New things

We have two new things that I am excited about here in Cape.

1. El Sol. New restaurant went into an old Streamline Moderne building on Broadway. It’s not authentic, taqueria-style Mexican food — like, you’re not going to score tripas tacos for Sunday brunch or a bowl of menudo on a cold night — but as gringo-Mex cuisine goes, it’s pretty damn great. I’ve had the shrimp fajitas, which were good; the ceviche, which was good; and the signature guacamole, which is prepared tableside and is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Bring an extra buck or two to tip the guy who makes the guac. And if you figure out where he scored that little lime press he uses, send me the link, because it’s one of the handiest gadgets ever.

2. Dog Town Playground. Funded with casino money, it opened yesterday, and I went out to do a story about it today. We really missed Joe Station in Tulsa, and this is set up very similarly, with a similar crowd of dog lovers who don’t really care who jumps up on them, who has muddy paws or who drops a slobbery ball at their feet. Dog people are great, and there is absolutely no better place to learn about dog breeds than an off-leash park. You never know what you’ll encounter. At Joe Station, our collie mix and rat terrier used to romp around with a saluki, a Bernese mountain dog and a whole pack of Weimaraners. While I was at Dog Town today, I met a Keeshond, a viszla, a shiba inu and a schipperke.

I was particularly excited to see the Keeshond, as I’d never seen one before, although I was familiar with the breed as a result of the years I spent poring over the dog section of the World Book as a kid, daydreaming about what sort of puppy I’d like to have if Mom ever let me have a dog. (She finally caved when I was 12 and got us a beagle-corgi mix. Poor Stinky ended up being an outside dog and didn’t get as much attention as he deserved, but he was a good dog who might have been the best running coach I ever had.)