Friday, August 3, 2012

Vamos a una lonchera

I love Mexican food.  And as you all know, there are a ton of great Mexican restaurants that can be found all over the country.  But there are also some great places that serve Mexican food that you may have overlooked.

Have you ever seen one of these?

We typically call  these mobile restaurants taco trucks, but they're actually called loncheras.   I'm not sure if this a Mexican term or not, but don't be afraid to use it. If your friends aren't familiar with the term you can have the honor of teaching them some Spanish.

On a side note, this is also a lonchera:

That's right, a lonchera is also a lunch box.  We're not here to talk about  that type of lonchera today, but if you want to take a walk down lunch box memory lane, click here to see a great collection of loncheras retro - retro lunch boxes.

Let's get back on track.

If you've never eaten at a lonchera, you've been missing out.  Depending on where you live, finding a lonchera can be like searching for hidden treasure, but once you find one you won't be disappointed.

So what does a lonchera serve you ask? A little bit of everything.  Here's a fairly typical menu:

Personally I almost always go for a torta or a trio of tacos - lengua, pollo and barbacoa.

Enough about my food interests.  Maybe I'll talk about that in another post.

A lonchera may also be called a taquería, but a taquería can be a lot more than a taco bus.  

In general, a taquería is a restaurant that specializes in tacos.  The taquerías that I've seen often offer other items, but tacos are their primary business. Here in the US a taquería typically looks like a regular  restaurant, but when you're walking the streets of Mexico they might look something like this:

There's also another kind of restaurant you can find in Mexico, a lonchería.  A lonchería is a place you can go to have lunch.

When you're on the go in Mexico and don't have time to sit down and eat, don't worry, you don't have to go hungry.  A quick stop at a puesto de tacos (taco stand) will take care of that hunger.

OK, now I'm getting hungry so it's time to wrap this up.  But before I go I want to share one more thing.

Our Spanish books only give us two options to tell someone that we're hungry.

Tengo hambre
I'm hungry

Tengo mucho hambre
I'm very hungry

Well, yeah, those work and get your point across, but here are a few more ways to say you're hungry that are a lot more fun.

Me muero de hambre
I'm starving

Me estoy muriendo de hambre
I'm starving

The second version of "I'm starving" is a more literal translation, but I think the first version is more common.  Either way, they both work.

Tengo tanta hambre que puedo comer una vaca entera
I'm so hungry I could eat an entire cow

Con esta  hambre me puedo comer una vaca entera
I'm hungry enough to eat an entire cow

Yo con esta hambre y hay fila en la cafeteria
I'm so hungry and there's a line in the cafeteria

Traigo un hambre que parecen dos
I have a hunger that seems like two

This last one just doesn't make sense when you translate it literally.  With that in mind, I'll give you a translation that more or less expresses the same idea.

Traigo un hambre que parecen dos
I'm hungry enough to eat for two

That's it for today!  Go out and grab yourself a bite to eat at your favorite lonchera and enjoy!

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