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October 01, 1998 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6B - The Mgigan Daily Weekend zine -- Thursday, October 01998 .

-- -

Salsa tasting tough on tastebuds

By Mariela C. Flambury
For the Daily
Every Sunday we all go through the
same thing. We wake up at around one or
two o' clock, watch several hours of TV
and spend another several hours on the
phone - all in an attempt to avoid the
dreaded thought of homework. Well, Tios
Mexican Cafe provides a way to help the
average University student avoid their
academic assignments this weekend with
the eatery's free, monthly salsa taste test-
On the first Sunday of every month,
between noon and 4 p.m., Tios tempts
rebellious taste buds with approximately
80 different varieties of scintillatingly hot
salsas shipped to the restaurant from
manufacturers all over the country. The
salsa-making companies send Tios sam-
ples of their latest creations, and whether
or not they will be sold in the store
depends on the patrons' reactions at the
monthly tastings.
The event includes tortilla chips for
the dipping, and the reassurance of "all-
you-can-eat" for those hungry and
broke on a Sunday afternoon. Olivia
Seaver, whose father, Tim, owns the
restaurant, explains Tios's famous Wall
of Flame. "We have little booklets that
help you keep track of the salsas you've
tasted and after you've tried 100, you

get on our Wall of Flame and a T-shirt
which says, 'I Tasted 100 Hot Sauces at
Tios and Lived to Tell About It,' and
after each additional 100 you get some-
thing free like hot pepper shorts or a hot
pepper apron..."
After you taste
100 sauces, your
name is proudly "It was 4
displayed on a
paper jalapeno that est fOO
is mounted on the
wall. The actual eVer taSj
Wall of Flame is - LSA sophom
quite impressive, of hot saucE
with more than 200
satisfied customers'
names listed.
Tios also contributes to the salsa world
with its own varieties of sauces, includ-
ing mild, medium, hot and extra-hot.
Seaver explains that their sauces are all
made with the freshest ingredients.
Tios's dedication to salsa extends
beyond Ann Arbor, as shown with their
participation in national salsa-tasting
conventions. The Fiery Food Challenge,
held annually in New Mexico, recog-
nized Tios's salsa skills in 1997. In that
contest, Seaver remembers, the restau-
rant "entered its extra-hot sauce and
won first place and a Chili Pepper
award." She also notes that this award-


winning salsa is the most popular one
with eat-in customers - - most likely
due to its notoriety.
Seaver suggested that "Dazed
Insanity" was probably the most pre-
ferred salsa of patrons. Malene Prince,
a LSA sophomore
and frequent par-
nie of the ticipant in the tast-
ing, has fond
Is I've memories of
"Dazed Insanity."
edE, "It was one of
re Malene Prince the best foods I
"Dazed Insanity" have ever tasted,"
she said.
"Everything you
could ever want in a hot sauce."
This Tios tasting is definitely real,
and not for the slight-of-heart. Seaver
said she witnessing several Strange
occurrences at regular salsa tastings,
including, several students who tasted
several salsas and began crying uncon-
trollably, and a taster who was unable to
breathe after tasting a particularly hot
salsa, requiring an ambulance to be
So the next time you're in the mood for
a little spice in your life, check out the
happenings at Tios's salsa taste-testing.
Most agree It's a monthly experience
that's as much fun as it is affordable.

The Michigan Daily Weekend Ma
Continued from Page 10B
occasional can of Meijer's Green
thrown in. Admittedly, "The Mac
was playing on the radio at the tin
still, if you are looking for sometl
take back with you, make this <
your stops.
There is the occasional bar fou
a street comer that harkens back
-~- days of Patrick Swayze in '
House." Smoke filled air, loud n
and pool tables are not in short s
For those not ready to fully leave
cal Detroit there is also a "C
Island" restaurant that can be four
serves the usual fare of burger
One final thing about Mexican
that is not evident to the naked
,' the art found on some of the buil

Tio's owner Tim Seaver shows off an award from Chill Pepper magazine. Every first
Sunday of the month Tio's gives away tons - literally - of hot sauce. They pro-
vide the chips, all you have to bring is a couple of strong tastebuds.

Above: Sandra Gracia, 17, and
Fernando Hemandez work at
Mexicantown Bakery In Mexicantown
Left: Signs all in Spanish line the
streets of small, but definitely tourist
friendly Mexicantown.
Right: The neighborhood's Las Palmas
grocery store is one of the few places
left on Earth where you can find both T-
shirts and Spam under one roof.

Continued from Page 28
percent buy-back policy, but admits that
many English, history, philosophy and
foreign language classes have individual-
ized book lists. Unique book lists tend to
cut down on re-selling opportunities.
As to long lines, Taylor said extended
hours and some remodeling of the shop's
book display would shorten lines. He also
said the store generally charges the same

for class books as the chain stores.
And not everyone was so ready to
abandon their loyalties to the store.
"I asked a few people and they recom-
mended Shaman Drum," said English
Prof. David Thomas, who shops at the
lower level trade store. "I've never had a
reason to change. If it isn't broken, don't
fix it.'
Thomas said he has heard students
complain of long lines at Shaman Drum,
but since only about 40 students enroll in

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his classes, he isn't as worried about clog-
ging the store.
Shaman Drum Bookstore hit campus
in 1980 after another independently-
owned bookstore, Pai Deia, closed.
Long-time Ann Arbor resident and for-
mer Pai Deia employee, Karl Pohrt,
founded Shaman Drum in the same
building after Pai Deia closed.
Being an independent part of the book
buying community - free from the pres-
sures applied by corporate offices in
some far-away place is important to
Shaman Drum's identity, Pohrt said.
The differences are subtle, but present;
take a phone call, for example. Unlike
some other Ann Arbor bookstores, callers
don't get an automated response or zippy
hold music. Instead the owner is an
employee, putting in his 40-plus hours.
"We carry scholarly and academic
trade books," Pohrt said. "We don't just
have texts and T-shirts, (Shaman Drum)
gives back first-rate browsing."
Shaman Drum also sponsors readings
held on the first floor of the building - in
the store's trade-book selling area.
Employees often pack in more enthusiasts
than the 60 chairs will allow. During the
school year there are usually three-four
readings a week, but some weeks may
sport readings every day.
Employees of other book stores said
Shaman Drum has its disadvantages.
"It can sometimes be an inconvenience
to students," said Ulrich's general manag-
er Dave Richards. "... If information was
available at all places it would be more
Michigan Book and Supply general
manager Steve Schindler said that being
independently owned makes no differ-
ence to employees in the long run.
"We have the exact same work, a book-
store is a bookstore," Schindler said. "My
paycheck comes from my sales, too:'

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