Chuck’s Margarita Grill

poe margarita's

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
–“The Raven”


Chuck’s Margarita Grill: A Restaurant Review and Tale of Gothic Horror
By our special guest author, Edgar Allan Poe


I was breaking into an uncontrollable perspiration, and my head was swimming.  What had been done to me?  I clasped at my innards through this stranger’s coat, as though my hands might pass through the clammy skin of my abdomen to assuage my aching organs.  As I slumped down from a bench in Branford center to the night’s unforgiving cold concrete, I pondered… how did I get here?

I had arrived at Chuck’s Margarita Grill in Branford early in the evening filled with merriment and determined to make the night all the merrier.  My bartender Reynolds slid me the first of my Cuervo Gold margaritas, a tasty confection suited to the tropics.  Two of these accompanied a small bowl of salsa, and some over-fried and oily tostado chips.

“How strange it is, Reynolds, that a watering hole once simply called ‘Margarita’s’ has now come to be called ‘Chuck’s Margarita’,” I noted to after washing a mouthful of rim salt down with citrus glory.  “’Margarita’ surely conveys a Mexican flavor.  But surely ‘Chuck’ does not.  Should it not be ‘Carlos’?”

Reynolds took little note.  The Branford Regal cinema had let out, and a few tight-sweatered “Twilight “ enthusiasts had settled into the bar next to me.  They fiddled with their iPhones and took little note of Reynolds’ attempts to take in their physical charms.

The choice of food was to be had off of a Mexican menu, which was of the normal trifold variety, and from an American menu, which was scrawled onto a plastic barrel.  “Los Nachos Fantasticos Grande, and the fish tacos,” I said to Reynolds.  He nodded and disappeared.

I hungrily consumed the nachos, which were larded with cheese and mild beans, sour cream, jalapenos and house made guacamole.  There was nothing special about these.  The fish tacos soon followed, as did two more Cuervo Gold margaritas.

I thought little special of the meal, and as I stood to leave, I felt the distinct onset of borborygmos… a rumbling of the intestines so profound, the young ladies at the bar took notice over the jukebox selection of Triumph’s “Tonight We’re On the Loose.”

Indeed, something was on the loose tonight.  I made my way quickly to men’s room, and barely made it to a stall before a great explosion from my nether-throat startled other occupants into a hurried departure.  And as I sat there, with little warning, I vomited into my shirt and underwear.

When I felt it had subsided, I washed up as best I could.  I had ruined my coat hopelessly, and deposited it in the waste receptacle.  I then searched the coatrack for a replacement to protect me against the night’s chill.

Having found a suitable fit in a man’s topcoat, somewhat over-sized, I made my way out.  Driving away I only reached the idyllic center of Branford, and stepped from the car to once again vomit, this time into the still, quiet night air.

What had taken hold of me?  Was it this Cuervo Gold acting as a Gold Bug, biting me and sending me into madness and despair?  Cursed Reynolds… what had he served me?

I looked up to see black bird, a raven, observing me with interest.  It astonished me as it spoke.  “Nevermore.”

“If only,” I said, but knew I would vomit again.  For on this midnight dreary, I found myself quite weak and weary.

I shall eat at Chuck’s Margarita Grill… NEVERMORE.


Edgar Allan Poe, our guest writer this week, began his career as a 19th century author and literary critic. He is now involved with Connecticut politics.

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