Brass Monkey

Following local businesses on Instagram & Facebook is a great way to find out about specials, sales, and pop-ups in the area. I’m grateful for the serendipitous follow of the restaurant “Brass Monkey” last week because they have a spectacularly good deal happening right now: BOGO burgers and sandwiches! They are centrally located near downtown just off Mesa in El Paso, and my daughter and I arrived right as they opened for lunch.

We were greeted warmly with smiles and hip hop music at a comfortable volume. The far wall is slathered with televisions playing sports networks and the restaurant has specials frequently coinciding with all sorts of matches: football, basketball; even soccer and tennis. Chatting with the server, I found out that the restaurant has been open for almost three years on the dot and does well with repeat business, but they’re always welcoming new patrons with deals and happy hours that cannot be beat. My daughter ordered the ooey gooey Grilled Cheese with a tomato bisque and I opted for the very classic cheeseburger with Parmesan fries. The food did not disappoint and our beverages were refilled before we even realized we were thirsty. I was pleasantly surprised at how kid friendly the place was for an advertised sports bar, but they had a kid’s menu, crayons, and napkins that can actually absorb spills and globs of ketchup with ease.

The atmosphere at Brass Monkey feels like hanging out with your cool college friend at their bigger-than-yours apartment filled with fairy lights, graffiti, and music you can bop your head to. A group of young twenty-somethings arrived shortly after my daughter and me, and requested them to turn the big TV to the soccer match, and the manager quickly obliged. It was nice to see the customers were treated like friends and their request so quickly followed up. Definitely going to take my sister-in-law to this place after dark the next time she visits, and I’m happy to know we have a kid-friendly hangout downtown to grab some absolutely delicious Parmesan fries whenever we’re in the area. Thanks for the great lunch, Brass Monkey [follow them on Instagram @brassmonkeyep]; see you again soon!


Adaptive Mechanism

Adaptive Mechanism

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Evolution. Anthropology. Over the past decade, I’ve shed many skins, taken on many new titles, and become a stranger, an outsider, in a multitude of cities. This recreation cycle allows me to take fieldnotes of myself, as well as others, from an ever-changing viewpoint. Join me on this journey of discovery: cities, lives, hearts, and homes.

A Word Study

Lengthy writing.
Someone who walks, moves, from place to place without settling down.
Climbing plants who refuse to stop when they hit a wall and aim for the sky.

Naming a website, Facebook page, Instagram account…. this is tantamount to a panic inducing situation for me. Permanence, in nearly any form, is terrifying, and always has been this way for me. Since the age of four, I’ve spent my life on the move: sometimes across the country, and other times simply down the street. In fifth grade, we did a study of the rambling men of The Great Depression, and whilst incomparably poor monetarily, these men traveled the country, met people, and were by and large ‘happy’. It struck me, in the years following sixth grade, that my family were ramblers. Never truly setting down roots, no place I would’ve officially called home, but I was meeting new people, eating new foods, and was by and large ‘happy’ myself. It would’ve been impossible for my brain to comprehend how this gypsy lifestyle was preparing me for the rest of my life.

Anthropological term referring to notes taken by research scientists in order to paint a realistic and vivid image of things taking place in front of them.

And so we come to present: the year 2020, inside the beautiful high desert city of El Paso, Texas. I own a home here with my husband and our daughter, following four other moves in the past six years – and twenty moves throughout my life before my husband joined the armed services. I’ve sought an outlet for years which would intertwine my hobbies of writing, sightseeing, and photography in a fashion which would be attractive, interactive, and interesting to others. Rambling FieldNotes is the amalgamation of several iterations of blog/Facebook posts, hobby photography, and my desire to truly invest in my surroundings. I’ve journaled these ‘field notes’ for over a year now, and it seems fitting to turn them into a forum where others can be involved and perhaps even benefit from my untidy and altogether well-intentioned writings. I am created islands of permanence within our ever-changing lifestyle, and this island is one on which each of you is cordially invited.

This website will – for the forseeable future – take place within El Paso and surrounding areas. It is my goal to immerse myself in the culture, local businesses, and the people of the Southwest desert. I’ll be bringing food & restaurant reviews, photography of local landscapes and events, as well as a smattering of my thoughts about what truly makes a place home, how we humans find community, and various adventure reviews – including trips to Portland, Oregon, the closest thing we have to a home base – as we travel and homeschool our preschool aged daughter.

Contact Me:
If you have questions, if you’d like to sponsor the blog, or if you would like me to review your local business, please don’t hesitate to contact: RamblingFieldNotes@Gmail.com or leave a comment on the site. You can follow me on Instagram: @ramblingfieldnotes or on Faceboook: facebook.com/ramblingfieldnotes .

With the most sincere of thanks, love, and light,

“Eat Local, Loca!”

Walking up to a small, friendly, school bus food truck, I was welcomed with a warm, “hola, hello” from owner, Cynthia, a kind woman donning a bright red Panini Bus shirt which exclaims from the back, “Keep It Local, Loca!”. We chatted briefly as she went over the highlights of her hand printed menu with me, and I excitedly ordered The Billy Club – “an old school favorite filled with ham, turkey, bacon, and layered with Muenster cheese, mixed greens, and tomatoes”. This mouthful is order-able as a combo with fries and a soda, and as I happily upgraded, I was also treated to those fries being smothered in chili con queso, a local staple I’d never tried before and to which I would quickly become addicted. Cynthia is assisted today by her son as they are inundated with orders at the local downtown Farmer’s Market in El Paso, Texas. Busy as they are, each order is crafted personally, as though for a family member. 

Finishing my first meal from The Panini Bus is bittersweet and haunting – and not just because the back of my tongue is still tingling from the mango habañero spread, which has been dancing across it for minutes now. My conversation with the owner and her son as they expertly prepped my custom sandwich and fries created a sense of welcome and friendship I consistently find within El Paso since my family arrived on her shores on All Hallow’s Eve this year. This meal was $10 and could easily be worth double. The Panini Bus is on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/PaniniBus and I’m told they also cater events! Follow them, find them, and always remember, “Eat Local, Loca!”