Grams had never taken to spicy food. Her constitution just wouldn’t allow it. Consequently that guilty pleasure belonged solely to my brother Rumi and myself. Rumi loved the heat of Mexican food (jalapenos, chili powder, cumin) while I loved the savoriness. Freshly baked nachos with tangy salsa are a personal weakness of mine. When it came time to celebrate Rumi’s admission into the Berklee College of Music I couldn’t think of a better choice than Mexican.
Located in Inman Square, Ole is not your standard Mexican fare with seasoned and braised meat and fresh vegetables, all served in a festive ambiance of a vibrant reds, yellows and purples. Dominick and I were the first to arrive and being in a celebratory mood I wore an off the hot pink mini-dress with flouncy crochet trim that blended superbly with the decor. A few minutes later I spotted Casey at the entrance of the restaurant. She was wearing an over-sized cardigan over a tank top and jeans. Casey is one of those people that thinks they can handle spicy food but turns a red as a beat at the first sign of heat. Shortly thereafter Rumi’s friend Prince wearing a lime green sweater and tight black jeans arrived and then last but not least, the man of the hour.
When we were all settled the waitress started us off with freshly baked nachos and salsa, temptation began to overtake me. Just like potato chips one is never enough. I looked over to Casey, her face was only mildly flushed and she had already taken a good chug of water. We were all happy to see that Rumi was doing something productive with his life and had taken a break from coasting. I like to think that having me around was indeed a positive influence. Before the entrees arrived we started with a toast.
Just in time, the small plates arrived with grilled corn on the cob (with garlic-mayo, cotija cheese and chile-lime salt), and mussels (in a garlic-chile pasilla broth) served with buttered toasted telera bread. The aroma itself was heavenly. Rumi gave me a nudge and looked motioned towards Casey who was licking her lips and fanning herself, a shy blush was slowly emerging, that would before then end of the evening, resemble a sunburn. Meanwhile Rumi accepted his congratulations with restrained euphoria. All that partying Rumi had done over the last couple years in dingy clubs listening to indie bands could now be used as research. As we nibbled on appetizers Rumi told us all about the music program. I likened it to watching a baby bird finally realizing it could fly.
Before we knew it our entrée were here. I had ordered the cauliflower baja taco (with beer battered cauliflower, crema fresca with charred scallions, roasted-chipotle salsa, corn tortilla). It was a medley of complementary flavors. I couldn’t help but glance towards Casey. She looked happy but blushing hotly as a result of whatever spicy concoction she had ordered. I have never been one to hold back when it comes to dessert. At the end of dinner I sweetened the evening by adding a flan de caramel (custard in rich caramel sauce). This would hit my sweet spot nicely. I looked over at Casey, having turned as red as a lobster she was recuperating nicely with a bowl of fried ice-cream.
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