So we finish our beer and ask Justin where to go for a good cocktail. He points us across the street to Taco Boy. Though it sounds as if its name was taken from a slur spat out by outgoing Valley Park Mayor Jeffery Whitteaker, Taco Boy is a rust-colored corrugated steel building with a shabby-chic interior and lots of outdoor seating. Its mascot: a gap-toothed, chubby Mexican guy with a Zorro mask and sombrero.
We're sitting outside and watch the sunburned shoulders of our fellow diners shrug over drinks, while noses peel along with the wooden chairs inside. Without even turning our heads, we see neighboring restaurants on Center Street advertising their drink specials: "Crabby Hour" over at the Crab Shack, and "Snappy Hour" at Snapper Jack's. Something about this whole sleepy beach town is disarmingly hilarious: We've been to the same dive bar — wait for it — Planet Follywood — three times in a single 24-hour period. Just down the street, the Sand Dollar Social Club is members-only, but it just costs a dollar to join and you're in after a one-day waiting period. And at another place, we pulled a flyer from the wall of a somewhat suspect bathroom stall (something we've never done) and showed it to our new spouse: An hourlong couples massage for $90! The bargain of a lifetime! And probably not at all shady! We really, really like it here.
And so at the recommendation of a local, we order Taco Boy's Pineapple Infused Tequila Margarita: pineapple, cinnamon and vanilla infused with Souza Gold plus sweet and sour, a splash of orange juice and lime. We have something of a gag reflex when it comes to tequila, but it is noticeably absent when we take our first drink. It's good. It resembles nothing so much as fruit juice, and we wonder if it'd be totally irresponsible to order one for breakfast.
The pace is slower here: Surfers and skateboarders amble down the street, and shops and businesses open and close as they please. The speed limit's rarely set over 30 miles per hour (the accompanying sign: "Relax...It's Folly!"), but no one is ever in much of a rush anyway. And, like the locals, neither are we. We order another.
Got a drink suggestion?