OK, I'm embarrassed to be here. I was in the mood for a vegetarian burger, so I came here to eat and write. I used to come to the Indiana quite a bit when I first moved to Paris. Not always this one; there are seven or eight around town. It was at this one that -- while on a first date -- the woman I was with found a dead roach in the nacho chips. "But the guacamole is good," I argued. After a while I realized that none of the people I brought to the Indiana liked it as much as me, or even liked it at all. For me it was a place to get an edible vegetarian hamburger and edible enchiladas. I don't know why I was settling for just edible, but it was good enough for me for a long time.
There were other bonuses too, like the fact that there are always video monitors present broadcasting MTV. And the way every inch of wall space is filled with pictures of Native Americans. And the free postcard that came with the bill. And just the hillarity of the sign: Indiana Tex-Mex. The juxtaposition of Indiana, Indians, and Tex-Mex cuisine makes absolutely no sense at all and is reason enough in my book to frequent a restaurant.
When my mother visited almost two years ago, I was still so enamored of the place that I dragged her here, and we subsequently missed the beginning of a Paul Simon concert while waiting for the check for what had been a very mediocre dinner. Needless to say, my priorities were a little out of whack.
At some point the Indiana jacked up all of its prices, and I finally realized it wasn't worth it anymore. Then I found Café Pacifico in the Montparnasse area and realized that there was Tex-Mex food in Paris that was actually pretty good, and not just "edible."
So, to make a long story short, I haven't been here in a very long time, but I still don't know of a better vegetarian burger in Paris. Today's was pretty good. With the burger you get cole slaw and thin little french fries, but they're nothing to write home about. Afterwards I got an espresso, but they gave me a tube of powdered suger with it. I'm sitting outside under the awning, and it's not cold today, so why not? The place is pretty crowded, still, but not as much as it was at lunch. The waitress is blonde, possibly Scandinavian, and is wearing black pants and a black Indiana Tex Mex t-shirt. This is one of those places, like the Hard Rock Café, where ninety percent of the staff know English better than French.
My table is round, green, and the cane wicker chairs are predominantly red and a little too close together. The slightly hyperactive young woman sitting at the table next to mine knocks my chair with her elbow every few seconds.
They didn't give me a postcard with the check. It's ok, though. I still have a couple dozen of them at home.
7, Bd. Des Capucines
Sugar: tube of powdered sugar
Copyright © 2003 David Sadegh.
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