Cafe Society

Reader: Pinche can mean many things, including delicious tacos

Pinche Taqueria snagged our Best New Restaurant award a few months ago, and now comes news that owner Kevin Morrison is building a second Pinche Taqueria at 3300 West 32nd Avenue. Take note of that address, because the signage on his first place is very subtle: Just a small sign that announces "tacos, tequila, whiskey."

Turns out that the city is not fond of the word "pinche," which many people translate to "fucking." But that's not necessarily so.

Says DonkeyHotay:

Pinche has different meanings:

In Spain, the word refers to a kitchen helper. It mainly means a restaurant chef assistant or a kitchen helper who helps cook the food and clean the utensils. Another meaning is used as an insult, as in pinche güey ("loser"), or to describe an object of poor quality, está muy pinche ("It really sucks").

Many restaurants in Spain have the name "El Pinche", to the great amusement of Mexican and Chicano tourists.

In Mexico, it is very offensive and is often equivalent to the English terms "damn", "freakin'" or "fuckin'", as in estos pinches aguacates están podridos... ("These damn avocados are rotten..."); Pinche Mario ya no ha venido... ("Freakin' Mario hasn't come yet"); or ¿¡Quieres callarte tu pinche boca!? ("Would you like to shut your fuckin' mouth?").

In Puerto Rico pinche simply refers to a hairpin, while pincho has the same meaning in Dominican Spanish.

In Chile, pinche isn't vulgar, and it refers to the people involved in an informal romantic relationship with each other. The verbal form pinchar can be translated as "kissing" or "make out."

Thanks for the lesson, DonkeyHotay! No matter what you call the place, Pinche Taqueria should be a welcome addition to Highland. What else does the neighborhood need? Post your thoughts below, or join the conversation already under way here.


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Contact: Patricia Calhoun