The End of a Season!

Local Gauchos & Gringas!

We’ve had a pretty stellar summer so far, huh? Well, now that we’re winding down to fall (which starts in two days, in fact!), it also means that our food truck season is winding down as well.

This was our first “full year” as a food truck, and we vowed to try it all. From graduation parties to private birthdays to Bike Week to Huron River Fest to gold mining weekends to the Jet Express in Port Clinton…we really dabbled in a little bit of everything! We thought this would be a good way to see what we really like…and it turns out, we liked it all!

We just love serving our food to the community, no matter where we’re at! Getting to meet all of you fabulous folks, people we might have otherwise never met or connected with, really makes our job special. We count tons of new friends among the ranks of our customers, and that is one of the coolest perks we never saw coming.

So come out and see us one last time for the season here in the Sandusky area. We’ll be at our daily spot for three more weeks, and we’ve got three more local festivals, and then we’re packing up and heading to MANSFIELD for their month-long Halloween spectacular at the prison.

Check out our schedule for exact dates and locations. Hope to see you soon!

 

Advertisements

As The Season Comes To A Close…

Wow. Is it really almost November?

It’s hard to believe that we had our first event on September 9th this year. Almost two months later, it’s time to pack it up and head into food truck hibernation.

We called this year our “Soft Launch”. Our late-to-the-game attempt to get our feet wet, see how we like it, and learn as MUCH as humanly possible in a rapidly shriveling window of time.

And I’d say we managed it. Not only did we go from Zero to Launched in about 5 weeks’ time, we have a host of other experiences under our belt. We’ve made new friends, forged invaluable connections, participated in city events and tiny flea markets, traveled more than 20 miles from the home base, crossed Lake Erie, spilled a fryer, tried a daily location, and most importantly, we’ve been cooking our food and sharing it with the community.

We’ve been blown away by the response. Truly, deeply flabbergasted. Who could have ever imagined that you guys would love our food so much? Well, we had hoped this might be the case–but we never thought the love would be so resounding and happen so FAST!

Cheers to the Soft Launch Year! Where we got our feet more than wet (drenched, really) and we’re left SALIVATING for the year to come!

On next year’s agenda, you can expect all the same great Gaucho & Gringa staples (our current menu…festival/event appearances…and a daily location) PLUS the addition of many Argentinian specials that we wanted to save for our first proper year in the game. We’ll unroll our schedule of events as things get settled in the coming months. We plan to hit the pavement in April, and serve allllll the way through October once more.

Thank you all for supporting us, for giving us a shot, for spreading the word with your friends and family. It means SO much to us…and we can’t wait to keep bringing delicious, locally-sourced, fresh Argentinian/American food to the Northern Ohio community.

Who Am I These Days?

I just looked around and noticed a few details about my daily life that made me wonder who I’ve become.

  • It’s 4pm and I’m about to eat lunch.
  • I just had “some bread” as “a snack”.
  • My accent when I speak in Spanish is sometimes almost painfully Argentinian.

Yeah, I’d say the Other Half has had an influence on me in our two years together. In fact, if you’ll recall my earlier post about The Dining Hour Debate where I vehemently commented on our eating schedule differences, I publicly stated that I never skip breakfast and prefer to eat dinner at a reasonable hour.

Well guess what, folks? Some days, I don’t even eat breakfast. And most nights? We eat dinner between 9pm-10pm.

My former American lifestyle is gasping in shock!

The strange thing is…I feel healthier and better fed. I suppose I’ve hit a new groove here in Peru, but my work schedule typically leads me to eat a fruit smoothie in the morning (sometimes), lunch between 2p-4p, and then dinner around 9pm. It works great, and it tends to unfold that way naturally.

Who woulda thunk?

Certainly not me.

Gaucho Vs. Gringa

The other day, I showed my partner this video:

 

I thought it was the most hilarious thing. Leaping baby goats! Wild, untamed, pure childish joy! Unabashed glee in animal childhood! I was certain he would think it was just as funny.

He watched it. He offered a laugh. And then at the end, he said,

“Yep. That’s what goats do.”

Record screech. That’s when I remembered — Jorge’s first 18 years of life were spent on a rural farm, raising animals, slugging water out of a well, eating everything homemade from scratch, being a gaucho.

“So…you’ve seen them do this before?”

“Of course,” he said. “We raised goats.”

“But don’t you think it’s funny?”

He nodded. “Yeah. It’s funny.”

Just not as hilarious as I thought it to be.

Lesson Learned: when you’re a gringa with a gaucho, please recall the fact that he did not spend his childhood in a Suburban America, far from farms and animal behavior like you did. He’s just not going to find the same humor in child goat spasms, cows chewing cud, llama faces, or any manner of farm animal movement.

Meeting your Partner’s Family For the First Time

I won’t lie — the first time Argentinian Jorge brought up the idea to go meet his family for a multi-week trip, I said no.

I didn’t even apologize. I just knew it — I wasn’t freaking ready. We’d only been dating a few months at that time. The thought of meeting his parents and siblings gave me bowel tingles, but not the good kind.

So we let it lie, and several months down the road, he brought it up again.

This time, I said yes. And though the bowel tingles accompanied me up until the day we made it to his tiny pueblito hometown, I managed to meet and greet and even converse with every single member of his family.

All 156 of them because, you know, he comes from rural Argentinian countryside land.

OK, OK — 156 is an exaggeration, but his 17 nieces and nephews? That’s a real figure.

Meeting the family is a big event for any couple, anywhere in the world. But what made our international Meet-And-Greet all the more fascinating was that his family are countryfolk. Born and raised on the farm, his home didn’t have electricity until he was born. By even the laxest modern standards, that is extremely tardy.

On top of that, meeting countryfolk in any part of of the world, even your home country, is difficult because they typically come with accents. At the risk of over-generalizing, those accents also come with less experience dealing with outsiders.

And in his case, I was more than an outsider. I was a freaking white alien with dreadlocks with a strange Spanish accent and a mother tongue nobody even knew how to articulate.

Hi, Jorge’s family! I’m Shannon, but call me literally anything you want. Shanna, Shan, Sharon, even just Shah — that works too.

By the end of our week with his family, one person could almost pronounce my name, and that was the 3 year old nephew that stuck to me like glue.

Needless to say, knowing certain things about his family in advance made the anticipation worse. But once we were there, and I had been fully appraised by the clan, things flowed well. Smoothly. His mom even made me special vegetables because my ex-vegetarian intestines can’t do the Argentinian Tradition of meat 15 times a day. What helped ease my anticipation was knowing these indisputable facts:

  • I have my best friend and my lover at my side to guide me through any uncomfortable moments where his dad repeats something to me three times and I still don’t get it
  • His family loves him so much and therefore they love me already
  • His family wants to see him happy and knows he his happy with me therefore they are already happy with me
  • My presence in his tiny hometown is a chance to teach people about where I come from, and show them that relationships like ours really can work (and be really fun!)

As in most instances of multi-month dread leading up to a single event, everything worked out totally fine and we laughed about how scared I had been before going. In fact, we’re gearing up to go visit his side of the family again very soon.

This time, though, with considerably more calm and a set of nieces and nephews that have had plenty of time to practice that ‘SH’ sound.