or so thick you could wind up with a very expensive dentist bill afterwards. The salsa was thin (not chunky) and tasted very fresh, like tomatoes, and not very hot.

When our food came, Bruce had the pork tamale, which came with rice and beans. Nothing out of the usual here but good Mexican food.

When we asked for hot sauce, it came in this little maple syrup or cream container, which I thought was pretty cool, but then I'm easily impressed (oops, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that). Like the salsa, this was obviously made on the premises.

And it was super, crazy hot!!! Yow!

I had the Super Burrito, because the name "super" in front of anything just appeals to my American senses in a way I just can't describe; much in the same way "World of", "Barn", "House of", or "Just" does. It's creepy.

Don't worry, though. I often make important decisions this way.

I decided to go with the Super Burrito with Chicharrones because for a minute there I was out of my goddamn mind. Oh, wait, I remember thinking "hey, I've never tried this before!". Or, "I haven't seen this on a menu before, I think I'll have that!" I had a vague recollection that chicharrones were pork in substance and fried, maybe even fried skin. Still, it was in a Super Burrito, so how could you go wrong?

While I could guess that the burrito, under any other circumstances, might have been good, especially the whole pinto beans and stuff, and it definitely was super (ie, big), I couldn't really get into the huge chunks of cracklin' that dominated the burrito like a pistol-packing rooster.

Something about saving the stuff leftover from rendering fat and then putting it into a burrito just isn't quite right. I mean, did I miss something? Was I suppose to be drunk while I was eating this? Is that what the neon beer sign is for? To remind you of what you're suppose to be doing?

Oh, oh, oh...and you know that cute little container of hot sauce I mentioned earlier? It seems I couldn't operate it without being drunk either, since I accidentally poured half of it over my burrito.

This was not what I meant to get into.

I know you may find it hard to believe, but despite my mishap, if I were ever in Brentwood again, I would go back to The Cock in a flash. I liked the character of the place, I like the fact that it's been around forever and that it's still family-owned (by the original owners), the food was solid, and the service was very quick and friendly.

Wait a second!

I was in Brentwood?

Oh yeah. That's right.



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