Espresso? Come on man, this is Texas!

My dear colleague Carlos and I were going after a big business.  The company we worked for was launching the product “A” to the market.  One of our customers was willing to use that product but first it had to be preprocessed on a type “E” machine.  The customer suggested that we run the preprocess trials at the facility of his supplier the company “E Inc.” located somewhere close to Dallas.  Once the contact person at “E Inc.” fixed a date, Carlos and I took the plane from Mexico City and landed in Fort Worth.  The process at the E machine is typically very long and we needed to run a trial during 24 hours nonstop.  The trials started around 10 in the morning; the first two hours went well.  The technicians at “E Inc.” had a lot of experience and managed to stabilize the production quite fast.  Since our top management was very concerned about the results we stayed in the plant and controlled the quality of the pre product every three hours, this control ran overnight.  Our hotel was ten minutes away driving time, so when it went late we decided to sleep a little bit.  We programmed wake up calls every three hours and Carlos and I went back to the plant several times during the night to check that everything was running well.  Twenty four hours later the trial stopped and after a wrap up meeting with the crew of “E Inc.” we stated that the trial had been a success and that the following steps could be started.

“I would love to invite you to a nice place to have some local food”.  Carlos and I were invited by the owner of the company to a Texan restaurant.  Business Trip Meal time had come.  In Mexico I had already visited several Tex-Mex restaurants which are popular but this one was a 100% Tex-Tex.  The place was decorated with Ranch Memorabilia and the main room was huge.  At the entrance two big bins filled with peanuts were located at each side of the door.  As you walked you could notice that peanut shells where covering the floor, some kind of local concept that was surprising to me but may be a common practice in that area.  Cric, crac, cric, crac we walked to our table, cric, crac, cric , crac.  The waiter was a tall guy, some kind of mix between Kevin Bacon and Peter Cetera.  The Texan accent was evident from the first couple of words.  The food was great but quite heavy.  Coffee was a must after lunch.  That’s when the sentence of the day was pronounced.  I don’t know why my colleague Carlos asked if he could have an espresso.  The waiter smiled and said loud: “Espresso? Come on man, this is Texas!”  We all laughed, Carlos turned red and we accepted the cow boy coffee that was the only choice at that time.

Mario Alvarez

About Mario Alvarez

On regular business trips since 1998, I was lucky and unlucky to eat at the best and not the best places in The Nafta Region and Europe while on the road.
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