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“a woman walks into a bar…” in El Paso, Texas

on 18/11/14 at 12:37 pm

a woman walks into a bar..., Booze News

Alex and Juan

woman-barfinal2El Paso late afternoon, find a place, ok, well, Motel 6 if you must know, ask the guy at reception where to get the best Mexican food. He rattles off a few places but L&J Cafe, the old place by the graveyard, stands out as the preeminent, down and dirty hot spot so there I go. It’s oooold. Born in 1927, family owned and a real dive bar cum family restaurant. Two guys sit catty corner to me discussing the inevitable football game on the ancient tv above the bar. One’s wearing a Lions shirt.

What to order? I go with the 3 tostados plate and, sadly, a Guinness blonde…what did I expect? A dozen craft beer taps? Turns out, Alex, the guy in the Lions shirt is the kitchen manager and has been a regular here forever. We chit chat and I tell him that I just drove down from Gallup where it’s colder than a witches tit – no, I didn’t say that – and told him about all the big rigs slippin’ and slidin’ down I-40 going 25MPH and how when they eventually hit the non-icy pavement, they take off like a bat outta hell trying to make up for lost time. Alex says his buddy is a trucker and, yeah man, time is money and they have to deliver. He says he has new respect for him after hearing about how intense the work is and how important.truck

I must say seeing all those big rigs – and I mean an endless stream of them – and on either side, trains with miles and miles of boxcars delivering all manner of things we take for granted. We never think about how we get the goods. I was thinking about how in all those boxcars lies one little teddy bear traveling miles and miles and miles to finally be home in a little kid’s arms. If you think about how much stuff is even one boxcar or truck, it really boggles the mind. Tip o’ the hat to all those truckers and railroad engineers who bring us our things.

About to leave L&J, when a couple of guys stop me and ask where I’m from. You know, I’m sticking out like a sore thumb in a working class bar. We chat, talk about beer and Paul, the sober one, tells me about a great pub that has a hundred taps just down the road. Okay! In just a few minutes, I’m at The Hoppy Monk anxious to try some new beer. There are indeed 70 taps and an extensive beer list. Hoppy MonkI order a Brooklyn Blast! Imperial IPA 9%…very smooth, hint of hops in mid-palate, finish drops off. Pleasant.

Ok, so that’s it for El Paso. Motel 6 beckons and the next destination awaits.