Sunday, November 22, 2009

La Borimex - a Fantastic Find

On a beautiful fall day, there may be nothing better than aimlessly driving around Lancaster County and taking in the breathless beauty of its vast farmland. An added benefit is happening upon quirky places that might have otherwise remained under the radar.

A few Saturdays ago, such a thing occurred when we found ourselves driving east on 322 and famished for lunch. Just as we declared, “We’ll go to the next lunch place we see, no matter what it is,” we careened into the parking lot of a little storefront with Mexican flags dancing in the wind.

La Borimex is a small part-corner grocery, and part-Mexican eatery. While the store has been there for a few years, the Mexican cafĂ© opened just a year ago. Patrons are welcomed with a wall full of dried peppers of all kinds – who knew such Mexican authenticity existed here?

Because it was nearing mid-afternoon, we had just missed the $5 lunch specials hanging on the white board. As our table was being bussed, I asked the young worker what his favorite meal on the menu was. Upon realizing he didn’t speak English, I attempted to ask the question in my rather poor Spanish. He nervously smiled and beckoned the server over. Guess I have a long way to go in the language department.

The server declared the burritos to be among her favorites, so the Steak Burrito ($8.99) and the Fish California Burrito ($7.99) were ordered. While we waited, I soaked in the atmosphere. It was

reminiscent of a simple, plain cafeteria, but with a flourish of crosses lined up on the window sill and cowboy boots for sale in the small non-foods area. I could have been in a roadside Mexican joint in rural Texas.

The Steak Burrito, large and rotund, was smothered in melted cheese and surrounded by rich black beans, Spanish rice, pico de gallo salsa, and filled with tender steak strips, shredded Cheddar cheese, and sour cream. It was a big, hot, delicious mess. A case of the more, the merrier. Fork and knife, please. Amazingly, the mess didn’t include a greasy aftertaste and a sick feeling of regret that usually accompanies anything of that magnitude. You will be full, for sure, but this time, you may just not feel so bad about it.

The Fish California Burrito, in stark contrast, sat neatly on the plate with grilled white fish, much of the same accompaniments, only without the mess and in much less quantity, fully contained in its flour tortilla shell. Add to that super-fresh lettuce and tomato, and I couldn’t help but think of those Californians and their healthful ways…

It was in this hand-held burrito that I could really appreciate the malleable softness of the tortilla that let my teeth sink in. That first bite revealed an enticing disparity between the heat of the hot-off-the-grill fish, black beans, and rice, against the cool, crispness of the lettuce and tomato. The simplicity of this burrito that was unencumbered by all the “stuff” that made the Steak Burrito so good didn’t make it any less satisfying.

As a last note, I find that whenever I’m eating at a small, out-of-the-way establishment, I wonder about the freshness of the produce, the turnover ratio of the ingredients, and I hope for the best. At La Borimex, wonderment subsided; everything was extremely fresh.

So I’m looking forward to visiting again. And in the meantime, I’m brushing up on my Spanish.

Borimex Mexican Restaurant

1623 E. Division Hwy, Ephrata


1 comment:

Doug said...

word, we're checkin' it tomorrow...