Before Flour+Water

Long before this area became a gourmet destination, I used to come to this restaurant called Mi Matzatlan that is where Flour+Water now is. I vaguely remember that on the wall outside, there was a faded mural depicting a scene that I imagined was supposed to be Matzatlan. It was a big cavernous place inside with a few random tables, and it served the best sopa de pollo with a quarter of a chicken and flavorful veggies for a few bucks, and I’d always go there when I felt a cold coming on. This winter evening long long ago I was sitting at one of those tables slurping down my soup, and my companion nodded toward the large smeary window. Outside, a big white stretch limo glimmered in the black night. The restaurant door clanged open and in walked this dude in a long white double-breasted wool coat, white fedora and white boots. He strutted up to the counter and started chatting in a familiar way with the owner, who sounded all jolly but seemed nervous. My friend and I became intently focused on our soups. For some reason after a while I stopped going there, not because of this incident. Years later, I drove by one day and was surprised and sorry to see that Mi Matzatlan was gone. I sort of expected it to be there forever. The smeary window was boarded up, it looked like some construction was going on inside. Fast forward. You’d never guess it was ever there looking at the present space.

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