When I walked up to the bar at El Tejado, I asked the bartender for Patrón on the rocks. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Don Julio is better." Although I've been drinking Patrón for years, I decided to go with Don Julio Anejo ($7.50) and was happy that I did. I would have loved to ask him why he prefers Don Julio over Patrón, but sadly, his recommendation was the last thing I heard from the wise bartender. Wednesday is mariachi night at El Tejado, which makes this a great place to go if you're looking for an excuse not to talk to the one you're with. Silenced, I turned my eyes toward the boys in the band, who were making very good, and very loud, music. I don't know if it was the white suits with red rickrack, the twenty-plus golden bull pins that ran up and down each pants leg, the white patent leather shoes, or the large belt buckles just above their crotches that, together, spelled out the name of their group, Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra, but I couldn't stop staring. During one of their all-too-short breaks, I asked one musician what he did when he wasn't mariachi-ing. Turns out, like any other huge music superstars, they only work three hours a night. Made me wish I'd practiced my band instrument in junior high. And the white suit with the gold bulls would have been the icing on the torta.
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