It was pretty late into the workday yesterday I realized I'd forgotten to eat lunch. I looked down at my watch - OK, fine, at my iPhone, - & realized it was already 4:20pm. My first thought probably should've been, "That's actually almost dinner," but instead it was, "That means Barrio is open!" The best taco place in town opens at 4pm, & it's just two blocks from my place.
I placed a pick-up order for a single taco - the Curd Ferguson, obviously, which is my all-time fave - & was told it'd be ready in 10 minutes. When I got to Barrio & posted up at the bar to grab my food, all seemed to be going well - fast & easy, a taco nearly in my posession.
Except their credit card machine broke - like, in that very moment, apparently. I asked the bartender if it was a problem with my card & then joked for a bit with the guy on the barstool next to me: nothing more embarrassing than being declined, I swear I have money, etc. I waited & waited, my taco sitting in front of me but not yet mine. I owed exactly $4. I kept waiting.
As the clock ticked, the guy on the barstool said something in a low voice to the bartender, who then turned to me: "My friend Adam here says he'll put your taco on his tab so you can get out of here." I turned to the guy on the barstool, surprised & protesting. "You don't have to do that!" I insisted. Because of course he didn't.
But he told me that $4 was no big deal & that I shouldn't keep waiting on it.
I relented, both because it was so damn nice of him & because I was in a hurry to get back to work (& also pretty hungry by that point). And then I thanked him profusely, promised to pay it forward to someone else, & headed for home, taco in hand - &, soon, in my stomach. I ate it on my new deck, & it was freaking glorious.
So, thanks, Adam with the beard & the turtle tattoo sitting at the bar at the Barrio in Tremont at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. You're exactly the kind of person who gives the Midwest the reputation it has for being home to some of the nicest people in the country, & I was lucky to be on the receiving end of that Ohio hospitality today. Lots of good karma & tacos to you