Marta mentioned on Facebook a couple of days agoa that La Esperanza restaurant was closing. La Esperanza is in the University Mall, about 3/4 of a mile from our house. The first restaurant in the location was The Good Earth (which made the best spiced tea), where Tom worked as a waiter and got his introduction to food service. He later went on to become the manager, younger than most of the employees. He learned a lot in that job.
But The Good Earth eventually closed and La Esperanza moved in. We used to eat there a lot when I was working in the medical complex which was practically next door. As Mexican restaurants go, it wasn't great, but decent--and they have some of the best chips. I suggested to Marta that we go there to eat for Ned's birthday, since the place is closing its doors forever at the end of the week.
We were going to be meeting at 8 p.m. and I figured I'd feed the puppies when we got home, but at 7:35, the puppies all woke up, crying (this is the first time since they got here that they all clamored to be fed at once). I knew I couldn't get them all fed in time, so suggested to Walt that he take his bike and I'd meet him up there.
When I finished feeding the puppies (they ALL ate well, without any problem at all, for the first time), I drove up to the restaurant...and Walt wasn't there. I didn't know where he was and, since I had left my cell phone at home, I couldn't call him to find out.
When Ned and Marta arrived, I asked Ned to call his father, which he did.
It turns out that Walt thought we were goint to a different restaurant, halfway across town and it took him 20 minutes to get to La Esperanza on his bike!
It was a small group that gathered around the table enjoying our last meal at La Esperanza.
Ned removed his two front teeth to eat his dinner and his sister-in-law showed a photo of her own daughter's toothless state (this is my favorite picture of the night,BTW)
Several people also took out cell phones to look at the pictures and videos that Jeri and Phil have been sending as they are driving across the country.
It was a bittersweet moment when we stood at the check-out desk to pay our bill.
We had just enjoyed our last "sombrerito" at La Esperanza. It was a nice meal, but sad that another Davis institution is losing its doors.