San Francisco Giants Foe Prefers East Coast Mexican Food
By Laith Agha
Wil Myers is an excellent baseball player. He hits home runs, steals bases and is athletic enough to have moved from catcher to outfield to first base throughout his young career. He’s a former Rookie of the Year, and he is one of two San Diego Padres all-stars this year. But I am sure glad he’s not part of the San Francisco Giants.
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Myers, who plays his home games 16 miles from the Mexican border, declared he prefers East Coast Mexican food to that offered on the West Coast. (I would write a reaction line here, but I don’t want to take from your individual responses of dismay and bewilderment and utter rebuke.)
I don’t know all of Myers’ Mexican food experience, though he grew up in North Carolina and played a couple seasons in Florida’s Tampa Bay region. People from Mexico have migrated to these areas, and some—or their descendents—have established restaurants there. And undoubtedly, some of them cook up a decent meal.
But hearing someone say they prefer those offerings over West Coast Mexican food is about as palatable as a three-day-old 7-layer burrito from Taco Bell. And he’s not just exposed to West Coast Mexican food, but to Californian Mexican food. And more so, he’s talking about San Diego Mexican food.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, but I have never eaten Mexican food further east than Albuquerque, NM. (That was technically Tex-Mex, but it’s essentially the same cuisine.) The reason why I haven’t eaten East Coast Mexican food is because anyone I know from California who has tried it has warned me against doing so.
My buddy in Jacksonville, Fla., salivates with Mexican food on the brain for his return trips to visit family in Monterey. My friends who chased the bright lights of New York City love it there, but they yearn for a true Mexican eating experience—in California. I once picked up my sister, who was living in Boston at the time, from the airport and took her directly to a Mexican place so she could scarf down a burrito.
Myers’ stance is so blasphemous, that it’s not really even blasphemy. He just doesn’t know how to articulate himself very well. What he was really trying to say was that he doesn’t care for Mexican food. That’s fine. Not everyone likes it, just like how not everyone likes Indian or Thai or sushi.
But next time, Myers, say that instead, to save yourself the scorn of millions of West Coasters who know better than you do.
Or maybe you need to do a little more research. The next time you’re in San Francisco to play the Giants, take a gander down to the Mission district. Or if you’re ever in town for an interleague series with the A’s, there are some spots in Oakland and Berkeley that will set you right.
Heck, you can be driving anywhere along Highway 101 or Interstate 5, and you won’t be far from some amazing tacos. (King City and Lost Hills host two of my favorite hidden gems.)
But it shouldn’t come to this. I shouldn’t have to defend Mexican food in an area that is the agricultural hub of the country and happens to share a border with Mexico. (i.e. a place that has proximity and quality of ingredients in its favor.)
I’m not in regular contact with any Padres fans these days, but I have to imagine Myers’ stance hasn’t ingratiated himself to them. I mean, imagine if Buster Posey, who hails from the South, said that. That might sway your perception of him, at least a little bit, yeah? Of course, even if he felt that way, Posey is smart enough to know that he shouldn’t publicly state it.
But Padres fans soon may be bidding good riddance to Myers: The Padres are in rebuild mode, so they are looking to flip their veterans for prospects. Myers is their most valuable trade chip, and thus could soon be heading out of town—and thus out of the National League West and our coastal region.
Next: Midseason Review: San Francisco Giants are MLB's Best
And if he lands with the right team, he just might be reunited with his beloved East Coast Mexican food.