15 January 2009

“O,” it’s a Mexican food restaurant!

I was headed north on Val Vista one weekend in December, headed for the freeway on-ramp. At Baseline I passed Nando’s, a Mexican restaurant my mother is fond of. Just down the street is a Filiberto’s. And about 200 yards from that? Julio’s.

I’m not a big fan of Mexican food so I’d never thought about it before, but passing those three caused a little “click” in my brain. All three restaurants’ names end in an O sound. Well, more particularly an “o’s” sound.

Merely a coincidence, I thought. Until later that evening I saw a TV commercial for Macayo’s, and my mom mentioned eating at Serrano’s. And the more I thought about it the more names came to me. Some Burros. Popo’s. Abuelo’s. Los Dos Molinos. Rito’s. Los Olivos. Mi Amigo’s. Federico’s. Armando’s. Rubio’s. Bertos. Dos Gringos. Raliberto’s.

I can understand some of them. I have a rudimentary understanding of the Spanish language. They’re men’s names – Federico, Filiberto, Julio, and the restaurants “belong” to the men, hence the possessive form. But does every restaurant have to be Some Guy’s restaurant? Can’t we get a little more original than that?

I know that there are non “-o’s” Mexican restaurants in the Phoenix area. Hey, there are plenty of “-a’s” out there too. I know, I know, there are others. Arriba, Z Tejas, Baja Fresh and Chipotle come to mind. But so many Mexican restaurants go with the “-o’s” suffix. It’s so *boring*. Why not go with “Raul’s House of Tacos” or something like that? And even that has a man’s name in it … Let the women play too, guys, okay? How about Rosa’s? Maria’s? Juanita’s? Or we could keep names out of it all together. I’m still waiting for a “Comida Bonita” or a “Burrito Bueno” or a “Casa de Arroz y Frijoles.”

I think I’m going to be waiting a while. Just as well, really, because I may have spotted a trend in the names of Italian restaurants and I have to investigate.

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