Time-traveling in Glendale, Arizona by opening the door of Manuel's Restaurant
Although I usually have to time-travel in my imagination, yesterday I did it IRL (In Real Life). You can do it too, by simply opening the door of Manuel's Restaurant in Glendale, which is at 57th Avenue and Peoria. No, I'm not being poetic, and Manuel's isn't paying me to "plug them", I'll see if I can explain.
I've lived in this neighborhood for over twenty-five years, and I really don't know how long Manuel's has been there, but I'm guessing since before I got here. And apparently they had a problem with the exterior of their building not looking very inviting. I was there yesterday and one of the waitresses explained that there had been complaints that the building looked too old, and so they fixed it up, at least the exterior. The 1990s (1980s maybe?) doesn't seem that long ago to me, but apparently the look just wasn't attracting customers, so they modernized it.
There's really nothing spectacular about Manuel's. It's a typical suburban Mexican Food place, not anything that people would rave about, or drive miles out of their way to see. It's what I would call "Americanized Mexican Food", for tourists. But I like the place. I like getting a big plate and being warned not to touch it because it's very hot, and I like their Pacificos on draft. OK, that's all I'm gonna say about it as a restaurant, let's get to the time-traveling.
The outside facade is just an outer layer. There are new doors, and you open them to the original doors. And when you go inside, nothing has changed. Nothing. Not even the manager, who's been there for over twenty years. Yesterday he helped me to remember the type of enchilada that I like, and can never remember which one. He shook my hand and smiled.
I took the photo at the top of the post from the latest Google street view, and I really don't remember much about how the exterior of the original building looked. After a couple of decades, I guess it needed a refresher. And inside is still the same, as is the food, and the people, and that's what matters to me!
Thank you for going to Manuel's with me! And yes, I'll have another Pacifico!
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Posted by Brad Hall