Deep Fried Memories.

Posted: January 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Once upon a time there was a legendary place of legend in an enchanted place called Tulsa…
It was a big pink Mexican restaurant called Casa Bonita, which means “pretty house”. It was a pretty part of my childhood and young adulthood.
AHHHH, Casa Bonita…
It is a deep fried memory slathered in sweet honey. It is wonder rolled up in a flour tortilla.
You would go into this amazing stucco village. You would usually have to wait in line, so the anticipation would ripen like an avocado until you just couldn’t stand it! Then you would grab a plastic tray and choose between the all you can eat beef or chicken plate. There were other items on the menu, but when you can get ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-TACOS, the choice is pretty clear!! You would raise a flag when you needed more tacos or another cheese enchilada. It was there that I developed a full blown love for all things Tex Mex.
One of the truly awesome, magical things was the space. You could eat IN A CAVE!!! There was a volcano that went off every 10 minutes. (It was probably the only working volcano in Oklahoma) There were spots that made you think that you were eating outside in Monterrey. In later years, there was a really cool game room. You could play some serious skeeball and win a giant pencil or lucky rabbits foot keychain.
There was usually a strolling Mariachi band made up of middle aged men. They would stand awkwardly close to you while you were eating, play an out of tune guitar and sing “La Bamba” and “Roly Poly, daddy’s little fatty”. If you didn’t make eye contact they would eventually go away.
One of the absolute best things was the Sopapilla, it was a ridiculously delicious deep fried bread pocket that you filled with honey!! They would bring you baskets of them. They were golden brown nuggets of heaven!
As you were leaving you got to visit the treasure room and pick some cool little trinket out of the treasure box.
It was a singularly awesome establishment . As a kid, I went with my grandparents and cousins and later my friends.
As an young adult person, I got to experience IT with my bride, We lived in Tulsa when Diana was pregnant with our daughter. That became our go-to pregnancy comfort food place. Diana would have a craving for a burrito or sopapilla and I was more than happy to go along. We would sit there, eat our weight in refried beans, repeatedly raise the flag and dream out-loud about our future.
Sometimes, some of the sweetest memories smell like fried food.
Casa Bonita closed a few years back, I miss it and it makes me sad that future generations will never get to raise the flag.
But now I say…
Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Casa Bonita.

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