Friday, July 09, 2010

Rising From The Ashes

They say you can't go home again. It's true. Years later, it's impossible to recapture the magic of yore. It's best to live in the moment, enjoy what's new and not pine for what's gone. Of course, that's easier said than done. When you lose something, you long for it, you yearn to recapture it. But you can't, can you?

When I was in high school, Zantigo was a daily pilgrimage. First on bikes and later by car, my friends and I made daily treks for a hot cheese chilito (or a mild cheese chilito for the friends whose swallowing of Copenhagen tobacco had given them chronic indigestion). In 1986, Zantigo was merged with Taco Bell and shortly thereafter, the restaurants were converted to Taco Bells.

Taco Bell trashed most of the Zantigo menu. However, the cheese chilito was so popular that they renamed and slightly reformulated the mild cheese chilito into the chili cheese burrito. It's still on menus today and while the best that Taco Bell has to offer, it pales in comparison to the Zantigo original hot version.

As I was screwing around today on the internet for a possible (though unlikely) post on illegal immigration, I came across the name the controversial revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. This reminded me of Zantigo restaurants because the chain's original name was Zapata, before the controversy around their namesake forced a change.

On a lark, I googled Zantigo. Much to my surprise, I found that several managers of the old Zantigo chain had resumed operations in the Twin Cities. Since most of my life is spent along the 494 western corridor or downtown, I had no idea.

I guess I will find out if you can go home again.