In November, my wife and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. If you would have asked me in my early adult years if I thought I’d be lucky enough to find someone as loving, supportive, and amazing as she is, convince her to marry me, and somehow manage to keep that marriage alive for 14 years without her running for the hills, I might not have believed you. But for whatever reason, she still hasn’t had enough of me, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Our shared love and passion for food, and the communal, soul-satisfying feelings it can imbue our life’s experiences with, was something that bonded us to each other early in our relationship.
To this day it provides us a constant source of connection and happiness.
I’m really incredibly lucky to have her, for so many reasons, most of which are all deep, emotional ones that you’d expect to hear a husband say about his wife he’s been with for this long. Today, though, I’m reminded of yet another reason why my life would literally not be as good without her. I’m referring to her ability to bring incredible food from insanely good restaurants into my life. Two places in particular, both Mexican food establishments, have become two of my favorite restaurants in my entire life, and it’s thanks to her that I know about either.
One is Fidel’s, and their (formerly) sister location Norte’s. I’ll probably write about them another time. The reason I was inspired to write this entry on my way to 40 is the glorious, life affirming chicken soup from Lourdes‘, here in our little North San Diego county town. Lourdes’ sign says it all, really. It’s a sign that makes a pretty big boast, and here’s the thing…it ain’t no lie, fam.
“The Best Chicken Soup in Town.”
The very first time I had it, Carolyn told me I absolutely had to have it, because I was feeling under the weather. She took me to their first location, because we didn’t even know there was a second one, literally down the street from our house. We go to that location all the time now. And in a true testament to how goddamn good this soup is, their second location is in a gas station. Yes.
A gas station.
And it’s incredibly popular. When I was in there today, there were a handful of people milling about the gas station waiting for their food. If you can make people go to a gas station for your soup, it is indeed the best chicken soup in town.
It’s loaded with broth so perfect you might want to marry it. The chicken is flavorful and tender. The rice is fortifying. The avocado — get extra, trust me — is this bitchin’ little hit of smooth coolness. Well, actually, trust Carolyn on the extra avocado tip, because she told me to do it that way the first time and she, as always, was dead on. The soup has onions, and the cilantro in it bathes in all the soupy goodness. It has some built-in kick, but they always give you tortillas and all the hot salsas you could want if you want to kick yours up a notch.
Basically, this soup is everything every other chicken soup in the world aspires to be. The balance of flavors is absolutely perfect. If you’ve been reading these “I’m gonna be 40, wtf” pieces of mine, you know I’m still battling some disgusting little annoying virus that keeps fucking with me, and pretending it wants to go away, only to come back and flick me in the nose…or chest in this case, I guess. Let me say unequivocally that it’s not that Lourdes’ chicken soup is literally healing me, but it might as damn well be.
As I sat here, eating my soup, I decided that Lourdes’ soup is so good, it deserved a loved letter to it, and here it is.
Dear Lourdes’ Chicken Soup,
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
- I really love you.
- Holy goddamn shit, do I love you.
- No, really, I love you so much, goddamnit.
Look, I could keep going, but it might get creepy at some point. I just wanted to tell you much I love you, and appreciate your ability to, at least temporarily, make me feel like whatever nagging goddamn stupid piece of fucking shit virus that won’t leave my precious, beautiful body isn’t so annoying after all. You do it every time. You fortify. You lift me up.
And look, Lourdes Chicken Soup, I don’t want to be creepy, but I’m pretty sure my wife loves you in the same way. So, we may have to just bring you home with us a couple nights a month from now on. We can cozy up together in bed, put on some trash TV, and just see what happens. I’m thinking what will happen is that we’ll both eat you. I hope you’re into that. I think you are, but I don’t want to speak for you.
Don’t ever change. Stay just as you are. A hot, perfectly seasoned, miracle in a bowl.
Te amo por siempre y siempre más.
Jambozo the Clown
Okay, so maybe I’m not the best at writing love letters to soup. But I realized that it’s really my wife who deserves the love letter for bringing the soup into my life anyway. And some stuff I don’t publish for the world to see, believe it or not.
Until tomorrow, thanks for reading.
Catch up on the rest of the year’s entries HERE.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.