So this literally just happened to us and I have to share the story because it is hilarious.
So being a vegetarian here is no problem – plenty of beans, rice, eggs, tortillas, etc. to go around, all delicious. We haven’t had any issue finding things to eat.
But there is one issue. The Spanish language.
So if you go to a gringo-oriented restaurant here, you will get a menu with all the offerings. If you go to any other, local restaurant – there is really no such thing as a menu. They will have a couple of things posted (quesadillas, tacos and which types of meat they have, etc.) but you really have to either speak with the waitress about the daily special (“comida corrida”) or else just kind of…guess. I am sure Mexicans understand this system but it’s slightly mystifying for us.
Anyway, so today Mike was the one to step up and try to order food while simultaneously explaining that we are vegetarians. It doesn’t seem to help to say “we’re vegetarians” because no one gets what that means. There is a word for it but it doesn’t mean anything. So we usually explain what we prefer not to eat (beef, chicken, fish) and what we do eat (beans, rice, vegetables, potatoes, etc….even though they’re probably all cooked in lard, anyway). Normally this results in a pile of amazingly delicious food…the same as what anyone else would order, just without the meat.
Today, our waitress seemed especially confused and conspicuously absent after speaking with us initially. She emerged with our lemonades and before it even seemed like we had ordered food, just explained the mean thing, she disappeared not to be found again and we soon heard food cooking. Hmm…wonder what we’ll get??
Our waitress, smirking the whole time, brought out: two plates of french fries, a huuuuuge bowl of refried beans, and a dish of avocado. Hahaha! We managed to find our waitress one last time and got some tortillas to round it out. French fry tacos for lunch!
It was actually delicious and I am pleasantly full right now but it was a pretty funny lunch experience. Even more funny is that this place is super close to where we live and we are bound to go there again. Our waitress is probably going to run in the other direction when she sees us!