La Esquina

11 July 2009

I used to hate getting my hair cut.  Unlike my straight-haired compadres, I always looked worse after the ordeal, during which some hapless stylist would try to make everything “even”–a fool’s errand with curly hair.  Each curl has a mind of its own and is a different length each day depending on the weather or how it dries or how the stars are aligned.  All this changed a few years back when I discovered a salon dedicated to cutting curly hair.  Now after a haircut I look great, much better than I could possibly look my on my own with my ham-handed styling techniques (wash, apply gel to random parts of head, air dry in subway.) 

valentina

Totally addictive--try it on watermelon!

The icing on the cake is that after my haircuts I have a choice of three affordable snack joints.  After all, you can really work up an appetite sitting in a salon for two hours!  To be honest, I exist in a state of appetite workedupness, but that’s another story.  The choices are Despana (can someone teach me how to do a properly accented n here?), a Spanish food store with a little food counter in the back, Hampton Chutney Company, with its toothsome dosas, and La Esquina taqueria.  La Esquina seemed the best choice given the heat of the day and its open-air seating.  I was only going to order one taco, avocado and queso fresco, but then I noticed “cochinita pibil.”  I had just been reading that a “pib” is a hole in the ground in which meat is traditionally cooked in the Yucatan, and couldn’t resist trying this taco of pulled pork, shredded cabbage, habanero pickled onions and jalapeno.  Topped with Valentina hot sauce, of course!

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