Archive for April 23, 2009

How Ike Ruined Our Lives

I’ll be generous and say that there’s nobody over the age of 18 that wouldn’t recognize the theme song to Cheers. Why is it so well known? Well, yes it’s a catchy song. (Just wait, you’ll have it in your head all day… “where everybody knows your name”…) But its the whole concept of the show that made it so popular. We loved the fact that they had “their bar.”  They were like a family. They had their seats and their drinks. And America eats this up. We all have this deep need for ownership. Just think about it. You have your grocery store, your song, your route, your nail salon, your restaurant. So we love the song. We want to go to a place where everyone knows our name. Or at least our face. 

And how do you choose these? I’m sure there are a lot of factors. Maybe you like your grocery store because it gives free cheese samples. Maybe you have your coffee shop because they make the meanest pumpkin spice latte in town. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: It strikes your fancy. When Stephen and I bought our house, we quickly found a place that struck our fancy. It was this little Mexican restaurant that has gone by at least 6 names since 1990, when the Rosenhagen family moved to Nassau Bay. When we bought Hurst Castle, this restaurant was going by the name The Green Tomato. We loved this place. 

Let me tell you why. 

It’s close. It takes us about 2 minutes to get there. There is never a wait. You can pick your table if you want to. They have cheap margaritas. (Let’s face it, this is the selling point!) They have fajitas for 2 for the price of 1 on certain nights. Which means we buy one order and have it for dinner and lunch the next day– 4 meals! The chips are great. The chip man rocks! He always brings us a big bowl of their green sauce because he knows we like it so much. They only have like 2 waiters. We always got the girl and she was fantastic. Basically, this was OUR restaurant. (Reread that paragraph. You’ll notice a mixture of “is” and “was”…. Hmmm…. what could that mean?!) 

Does anyone remember September 13, 2008? The coast had a visitor. He spent quite a bit of time in the little city of Nassau Bay. He came uninvited, kicked us out of our homes, knocked down our trees, punched holes in our roofs, and left sewage in our yard. He was such a jerk. Because of the damage he did, many of us weren’t allowed to come back to our homes for a while. This caused tons of problems. It made our freezer smell like …. I have no words. There’s nothing that can describe it. (Thanks MK for sneaking in and cleaning out the worst of it while we were exiled!) Due to our late arrival, we had much worse damage in our master bathroom. Sitting water does nasty things. (More on this in the coming days/weeks.) One of the worst parts of it all was that businesses suffered. They lost inventory, they lost TONS of customers for days and days. Do you see whats coming? 

Our beloved Green Tomato suffered. Word on the street is that there was some shady business going on with not paying vendors, so the owner high tailed it to California or Colorado or some other state that starts with a C. We were devastated. Stephen and I broke down in tears regularly. We cursed the idiot named Ike who ruined our lives. We dressed in black and mourned the loss of our restaurant. We turned off our phones and drew the curtains and sulked in our pity.  We refused to eat. It really sucked, but I think you get the picture. 

The restaurant is on our way home. So each day we glance over, hoping something new was coming. One day we saw some workers at the building at we were thrilled. We started daydreaming about the future. We saw visions of homemade tortilla chips, tequila, and queso. Then we started thinking… what if it’s not Mexican food. We live in Houston, TX so there are high odds that it IS Mexican… but you never know. I’m not too incredibly picky. There are only three types of restaurants I won’t go to. 1. Cajun. I just can’t do it. I’m a wimp. If I eat that food I continually reapply chapstick and want to tear out my tongue. 2. Indian. I just hate it. I hate the smells. I can’t pronounce the food. And most importantly, I hate the taste. 3. Seafood. I don’t like fish. I do like shrimp and crawfish. But since my hubby is quite allergic to shellfish, and I’m too young to be a window, we stay far away from these restaurants. 

We said our prayers and hoped for the best. Something cheap. Something yummy. Something that wasn’t a chain. But hey, beggers can’t be choosers, right? So even if it was nasty, expensive, and national we would probably still go. Maybe just the one time. But still. 

Construction on this place has been going on for a couple weeks. Each day, as we pass it, we glance over to see if they’ve put up a sign. We were so hopeful. Ignorance is bliss, right? A couple days ago, they put up the sign. I was in the middle of an extremely exciting story (I don’t remember the story, but I’m sure it was super entertaining… you read my blog, right?!) and Stephen was like, “Oh….. look.” In that moment, my world came crashing down. The pain of losing our first love came rushing back. I started wondering about the housing marketing and our home equity and if it was too quick to move to a new neighborhood. 

A neighborhood that had a cozy Mexican food restaurant. 

Not a Cuisine of India.

April 23, 2009 at 10:50 am 10 comments


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