Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MUH-MUH-MUH- MY RAMONA: A Hot, Spicy Little Hispanic Dish

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who placed lots of corn in a bucket
But the farmer said, “Before you can truck it,
You’ll have to shuck it”.
So the man told the farmer to . . . show him how it’s done ‘cause he ain’t never shucked no corn before.

Now, what my limerick has to do with the rest of this blog bit I’m sure I don’t know.

When I was collecting photos & videos for my recent multi-intallment blog bit, "MY HOMEMEGALOPOLIS" - about my former life in Los Angeles - there were two things in particular that I earnestly sought and failed to find pictures of on the Internet.

One was a two-story bar/restaurant called YESTERDAY'S that once existed in the heart of Westwood Village. The place had an almost Bourbon Street-like charm to it and was my favorite drinking establishment in The Village.

The other object I hoped to find a photo of was Ramona's "Chile Relleno" Burritos. Ramona's was a brand of cheap burritos that one could find in just about every 7-Eleven and other small, neighborhood convenience stores in the Los Angeles metropolitan region.

Ramona's produced at least 6 or 7 different varieties of microwaveable burritos, but the two I pretty much lived on were the "Hot Green Chile" burrito with potato and cheese, and my very favorite, "Chile Relleno" egg-battered with cheese. My brother Nappy always loved 'em too!

Ramona's burritos were small and slightly oily when heated in a microwave. Not so oily that they were yucky, but just oily enough that they were yummy.

Posting my 'Los Angeles & Me' blog bit without mention of Ramona's made me feel like I was committing a felonious misdemeanor. Sure I mentioned the food at 'Antonio's Mexican Restaurant' and the margaritas at 'El Coyote', and the Garcia Lorca omelette at Venice Beach's 'Sidewalk Cafe', but those establishments were special treats for me, while Ramona's burritos were weekly staples.

Well, the omission of Ramona's was weighing so heavily upon me this last week that the other day I actually placed a long-distance phone call to Ramona's Mexican Food Products at 13633 S. Western Ave. in Gardena, California, [310-323-1950] and I demanded (well, pleaded in an intense manner) to know where I might be able to find Ramona's burritos in the Phoenix area. (I have been checking the convenience markets since moving here in 1995 and without luck and - damn-it! - I was beginning to get pretty hungry.)

I was told that the Smart & Final stores carried them. I had never been in a Smart & Final store before, but that very day I drove to the one nearest me and WHOOP!-WHOOP! ...they had 'em!  So I bought two cases of the "Chile Relleno" burritos, and the following day I went back and bought a case of the "Hot Green Chile" burritos. Every bite takes me home!

Now understand, I'm not saying these cheap little microwaveable burritos are on a par with what you would get by ordering the beef burrito at 'Campos' on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica, across the street from the Stop 'N' Stab market; nor are they as good as the Chile Relleno burrito you would have gotten at 'Pancho's', on the corner of Ocean Park Blvd. and Lincoln, or even the offerings at L.A.'s 'Burrito King'.

Heck, they can't even measure up to the burritos you'd get here in Phoenix at a Filiberto's, a Hiliberto's, a Humberto's, or any of the other --erto's in this awful city. But in the 'Cheap, Gas-Up, Microwave, Gobble-Down 'N' Drive-On' category, Brother Nappy and I always believed that Ramona's took the Blue Ribbon.

And now, after 16 years of being Ramona-less, I have found my baby again and I am happy as a dog with a bowl of menudo!

[Nappy & Stephen's recommended diet
for bachelors young & old.]
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


James Garcia Jr said...

I feel that I need to apologize twice, my friend. Not only did I fail to list The Doors as being one of my musical passions, but I had thought I had followed this blog long ago!!

Following now!

I came to name my novel "Dance on Fire" because "when I was back there in seminary school..." Kidding. I just wanted to prove to you that I, in fact, really do love The Doors.

I hated Dance on Fire as a title, actually. I always thought I would change it; however, after twenty years, it stuck. The idea was everyone knows to stop, drop and roll should they be caught on fire. Yet, for just split seconds, we all panic and react completely differently from one another. So, the supernatural characters in this book stand back and watch as the people around are affected by these incredible events that occur.

Sorry for the long-winded comment. Have a good one!


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Ha! Thanks for the explanation. I will reply further on your own blog...

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

DiscConnected said...

I never could stand Yoo-hoo....but those burritos are pretty tasty!


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>...I never could stand Yoo-hoo....

That's an un-American statement.
Perhaps you forgot to shake 'em?

>>...but those burritos are pretty tasty!

Cheap but good. Jus' like me.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Disc!!! Can't stand Yoo-hoo? Sacrilege! But what can you expect from a guy from Philadelphia? I'll bet they didn't have Yoo-hoo in Philly.

Guess I'm going to have to visit Smart and Final. There's a store not too far up the street from me. You've mentioned those burritos before and now I can try them if they have them here at my local Smart and Final. I'll go after I get home from Tennessee. I hope I remember.

Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

You tell him, man!

Yes, I recall mentioning Ramona's on one of your blog bits some time back and asking if you'd had them. (You were yakking about pig's feet or some other unusual "food".)

Ramona's burritos are surprisingly edible for something that costs about $1.25

Definitely a flavor from my past. If you can't get them at Smart & Final by the case, living in the L.A. area, you should be able to buy them individually at just about any 7-Eleven or similar neighborhood convenience market.

In fact, you probably SHOULD buy JUST ONE first, to make sure you're going to like them. I can understand that some people might not care for 'em. I just don't happen to be one of them peoples.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

I have heard from Mexican friends that the best burritos--home-made--contain pork fat. So, Ramona's secret has been revealed! hehehe

Okay, just kidding (not!). I'm glad you found Ramona's again-- a delicious treat, associated to fond memories :-))

Lady Doris

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I can't hea-aaa-r you!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

HAHAHAHAHA You crack me up!

Lady Doris

Missed Periods said...

My hearts sings knowing that you and Ramona have been reunited!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>...You crack me up!

Unfortunately, that's the effect I've ALWAYS had on women.

Uh... just how many "hearts" do you have? (And faces? Are you two-faced, or more? ;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'