Archives for posts with tag: mexican restaurant

As the anthropologist in the family, I feel it’s my job to explain to my family that our family’s approach to birthdays might be a little unorthodox.  We tend to have a birthmonth rather than a birthday, which is pretty extravagant considering even Paris Hilton had a modest birthweek in celebration of her 21st.  In our family, first you have your family party, next is your birthday dinner at the restaurant of your choice, then a party or two for your friends to attend.

We tried discussing this topic further at my sister’s second birthday celebration of August, this time on her actual birthday of August 14.  For the third year in a row, we dined at El Rancho Grande in Vandalia (they said on year 5 they will give her the damn sombrero).  While eating and drinking in celebration of her birth, Beth described the party room of the location where her third and presumably final birthday celebration of 2012 will be held.  Somehow I don’t think my cultural input was taking hold…

But who cares?  Life is short – since you’re not guaranteed a certain number of birthdays when you only have one a year, you might as well have as many as you like.  Happy Birthmonth, Beth!


I really want to learn Spanish but I also really don’t want to spend time or money doing so (unrealistic desires are one of my more annoying qualities).  So on a recent trip to the library, I was delighted to find Lonely Planet’s Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary – this tiny tome packs in a ton of essential Spanish for travelers.  The most I would ever get to use my knowledge on is one of the many amazing and authentic Mexican restaurants in the Greater Dayton Area.  Chains like El Toro, El Rancho Grande, La Piñata, etc. give the people of Dayton a great opportunity to appreciate another culture, and even if the servers all speak English, sometimes they don’t mind helping you make a fool of yourself attempting to speak their first language.

The only times I really feel that I need to know Spanish usually involve food.  Being someone who doesn’t eat meat can make it hard to order food at restaurants where you can’t always communicate 100% effectively (but keep in mind, I’m pretty sure if you said you were a vegetarian at Applebee’s, you’d get some blank stares in response as well).  Add to the mix any additional food restrictions and you might have to resort to charades.  To keep you from flailing around like a moron, here are some helpful phrases:

¿Tienen comida vegetariana?  Do you have vegetarian food?

No como carne roja.  I don’t eat red meat.

¿Tienen comida vegetariana restricta?  Do you have vegan food?

¿Me puede preparar una comida sin…?  Could you prepare a meal without…

huevo  eggs

pescado fish

caldo de carne meat

cerdo pork

aves poultry

Soy vegetariano/a.  I’m vegetarian

Estoy a regimen especial.  I’m on a special diet.