Monday, January 12, 2009

adios, don pablos.

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it's a sad, sad day in the willis household. so very sad.

last night, together--the 4 of us, had our very last meal at don pablos. *sniff, sniff*. the rumor had it for some time....starting clear back to august....that the ownership would be changing very soon. well very soon stretched into 5 months. then suddenly without warning, our favorite family- date-night-place-to-eat-out had an empty parking lot and a sign on it's doors "closed indefinitely due to economic crisis."

we were devestated.

for all we knew that was the last known establishment by it's name in our area, as the one downtown had already changed ownership and the others we were told also closed for business. even a phone call to the only one we thought was open ended up ringing to a residence. anywho. finally, last night, we found one location.............the one that's 30 miles from us, was in fact still open. and seeing how i had a gift card from Christmas we didn't think twice about going.

it was a party in my tummy! mmmmmmmmmm.
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i practically lived off of chips & salsa and praire fire bean dip when i was pregnant with ashlyn. working just a few miles from one of their locations was dangerous to my pocketbook. i still swear they sprinkle some magic seasoning on everything that just makes you thirst for more. it was that good people.

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we used to have a weekly date there, every wednesday. why wednesday? well, wednesday was 1/2 price fajita day. and when eating out barely fits in the budget, 1/2 price is good! so there we went on wednesdays. always ordering drinks and 2 child's quesos, 1 order of chicken fajitas, with double-rice instead of refried beans, and lately adding in an ala carte beef enchildada for doug.

the weekly dates to don pablos became more like monthly dates when i went back to working outside the home last year. sometimes even longer than that.

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the kids had the games on the menu's memorized, but they were always just as thrilled as the last time to have something to occupy their time until the food arrived. often they would get a dough ball from the tortilla station to play with much like playdoh. other times they'd just make silly masks from the tortillas themselves.

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ashlyn came up with her own concotions of a "hita", first dabbing some special sauce (sour cream) on her tortilla, then adding rice, queso, pieces of chicken and crunched up chips. emma, she pretty much just eats cheese. lots and lots of cheese.

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it's hard to keep that girl in her seat long enough to finish her meal before she gets all antsy to throw fistfuls of pennies in the fountain, squeezing her eyes tight, saying "i wish, i wish....(pause)". i don't even know what she wishes for actually.

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have i mentioned that we've been going to don pablos since before ashlyn was born? lots and lots and lots of memories were made at this place. lots of baskets of chips devoured. and even more bowls of salsa polished off.

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and the brandy butter sauce on the sopapillas............mmmmmmmmmmmm. my thighs thank you don pablos. but you'll surely be missed.

may you always hold a special place in our hearts.
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8 comments:

  1. Oh we had the same thing happen to us with our favorite place last year. Ours is a restaurant called "Chevys", it had the best Mexican food and it was only 20 minutes away. We showed up one day and out of the blue it had a closed permanently sign. Such a bummer!

    Hey you can always come to Minnesota. We have a Don Pablos here off the highway. Might be a bit of a drive, but give it some time and you might get desperate. Ha, Ha!

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  2. opps, "Brian's Blog" is really me. My husband must have logged me out.

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  3. Oh Tania...I'm so sorry. Is this by chance the Don Pablo's near Cosi? We actually went there the last time we spent the night in Columbus on a weekend vacation. You have me drooling here with all the talk of chips & salsa & Don Pablo yumminess. It is so sad to see this happen. This yucky economy affects everyone that is for sure.

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  4. Oh that stinks. Glad you found that one to have 1 final family dinner at. Your pictures are great. Kudos for capturing the memory.

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  5. Tania, that was such a sad story. Ed and I loved that place too. Times are a bit scary lately as we see more and more places closing up. I am glad you included the fun photos of your last visit at Don Pablos, your two little girls are so darling.

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  6. Love the holes to make a face photo. Cute.

    Sad to hear about your fav place, and hopefully you'll get a new one soon. I know some of my friends say you have to try different places, but I think, sometimes it's just nice to go to a place where you know what you'll get. From the service (or not in some cases), the food, the atmosphere.

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  7. Your pics of the food made my mouth water! I wish my kids liked Mexican food...Sorry your fave place closed. 30 mi. away isn't that far away for a special treat, maybe?

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  8. Nooooooooo! Say it ain't so! Even though it's been many years since we've leaved near Don Pablos, it still holds a dear place in our hearts. So, so many great memories there! Of course, there are a lot of eateries in your area that bring back a lot of memories of you...The Spaghetti Warehouse, Grinders, and Grater's, to name a few. Empathizing and understanding, friend...

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