Veggie Girl: Taco Diner

Taco Diner doesn't do a bad job. In fact, their guacamole's downright delicious--fresh, simple, a platform for the avocado itself to shine. The staff is reasonably courteous. Our server, in fact, was happy to make me an order of veggie tacos (which aren't on the menu).

It's not always cheap, though, so I'm accustomed to polishing off a couple of baskets of chips with guac--or their duo of spicy red salsa and creamy avocado dip, which is dairy free--and calling it a night. Unfortunately for Taco Diner (or maybe it's really a benefit), the clientele outshines the restaurant itself.

Well, really, it was just this one girl who happened to be wearing a 14-carat diamond ring.

Have you seen 14 carats before? Because I hadn't, except maybe for that time when my grandmother took me to see the Crown Jewels in London when I was twelve. No. Fourteen carats is nothing short of shocking, especially when it's on somebody's finger. The diamond (one assumes)--clear, deep, and sparkling madly--was about the size of a quarter, and there wasn't a woman there who could keep up a coherent conversation. I mean, really: You want to shut a woman up, you just give her a 14-carat diamond to stare at. She'll quickly be reduced to a stammering, salivating idiot. Such was the case with my friend and me, who had met to discuss a writing project.

"I was thinking that in the first section, we could..." she began, but her head suddenly turned, as if under the power of a magnetic force she couldn't control. "It's just so huge!"

"It's fake! It's gotta be fake!" I protested.

"Nooo, she said it was real. Her husband's in the jewelry business," my friend reported. She'd been eavesdropping on the conversation between Diamond Lady and the table next to her, where three other women couldn't resist asking her about the ring.

"They could be lying to everybody," I ventured. "Maybe it's their way of getting business."

My friend shook her head. "I don't think so. Anyway, let's get back to...What were we talking about?"

That's pretty much how the meeting went. The idea of getting work done over margaritas on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend probably wasn't my best productivity strategy to date, anyway, so we abandoned our project and allowed ourselves to stare unabashedly at the diamond.

Oh, and food!

When the tacos finally came, they jerked us (very temporarily) out of our bejeweled reverie. They were better than expected. When I had asked the server for veggie tacos, he'd said, "I think we might have squash," but there were three corn tortillas stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, onions and black beans. And though the food and the ambiance make it feel expensive, Taco Diner really isn't too pricey:

Three veggie tacos: $9.25
Side of guacamole: $1.50
Margarita: $8.00
Sight of a 14-carat diamond, especially to stingy and chronically indebted writer-types who will never own one: Priceless.

Taco Diner
3669 McKinney Ave., Suite 307 (other locations, too)

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