Over the past few weeks, the paparazzo, ranging from (most pathetically) KFOR to US Weekly have been staking out the little town of Tishomingo just to catch a glimpse of hot new It couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Prayers were answered when the duo were spotted cruising around town slurping on DQ Peanut Buster Parfaits and Hunt Brothers ‘za while scouting out empty storefronts on Main Street for a possible new L.A.M.B location.
Normally, this is all something that I couldn’t give an absolute crap about. But, my lady paramour happens to be a huge Gwen Stefani fan and when it was revealed the pair were spotted canoodling in the town’s only Mexican restaurant via numerous celeb gossip blogs, we decided to stop there on the way back from Texas, her in the hopes of seeing her fave singer, me in the hopes of finding some really good Mexican food.
The odds were decidedly in my favor...
While most of the town and its assorted bridges are currently underwater due to flooding (to see an entire city park deluged is a really surreal sight), the town was booming with traffic, Main Street (home of Blake’s ex’s shop, Pink Pistol) was moderately busy and, being the only Mexican restaurant in town, Gonzalez, 110 N. Kemp Ave., was filled with lunch patrons, all clad in muddy camouflage or pink and purple medical scrubs.
As we were escorted to our chairs and handed our menus, my partner excitedly asked if he happened to know what Gwen ordered when she was here. He shrugged, said he was off that night and went to get us our waters. Apparently the place has been filled with plenty of rubbernecking journos the past week asking these same questions and the staff was appropriately tired of it.
Looking over the menu—which was proudly Tex-Mex, by the way, God bless ‘em—my first instinct was to try their house specialty, El Molcajete, a $22.99 priced sampler of beef, chicken, shrimp, chorizo and nopales served in a hot rock molcajete, but I came to my senses when I realized I still had a two-hour trip back to the city and I don’t want to have to stop at a Flying J to take a shower.
I settled on the $7.99 Gonzalez Special—two cheese enchiladas, a tamale and rice and beans—mostly because Blake doesn’t seem like someone who “reads” and would instead just glance at the menu and then say “Gimme the special! Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit!” Meanwhile, mi novia took on the Chicken Fajita Quesadillas ($10.99), which, while it seems far away from the typical Orange County Quinoa fare Stefani probably grew up on, we did picture Blake guilting her into trying new things and, she being in the honeymoon phase, relenting on her hollabackness. That shit is bananas and that spell is gonna wear off soon and when it does...
My cheese enchiladas were the bomb, just like I remember growing up with in Texas, where Mexican food is done right. The tangy red sauce mixed mightily with the zip of the overflowing cheese, with every forkful an embarrassment of riches. The tamale was serviceable enough and the rice and beans did their job. But after taking a bite of her quesadillas, I immediately had buyer’s remorse, as that perfectly marinated grilled chicken, coupled with the copious cheese in a fresh tortilla was the stuff dreams were made of. My dreams, at least.
Overall, Gonzalez Mexican Restaurant is a pretty solid pit-stop in Tishomingo and being the only Mexican eatery in a 50 or so mile radius, it really has to be. Gringos can only live on gas station-based pizza pies for so long. Even if those gringos are the hosts of one of the biggest television shows in the country and they are continually asked by the staff and patrons to take uncomfortable photos to remember their one obligatory visit off the compound. Sure was cool they did though.
Louis recently had a dream where he split a meatball sub with Freddy Fender. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisFowler.