Fresa's: Not so Fresca

Fifty Dollars at Fresa's

Caption: Fifty dollars of food at Fresa's.

Eric and Kelly-Sue are old friends. They get together to eat every now and then, but this time they brought a tape recorder

(The tape recorder pops on. The sound of opening paper to-go bags can be heard.)

Eric:We’re on.

Kelly-Sue: Looks like some juicy chicken. This is called the…What is this? Oregano cracked black pepper chicken.

Eric:And I got the achiote citrus chicken.

Kelly-Sue: It’s juicy… Lemme put a little lime on here.

Eric:Let’s see… Charro beans, rice, salsa. We got a side of guacamole. Now I know we got some issues right here, from the get-go.

Kelly-Sue: What’s the issue one?

Eric:No sit down.

Kelly-Sue: Nowhere to sit down… So come prepared, or it’s just simply to take out.

Eric:Pick up only…

Kelly-Sue: Yeah.

Eric:Ah, that chicken does look good.

Kelly-Sue:But does it taste good? (Eric laughs) That’s important.

Eric:Alright.(Takes a bite of food)Nehh… It’s not bad. Tastes like guacamole, but it’s not knockin’ me out.

Kelly-Sue: It’s not knockin’ me out either. But I am Mexican so I expect a lot.

Eric:I’m half Mexican and I expect a lot too.

Kelly-Sue: Do you expect half of what I should expect? I will say I don’t know if they buy those chips somewhere, but they’re good. I’m sure they don’t make these. The chips are good. Let’s try the salsa. Red salsa, I’m goin’ in.

Eric:Tastes like a jar.

Kelly-Sue: Then again, it’s got a little kick to it.

Eric:I don’t think they made it.

Kelly-Sue:I’m going in on this chicken that I hear is supposed to be really good. I’m processing… (She begins to chew.)

Eric:Achiote citrus… (He takes a bite.)

Kelly-Sue: Is that what you got?

Eric:It’s … nice.

Kelly-Sue: It’s juicy…

Eric:I was going to say moist.

Kelly-Sue: … um, don’t say moist.

Eric:Too late, I already did.

Kelly-Sue: I’ll tell you what, I wish my chicken was hotter.

Eric:Yeah, you know good point. I would agree with that.

Kelly-Sue: Yeah, I feel like the chicken’s been sitting, and there was no grill fired on while we were there.

Eric:Yeah, it was probably just sitting there.

Kelly-Sue:Yeah, I want to know how long the chicken’s been sitting in those little ovens.

Eric:And the place did seem to be kind of hoppin’. There were several people there and it wasn’t too much of a line, so you would think…

Kelly-Sue:Yeah, it was kind of steady and they’re open until 10pm? So, will they make more chicken? Or is it just made in advance? Like, I don’t know. I don’t feel like it’s authentic.

Eric:No. It’s peasant food made safe for white people.

Kelly-Sue:Yeah. It’s definitely gringo-style. And I think I may have seen maybe one Mexican person in there.

Eric:Would you say, Tex-Mex or just gringo-Mex?

Kelly-Sue:I think it’s gringo-fied to the extreme.

Eric:Some plates would be nice too.

Kelly-Sue:For 24 dollars?

Eric:No shit. For 24 dollars that you have to take out…

Kelly-Sue:Mmm hmm. Yeah, I’m not getting any perks here. Well, I’m bummed because the chicken has some nice grill marks on it, but it obviously wasn’t just grilled … like the grill wasn’t even on. When are they grilling it?

Eric:Yeah…

Kelly-Sue: You see what I’m saying?

Eric:Yeah, I know exactly what you’re saying. Other places you see them cooking the food – all the time. They’re just always cooking.

Kelly-Sue: Mmm hmm. The chicken’s good though.

Eric:We are in west Austin. (Note: Eric lives down the street in west Austin.)

Kelly-Sue: That is true. I feel like the locals in this area probably wouldn’t go to the type of places that we know we can go to get this… i.e. El Regio…

Eric:They’re too good for Taco Cabana.

Kelly-Sue: Mmm hmm. Yeah, you’re right, too good for Taco Cabana – so there’s Fresa’s. The alternative, alternative to Mexican food.

Eric:Right… (Smug laughter can be heard.)

Kelly-Sue: Mmm the charro beans are good.

Eric:Charro beans are pretty difficult to mess up though. You can get charro beans out of a can and they’re good.

Kelly-Sue: Mmm those are good. A little salty. But they’re good.

Eric:I like salt. Salt’s good.

Kelly-Sue:I do too, I love salt. It’s probably just because they have bacon.

Eric:Yeah, pretty good chunks of bacon actually.

Kelly-Sue: Did you taste the black beans?

Eric:I thought I did… I love black beans.

Kelly-Sue:I do too.

Eric:The black bean is the best bean.

Kelly-Sue: You think? I don’t know about that.

Eric:(laughs out loud)I do.

Kelly-Sue: Green bean?

Eric:Green bean? That’s a whole different kind of bean!

Kelly-Sue:I don’t know.

Eric:I do know …

Kelly-Sue: Do you want this chicken skin? (Pause.) You do! Don’t you!

Eric:I do, but I’m not going to eat the whole thing. Alright. Here’s a chunk of this… (hands her some of his chicken)

Kelly-Sue: Oh yeah, I don’t want a chunk this big because I’m not real big on citrus.

Eric:Okay. You want just the wing?

Kelly-Sue:Okay, I’m just going to take this little chunk. Here… um… (tasting the citrus chicken) Nah, I don’t like that.

Eric:Why’s this not coming apart? (trying to pull a wing off his half chicken)

Kelly-Sue:I don’t like the citrus.

Eric:Don’t like the citrus... too citrusy? Not citrusy?

Kelly-Sue:That’s… I don’t know where that came from…

Eric:Some of it tastes like lemon chicken.

Kelly-Sue: That’s an Austin thing. I don’t know what that is. “Tastes like lemon chicken!” Can I get a lemon chicken please? Well, it obviously has lemon pepper on it.

Eric:Hmm.

Kelly-Sue: I taste the citrus in there. It tastes like orange juice. Does it say where they get their chickens from? I’m just curious. (Note: Fresa’s boasts their chicken farm on their huge neon sign over the business – they’re locally sourced.)

Eric:I don’t see anything on the menu.

Kelly-Sue:Yeah, I’m wondering about that. Did you taste this jalapeño?

Eric:Nah.

Kelly-Sue: You should. Mmm! Wow, what’d they do to that? That was good.

Eric:Okay, now you got me curious. (He tries one of the jalapeños.)Oh my.

Kelly-Sue: You get a lot of food for fourteen dollars.

Eric:Well that’s pushing it. It’s barely enough food for fourteen dollars. (Note: The 1/2 chicken orders are roughly $14 each. Kelly Sue and Eric's meals were $24 each after drinks and sides)

Kelly-Sue: Something has MSG in it. I’m starting to feel…

Eric:I’m going to guess the beans.

Kelly-Sue:I don’t know… But I’m feeling sick. I’m starting to feel super shaky. This isn’t good.

Eric:So that nicks it for a return visit.

Kelly-Sue:I’m starting to feel sick. You know about my MSG thing?

Eric:Mmm hmm.

Kelly-Sue:Okay, I’m going to go walk around for a minute. Excuse me. Ugh, I hope I don’t throw up. (She gets up and walks around.)

Eric:Kelly, stop throwing up. Is that diarrhea?

Kelly-Sue:Eww. (Eric laughs)Okay seriously, if I throw up, just ignore me.

Eric:You don’t want me to cup it for you?

Kelly-Sue: (She yells from a little ways away.) Why do they have to put shit in their food? … I’m trying really hard not to puke.

Eric:You’ll feel better if you let it out…

(A little while goes by. Then Kelly-Sue comes back.)

Kelly-Sue:I wonder what has it…

Eric:I don’t know. I would think the beans, to be quite honest with you. I don’t know why.

Kelly-Sue: Do you like the rice?

Eric:No…

Kelly-Sue:I’m not a fan. What about that jasmine rice? Is that good? (Eric shakes his head) No?

Eric:… It’s white rice. It has no flavor. I’m getting no jasmine. (They laugh.) I guess I’m feeling like my hunger is satisfied, but I’m not finding this very satisfying.

Kelly-Sue:I have to say, I’m not hungry anymore – but I’m not satisfied either.I’m not a big fan, this is very Tex-Mex.

Eric:Your tastes are adjusted by your mood… The mood really affects your ability to taste food.

Kelly-Sue:You know what, I love that we’re at a park and I love that it got us out of our comfort zone of sitting in a restaurant you know? We had to get a little creative.

Eric:Gotcha.

Kelly-Sue:But I’m bummed that my chicken wasn’t warm.

Eric:Nothing’s warm by the way.

Kelly-Sue: Nothing’s warm and nothing’s authentic. That’s my final verdict on that…

Eric:Fatal flaws all.

Kelly-Sue:Yeah, I think that this is mediocre gringo food. Gringo Mexican food.

Eric: If you are a trust-fund UT kid, you’ll fuckin’ love it.

(They crumple up their leftover tinfoil and paper trash.)

Eric:It’s not really anything worth saving to be quite honest with you. (Tosses some of the leftovers in the trash)

Kelly-Sue:Do you want my chips? You want this? I mean you should, you’re a bachelor.

Eric:I should, but I’m on my bike.

Kelly-Sue:Yeah, but this wraps up, you can just put it in your pack.

Eric:I don’t want that greasy shit in my pack.

Kelly-Sue:No, but it’s all wrapped in paper. Look how thick that paper is, and then you can put it in this plastic bag. Let me do it for you. I can do it for you in a manner that you will find useful. I’m Mexican. I know these things.

(She wraps up the food in a useful manner and Eric and Kelly-Sue… turn off the tape recorder! Without so much as a warning.)

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