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Mezcalito’s Cocina
304 Oakland Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30312
 678-705-700 |  www.mezcalitoscantina.com

This restaurant refers to its cuisine as “tweaked Mexican.” It is indeed a fusion with entrees like fried chicken in mole and shrimp and grits.

“When you fall in love, your Alzheimer’s gets a head start,” Robert said.

As the two dug into their entrees, a man approached the table, scowling. Behind him, another man tried to pull him back by what looked like a rumpled tuxedo jacket, which he wore over a striped polo shirt.

“I’m Paul,” the scowling man said, addressing Lee, who extended his arm to shake hands. The gesture was ignored.

“Happy Cinco de Mayo,” Robert said. “Nice tux. Having fun?”

“I was until I recognized this one,” Paul said, looking at Lee. “Do you know what yesterday was?”

“Quatro de Mayo!” Lee blurted, laughing.

“That’s right,” Paul said. “And that means it was the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner. Were you there?” He didn’t wait for a reply. “Of course you weren’t. You were on Cheshire Bridge with your cult of freaks, making this city’s gay people look like perverts whose main interest in life is crawling from one filthy place to another. Just like the drag queens at Pride, you get all the media’s attention while normal, decent people like me and my partner are ignored. You….”

Lee cut him off. “Ah, so you’re still wearing your tuxedo jacket from last night. That’s not exactly normal.”

Paul’s partner burst out laughing and stepped forward, introducing himself as Peter.

“We weren’t expecting it to be so cool. He left his jacket in the car last night. We had a few cocktails earlier and he put it on before we came in.”

He turned to Paul. “It’s true, you look like you could perform in this man’s show.”

Paul stepped back, wobbling, and plopped into a chair at the table. Before he could move, the server shuttled his plate before him.

“Please, join us,” Lee said, reaching to tug at Paul’s tux. “It’s only fitting.”

“So, Peter and Paul,” Robert said. “We all have…” He inserted a dramatic pause. “A place at the table.”

Lee rolled his eyes. Paul looked confused. Robert explained that the phrase was the title of a controversial 1994 book by Bruce Bawer that argued that gay people wouldn’t be accepted by mainstream America until they behaved and looked more mainstream.”

“That’s true,” Paul snapped.

“Problem is,” Lee retorted, “ole Bruce moved to Amsterdam. You know why? The leather scene. No lie.”

“Alright,” Robert interrupted. “You’re at least 20 years younger than us. We’re more open about our sex lives but there’s a bit of hypocrisy on our side too. Have you noticed, for example, that in all the huffing and puffing about Cheshire Bridge that neither side has mentioned the most notorious spots in the area – Club Eros and Manifest, outright sex clubs?” He was on a classroom-style rant.

“Oh sure, they are 50 yards off the road, down Faulkner Road. But it’s a perfect metaphor. As long as they aren’t seen, they’re not heard about. This, like so many other things, is not about behavior. It’s about behavior that’s seen.”

“Alright…alright, point made,” Lee said. “Let’s eat.”

The two younger men looked at one another and shrugged. “Whatever,” they said in unison, laughing. “We’ve been to Eros.”

 


Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, visit www.thegavoice.com

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