Heading for the Sign, on Cinco de Mayo!
Larry's may not sound like the name of a Mexican Restaurant, but that is the nickname of Eberardo Guerrero, who opened this restaurant over 50 years ago.
The sign may be considered politically incorrect to some, with its stereotypical image of a sombrero wearing Mexican sleeping in the shade of a cactus. But this sign has been drawing customers from Highway 90, since 1960.
Don and I live only 5 miles from Larry's, so we decided to head over for a festive lunch on Cinco de Mayo.
We parked beneath another Larry sign and headed for the front door.
Not much has changed since we moved to Sugar Land and visited Larry's, almost 20 years ago.
I'm pretty sure these red lamps were here then and probably when the restaurant opened, in 1960.
We passed by a few more festive lamps, before opening the door. I read the sign above the glass and was glad I did't see the words, "No Costumes" added to the list.
I sort of felt like I was wearing a costume, when I put on my festive Mexican dress with colorful embroidery. "Please don't be embarrassed." I begged Don. "I have to wear this, because it's Cinco de Mayo and when else..."
Not Busy... Yet
It wasn't even noon yet, so there were plenty of open tables with colorful chairs. A little mariachi music made my outfit seem just right.
But the serious waiter who motioned for us to be seated, made me suddenly feel self-concious. Clearly this restaurant was open for business as usual. No whooping it up for those Americans who love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Our waiter was efficient, delivering our menus, chips and salsa. I never felt rushed, but I could sense that his energy was already geared up, for a crowd.
Sure enough, by the time my chicken taco salad and Don's chicken enchiladas and soft tacos arrived, the place was filling up. Our waiter's pace suddenly fit.
Better than before?
It's been a long time since Don and I stopped to eat at Larry's. I honestly don't remember the food and menu that well, but the food was a tasty surprise. I was amazed at the amount of chicken in my salad. Don ended up with leftovers that fed him lunch the next day.
Not only do I now appreciate the food a little more, but I appreciate the history.
I already looked out of place in my silly dress, so I figured I'd just wander around and study some of the artwork and old photos and learn some history.
There was a photo of the original Larry, who died over 10 years ago. His son took over for a number of years and now his grandson, Eberardo Guerrero III manages the family owned restaurant. Elenor, the daughter-in-law of the Larry Sr., works the cash register.
Elenor was seated with friends at a table near the candy-covered counter. As I wandered over, she popped up and was happy to answer my questions. I'm not sure when she met her husband, (the son of the first Larry) but she said she first ate at the restaurant when she was about 19.
She laughed about how little had changed. "If we try to change anything, people get mad. They like it just the way it is."
Good People Encounters
By the time our waiter brought our check, he had slowed down to laugh with us a bit. He chuckled about Don's name. "Don Don!" Don gets this a lot, since Don is a courtesy title that goes before the name. He was confused by my name Beth, until I said it was short for Elizabeth. He seemed to think that was very royal and told me the Spanish word for crown. I wish I had a photo of our waiter!
Posing with Elenor
After a little more chatting with Elenor at the cash register, I convinced her to pose with me for a photo.
She was quite a good sport, saying she doesn't usually do photos.
I had one last people encounter, just as we stepped out the door. A blond woman wearing a purple version of my Mexican dress, was headed inside. "Oh! I like your dress!" I laughed, as I held the door for her. "I like yours, too." She added.
Too bad I didn't get her to pose with me!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.