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Suck on this Guacamole!

By Staff | Feb 28, 2008

 I was accidently charged for a bean burrito at Parkersburg’s Tampico Mexican Restaurant recently; $3.81 wrongly pilfered from my account. It was an honest mistake so let’s not focus on that. What I do want to focus on is the exchange between myself and my bank’s customer service agent later that day. It went as follows:

“Um, hi. My name’s Justin McIntosh. I was accidently charged $3.81 for a meal at Tampico Mexican Restaurant and I’d like to see if I could get it removed. I just checked my account online and noticed the charge. They were having trouble with their debit swiper and I ended up paying with cash.”

“OK, let me look up your account,” the service rep replied. She asked for some personal information next, so we’ll fast forward a little in our conversation.

“OK, Mr. McIntosh. I see a charge for $3.81 from Tampico. Which day did this happen? I see $3.81 charged to your account today, a couple days ago, twice last week, 10 days ago.”

“I eat there a lot, OK?”

She laughed.

“Its OK. There’s this restaurant I eat at all the time, too, because it’s so good and cheap.”

We shared another laugh.

Really don’t we all have a Tampico? That one restaurant you frequent at least once a week because the food’s cheap, delicious and filling. I’m there often enough that the wait staff looks out for my dietary restrictions, stopping me from ordering the rice because it’s made with chicken stock, or the guacamole because it has a dollop of sour cream.

The excellent service extends beyond the regulars, too. If you’re not careful, you’ll be full and out the door within 15 minutes of sitting down — the service is fast.. Believe me, though, leaving the brightly colored walls, pinatas, Mexican-inspired table tops and murals under half an hour is difficult, especially with free baskets of fresh chips and salsa arriving as soon as you can devour it.

Like all the food at Tampico, the chips and salsa are prepared fresh on site and it shows in the presentation and taste. Typically I get a plain ole bean burrito with red sauce. It’s kind of boring, but it’s good and cheap and by the time I’ve inhaled three baskets of chips and salsa I’m usually a little too full anyway. Yet despite it’s banality, the bean burrito’s quite good, as it’s often filled with full pinto beans, an often unexpected surprise, like finding a toy in a cracker jack box.

On this day, however, I ordered my other standby — the dish I order when I’m feeling a little less thrifty — the garden fajitas. The vegetables – onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini and carrots — are all fresh and crunchy, sauteed in oil and served sizzling on a hot plate. On the side, you’ll garnish these delectable fajitas with guacamole, sour cream, beans, rice and pico de gallo.

Like me, my good friends Aaron and Ben typically order a rather unassuming meal for lunch — a hard shell beef taco, with beans and rice. It’s quick, filling and scrumptious. Are you sensing a pattern yet?

However, like me, Ben decided to try something new. He ordered the quesadilla with shrimp and chorizo. Ben says the food was a little spicy and perhaps a little too much to eat. Actually,  his exact words were, “It’s a lot. I mean that motherf***er’s big.” (Ed. note: That didn’t keep him from eating all of it).

Contact Justin at jmcintosh@graffitiwv.com