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Friday, November 21, 2003
El Grillo Report #3: The Case of the Peek-a-Boo Popo
It's been a long time since the last report, nye on 1.5 months. If you've missed the first two installments, El Grillo is a Mexican restaurant attached to a strip club. Located in the heart of downtown Portland just steps from Old Town, it was used as example of "urban blight" in a certain Benecio del Toro movie. It's also a magnet for weirdness. In report #2, a drunk, obese woman abruptly began slam dancing to NWA near the cash register. Here's a series of incidents from two weeks back:
The place is empty except for a dancer from next door eating alone at the counter. A few minutes later, two guys in Fubu jackets enter and take a seat next to her. She's immersed in a copy of The Mercury as one tries hitting on her. Despite his attempts, she refuses to answer his questions and doesn't look up from the paper.
An elderly man wanders in with a basket of flowers. "Roses...Roses for the young lady," he sings. The dancer doesn't flinch. She's a stone, only moving every few minutes for another bite of enchiladas. Fubu boy hesitates and doesn't take him up on the offer. The man leaves and Fubu reads over her shoulder. Maybe he's trying to find out what's so fascinating.
She leaves, he's crestfallen and El Grillo fills with smiling club-hoppers. An on-duty police officer wanders in. He chats with one of the cooks and places an order. While waiting, he slowly creeps towards the door leading to Mary's Club. Sir Mix-A-Lot's words waft in and call to him like a siren. He hesitates and finally opens it, disappearing in a cloud of cigarette smoke and "Baby Got Back." His order sits on the counter for eons. What is this clean-cut cop doing in there? Surely, he's using the bathroom...right?
After ten minutes, Officer Friendly returns looking flustered and embarrassed. If he's spent that much time in a stall doing "legitimate business," the last thing he needs is Mexican food. Everyone stares. He grabs the bag and leaves.