Submitted by: Antoinette Forth
4 November 21 – El Charro Café, Tucson, Arizona
El Charro Café is celebrating its 100th anniversary and it was forty years ago, fresh out of high school, that I ate there for the first time. I visited Tucson in 1981 to spend time with a high school friend who was attending The University of Arizona. She took me to El Charro which was my very first experience with authentic Mexican food. They say that El Charro is the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Lucky for me because the memories of my meal there have haunted me for four decades. I could feel the salty warm tortilla chips and taste the strange new herb cilantro in the salsa. It was there that I had my very first Chimichanga (the equivalent of ‘thigamajig’), invented by El Charro’s Tia Monica when she accidentally dropped a burrito in hot oil. I ate there for my second time today. It was exactly as I remembered.