No matter what I’ve ordered from the Mexican place, I can be sure of one thing: I won’t be hungry in two hours because I finished the rice and beans. After five years of Angelino life, I hold enchiladas in high regard as the sauce-covered taco-burritos of my dreams. The fish taco is a fried hunk or two of heaven in a corn tortilla, and tamales make me feel like I could live off Mexican fare forever. I could happily hit a taco truck every day and never tire of burritos, savoring that first warm bite that only hints of what’s to come.
Reliably by the side of these ever-welcome specialties is rice and beans. Sometimes pinto, sometimes black. They can be refried or covered in cheese. They can be vegetarian or packing pork. A sprinkle of chopped cilantro does wonders. All that matters is that they come with my Mexican food or are built right into my burrito (two helpings if I’m going Mission-style, por favor).
And while I swear by fettucine alfredo when it comes to pre-drinking cuisine, I must admit the same effect holds true with regard to rice and beans. They will carry you through the night with their magic protein-to-carb ratio. They can be tailored to suit the meanest carnivore, level-headed flexitarian or most sprouted hippie’s dietary requirements. It’s cheap, filling, easy-to-make comfort food at its finest. And whatever they’re accompanying to the table is totally fine by me, too.