Let's see, where were we... a group of coworkers out to lunch at http://www.haciendadonmanuelny.com/
Hacienda Don Munel
Again, I have a regular favorite and rarely venture out to order something else. I LOVE the beef burritos!
We start with warm and crispy chips served with chunky, fairly zippy salsa. We are all careful to pour our salsa into a separate dish to avoid double dipping (which happened in the past, but the offending colleague has since moved to Thailand).
Ah, the beef burritos are heavenly. The meat is tender, well seasoned and soft. The shredded beef can be the subject of food dreams.
I also love a second helping of chips with the guacamole and sour cream. I rarely eat the rice and beans but bring them home to a son who loves them as a late night snack.
One coworker orders the vegetable quesidilas. They are not what I expected, but she is happy and though she is not a vegetarian loves the feeling that she is making a healthier, guilt-free choice.
Chuletas a la Diabla - well, I don't like too much heat in my food, but for one coworker, spice is a perfect choice. She requests the sauce be served on the side so she can control the amount both for flavor and sogginess purposes.
And for my vegetarian friend and next door neighbor co-worker, the vegetable burritos.
We talk about the spicy pork chop diner moving into a house in the area with her boyfriend. She shares stories about the various wildlife she has seen including devilish groundhogs, deer and the former residents honey bees.
Somehow the conversation segues to the parasites found in cat feces and how toxoplasmosis is considered to especially be a threat for pregnant women to be concerned about though none of us are pregnant (that I know of). My vegetarian buddy recites a bit of news from the Internet on the subject which basically includes this bit from Wikipedia, "Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family. The parasite spreads by the ingestion of infected meat or the feces of an infected cat, or by vertical transmission from mother to fetus. A 2001 study found that direct contact with pet cats is probably a less common route of transmission to human hosts than contamination of hands with cat feces by touching the earth, and that "contact with infected raw meat is probably a more important cause of human infection in many countries" (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis) How fun!! Yes, cat poop is perfect lunchtime conversation...
Simultaneously, the pair of men at a nearby table ask to move and relocate to the far side of the restaurant from us. Was it the toxoplasmosis talk? Were we laughing too much? How could we have possibly offended them so much that they felt the need to move across the room?
The empty table with chips is where our nearby neighbors started but all the way to the far left corner of the photo, against the wall a slice of arm is visible to where they repositioned themselves.
The deviled pork chop loving coworker couldn't resist asking the waiter why the men moved. Turns out, they were simply cold.