Here’s a Taco Belly-ache for You
I like an occasional taco. Or two. Mostly ones I make myself, using some doctored up combination of El Paso or Ortega taco-making kits. (Wish I had one now…)
I might even walk a mile for one. (Which I would have to do, if I really wanted one right now, and had to go home to make it for myself.)
But I don’t think I’d get tattooed for one – even if it meant one a day for the rest of my life.
So I won’t be moving out to San Francisco to take Casa Sanchez up on their offer of free daily eats in exchange for getting a tattoo of Jimmy the Cornman anywhere on your body. (That’s Jimmy the Cornman on the left, the one with the sombrero, astride the ear of corn. The guy on the right is showing off his free-lunch tatt. Looks like he got the super-size one. You can go for one as small as 4 square inches. That baby looks more like eight inches square. Ay, Chihuahua!)
Information on this offer is brought to you by the recession-conscious, public spirited folks at The Wall Street Journal. And you thought they only cared about hedgies, AIG execs, and offering editorial inches to Karl Rove every once in a while - and not us little folks who might find getting tattooed a reasonable exchange for a daily lunch – plus drink.
Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
Okay, not entirely free. You have to pay for the tattoo.
Still, it seems like a reasonable deal, especially since you can locate the tattoo anywhere, and, apparently, only have to prove once to Casa Sanchez that you have it. (Me? I’d put it on the sole of my left foot. But I’m a complete tattoo fuddy-duddy.)
The deal was first brought out in 1999 – a clever marketing idea that was capped at 50 participants. Even that theoretically could have cost the restaurant nearly $6M if all 50 had eaten free lunch there for 50 years. Which, of course, they didn’t. Today, only about a dozen of the 50 come in asking Casa Sanchez to give us this day their daily burrito. So: great publicity at not much cost.
Now the deal is back.
And, as a publicity gimmick, it’s clearly working.
Come on, anyone can get the WSJ to write about them, but wooing Pink Slip? As publicity hounds, Casa Sanchez rocks.
On the tattoo front, however, only three newbies have joined since January.
But not just anyone can tap the offer:
If the potential customer didn't understand the spirit of the tattoo—becoming an unofficial member of the Sanchez family—and asked too many questions about the meals or the restaurant's solvency, Ms. Sanchez gently told them, "I don't think this is going to work out."
This deal obviously has a lot going for it.
But, alas, I am not in San Francisco to take advantage. Not to mention that the simple thought of an enchilada verde or some such every single day gives me a taco-belly-ache. Not that I wouldn’t be delighted to look over and see a plate of refried beans and rice, wrapped in corn meal something or other, sitting there and inviting me to fork in…
The real show stopper, however, would be getting the tattoo itself.
If I were going to get me one – and that possibility is remote, rapidly approaching none – I don’t think I’d opt for Jimmy the Cornman, even if it meant free eats.
No, I’m thinking something vaguely Celtic would be my tattoo of choice. (Perhaps there’s a local bar that would give me a daily Guinness or Bailey’s for me troubles.)
Meanwhile, I saw on their site that Casa Sanchez sells their goods at Whole Foods.
Don’t know if they export to the East Coast, but next time I’m there – probably some time in the next couple of days – I will go looking for it.
Probably more expensive than Ortega or El Paso, but probably tastier, as well.
Maybe there’ll even be a stick on temporary tattoo in the package…