A photo sent to Gilberto Quezada and then forwarded to me has solved a mystery from the distant Aquel Entonces, that of the downtown sandwich vendor named Kid Canela.
I knew the Kid, but did not know that the food came from a restaurant.
The Kid, who was no longer a kid, would stop by my father’s hardware store on Lincoln Street in the late 1950s and 60s to sell incredible sandwiches from the breadbox affixed to the handlebars of his bicycle.
The Kid seemed to intuit how much chile this kid could tolerate, but still my young eyes would steam over with the BTUs dropped onto my burger or my aguacate sandwich. Among the downtown devotees of the Kid, it was known that you shouldn’t eat that delicious 10¢ delight without a 3¢ Coca Cola in an icy bottle.
I would learn from Gilberto that the sandwiches were made at the Canela Lunch Stand on Hidalgo Street in the Barrio Azteca.
The small restaurant was owned by the Bribiesca family. There were no tables; seating was at a horseshoe-shaped counter.
Kid Canela, Gilbert said, was Mr. Bribiesca.
(The source of this photo was Olivia Bravo via Belinda Bravo.)