It’s a humid Sunday morning in Fort Worth, TX and I’ve risen early to make my way to local event space/gallery FW Blackhouse. I find myself amongst a sea of green-clad patrons here to watch Mexico take on Germany in the group stage of the World Cup. A local city council person takes a seat by the large screen, families fill out the rows of chairs, and the game kicks off. There’s a palpable intensity and hope in the air, as the thought of opening the tournament against the defending champs must intimidate some in attendance.
As the game rolls on, food is set out on long tables on the porch. That food’s been expertly prepared by a local chef and the gallery owner’s mother. A smaller watch party takes place on a TV on the porch. At half-time, food is served. I load up a plate with mole, guiso salsa verde, menudo, rice, beans, and more. After assembling my bounty, I find a spot to eat.
I’ve been crushing Modelos since I arrived.
A Mexican-style Pilsner adorned with gold foil around the cap, it’s crisp, light in body, and a go-to summer banger. With this food, it shines as the ultimate balance to the rich flavors and heat that abound on my plate and palate.
I expected great food, but was surprised by the simplest dish available. My friend Fabian (the chef), suggests I take charred onion, salsa, and a few other accoutrements and wrap them in a freshly grilled tortilla. As juices drip down my arm, I devour my taco and wash it down with more Modelo. I reach a point where I’m unsure if I’m sweating from the humidity or the spice. Then again, maybe those are tears of joy on my cheeks.
Something amazing has happened. I’ve felt gustatory bliss of its purest form, but also the crowd has erupted and music and yells of “Viva El Tri!” fill the air. Mexico has accomplished the unexpected, a 1-0 result against the almighty Germany.
Food can wait. I may have found a better pairing to today’s festivities, anyway. Champagne.