"Y dos Victorias." I add in.
He throws down the tortillas to warm and immediately goes to work. It is a thing of beauty. He takes his large knife, sharpens it skillfully while looking around, barks our beer order to a waitress, smiles. Winks. He is king here. He knows it. All the other taco cooks are behind the counter on the inside, slaving away on other, lesser meats, and quesadillas, alambres, even chicken. Here our man, glowing-- he is now, spurred into action, actually glowing in his own greatness-- puts down his sharpener, grabs a warm tortilla from the comal, turns the spit to where the newly crisped pork awaits his touch and gracefully goes to work.
In a matter of seconds he has sliced paper thin strips of pork. "Fffffpp, fffffpp, fffffpp," from the spit, and as they slide off they all land squarely on the tortilla in his other hand several inches away from the spit itself. Meat never touching hand. Then reaching with the knife up to the top in quick strokes, “fffp, ffp, ffp”, the pineapple flies off, is airborne, and like there was a magnetic attraction (and there likely is), like there was no other place it could end up, it comes to rest on top of the pork; and harmony and balance come momentarily to the universe (or at least to me and my tacos). Then in a matter of 40 seconds or so, eight more just like it.
Great skill is before me, and I recognize it although I maybe admire this man more than I should. Regardless, I take it in. Then waking me from my amorous gaze the plastic plate slaps down in front of me. Red pork, yellow pineapple, green cilantro and white onion artfully balanced on the light brown canvas that is the tortilla. A real masterpiece. In the pork hall of fame (that should be opening soon I think) this would hang proudly alongside bacon, Serrano ham and other pork classics. I close my eyes and breathe in the steam. Is there any smell quite like this? Tangy, spicy, sweet, sharp, smoky, porky and lovely. OK. First bite. It's been too long...