When I contemplate how I feel when I venture to a Mexican restaurant, I cannot contain my jubilation. I know full well that my taste buds will soon experience an elation that is unlike any joy I receive from other types of nourishment. This delectable cuisine is unparalleled in its culmination of delicious flavors. For example, the taco is an envelope that catches the spicy and flavorful contents that rest in its sleeve. Lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes accompany the delicious meat of your choosing. Ground beef, chicken, and shrimp are among the mouthwatering selections. Often these entrees go together with mountainous sides of rice and plentiful refried beans. These two sides in conjunction with one another make for sumptuous and appetizing bites in between your main dish. Even though there are numerous reasons for adoring Mexican food, the best and least acknowledged is that of the chips, queso, and salsa. These three magnificent appetizers often go unnoticed next to the glitz and glamour of the main dishes. Chips, queso, and salsa is, and will always be, the foundation of a wonderful Mexican restaurant.
A bountiful basket is carefully placed on the table. Its contents hold innumerable warm and perfectly seasoned triangles. Immediately the smell fills my nostrils with the familiar scent of countless corn-tortilla chips. When the second waiter brings two ample containers, I look upon them in all their glory. Both are filled with an abundant and magnificent mix of pureed tomatoes, onions, spices, jalapeños, and cilantro. My hands grab as many chips as I can hold in my fists, and pile on as much of this heavenly mixture as the chip will fit. Taste buds rejoice when they savor the tortilla bits complimented by the skillfully made salsa. One who realizes that this is no ordinary free appetizer will and should repeat this act several times before revealing his or her true order. Your stomach will thank you and beg for more. Your tongue will been branded with the familiar cuisine. The mild salsa burns and only the relief of a Diet Coke will turn that sizzle into bliss. This carbonated euphoria keeps this cycle continuous until the waiter comes back. Then, one at the table will utter the words, "Queso, por favor."
I wait impatiently for our waiter to bring the scrumptious queso. My friends try to strike up a conversation, but the ravenous "cheese beast" in me will not respond until it tastes the blend of melted cheese on a chip. Finally, after what seems like an era, the waiter comes back with the copious amounts of melted cheese. He sets it down. I stare, enamored with its contents. My mouth aches for the first flavorful taste. I tell me friends to hush and let me enjoy what I have come for. Anyone who tries to plunge their chip into the bowl first will get a glare from me that, were it a weapon, would get them seriously injured. I slowly grab the tortilla chip with the perfect amount of salt and secure it between my thumb and forefinger. Carefully the chip is placed in the divine concoction. The queso looks more like a white soup, rather than that carnival glop of yellowish-orange nacho cheese. This kind is real. It doesn't come from a can in warehouse. It is homemade, not sold in bulk. The greatest and most delectable queso is the kind that has the secret recipe and is not available for purchase on a shelf in a fluorescent-lit stockpile.
Once I savor the flavor of my favorite, flawless queso, I once again reach for my carbonated, Splenda-infused joy. The culmination of these three things makes my elation peak. A main dish may not even be necessary because of the joy from this sustenance. Food cannot get any better than this. I long to be delivered a bag of chips and two containers of salsa and queso for each and every dining experience. If each restaurant offered this combination before an entree, everyone could experience the joy and happiness I have found when tasting my beloved three: chips, salsa, and queso.