New Castle News

October 4, 2013

Gary Church: My Mexican food was mild, but the entertainment was a little spicy

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Some friends, who wish to remain anonymous for national security reasons, asked us to meet them for a quiet dinner.

Their restaurant of choice was El Canelo.

When we pulled into the parking lot, it was packed. My ever-alert wife noticed a sign that said, "Live Music at 5:30."

The live music was Randy Velez.

I thought it would be quaint, just to sit and listen to a little bit of “La Cucaracha,” “Blue Spanish Eyes” and, perhaps, the “Mexican Hat Dance.”

He never did any of the above, while we were there.

He did do some Willie Nelson, Louie Armstrong, Johnny Cash and Andrea Bocelli.

Randy is extremely talented, and uses high-quality background tracks to sing with.

I never thought I would see the day when I would be singing “Wooly Bully” at the top of my lungs, along with Kevin Gierlach, who was at the next table. You should have heard us on “Sweet Caroline.”

Another thing that made the evening very entertaining was a lady who was in the mood to dance. At first, her partner of choice was the waiter.

But also seated in the restaurant were about 10 nice-looking guys from Westminster College. When they got up to leave, Randy decided to sing “YMCA.”

Of course, the lady who was in the mood to dance got up and danced with the college guys. When they tried to leave halfway through the song, she blocked the door.

We were howling.

She also visited several tables and did a little dance for the men.

I could not help but notice several people pointing at me when she was looking where to go next.

She obliged them.

I might have been a teeny-weeny embarrassed, but the crowd loved it.

That wasn't the most embarrassing part of the evening.

I have nothing against Mexican food — I just don't eat it, nor do I know what those strange words are on the menu.

Someone else had to order for me.

I got three thin steaks, three skinny pieces of some kind of dough, some brown stuff, some green stuff, and the only thing I recognized, lettuce and rice.

Then I was told I had to assemble my own sandwich. Are they too busy in the kitchen or what?

There is a reason why I don't have a degree in engineering. It goes along with the same reason I have trouble folding clothes.

It's not my gift.

I just thought you put a piece of steak in that dough stuff, fold it in half and eat it.

There was some snickering across the table from me.

They tried to teach me how to fold the thing, but I never got it right.

I ate the steak and the doughy stuff, but left most of the brown stuff, and never touched the green stuff and rice.

Though no one noticed, and don't mention this to my wife, the girl who was dancing blew me a kiss as I was walking out the door.

It's nice to know that I’ve still got it. Or maybe she was a tad inebriated.

I definitely would go see Randy again.

Maybe next time I'll just get the fried ice cream. I think it comes pre-assembled.