April 19, 2006
My first (and last, God willing) run-in with Cilantro occurred not a week ago at a little place called Donny P's.
Also known as Don Pablo's, its a great Mexican chain restaurant. Fun atmosphere, decent food, etc., and a few co-workers and I chose it for our lunch. My lunch came with a salad, and the waitress ran through the dressings for me. 'Cilantro Ranch' came just after regular ranch and just before italian.
My impending doom is clear to me now as I recount the events. Ranch is my preferred dressing, and here it is, in a Tex-Mex knock-off place, presented to me with the exotic and little known 'Cilantro'. Is it spicy? Too spicy? Will I be able to pull it off in front of my co-workers spicy? A combination of all of the hottest peppers in Latin America, mashed, dried, cured, and reblended by a Salvadoran octogenarian, who only works in the dark of the new moon?
"I'll have the Cilantro Ranch." I smiled at my co-workers.
"You like Cilantro?", one asked.
"Of course I do. It's great."
Let that be a lesson to you would-be BSers out there. Careful. My salad arrived, and on top I proudly poured the entire bowl of dressing.
I knew even before the first forkful hit my mouth that something wasn't right. Call it intuition, ESP, ancient Indian spirits whispering on the winds... I -sensed- something was amiss. When it did arrive, my premonitions were confirmed.
This isn't spicy. Not at all. The ranch must be bad. What's happening here? All of this flashes through my mind as I glance up to make sure no one can tell I'm panicked.
As I swallowed the first bite, I knew I could take no more. But what would I tell my co-workers? Surely they'd had this demon weed and would simply laugh at me and it would be over? I could take that. I could handle that. We'd all have a good laugh.
"Have you guys had Cilantro before?"
"Sure, pretty good isn't it?"
And here I made my fatal mistake, and this is the lesson for all of you:
Your feelings on Cilantro will be immediate. Don't hesitate, don't feel pressured. Act on your instincts. They will guide you well.
"Sure, it is good," I (rep)lied. And had to eat the whole bowl to prove it.
Don't let this happen to you!