To call the town of Falfúrrias, New Mexico, population 73, off the beaten path is a colossal understatement. The tight-knit Latino and Native American farming community is isolated in the high desert with only a nondescript dirt road pointing the way into town. And so, it is a bit of a surprise that one of the finest restaurants in the state should be found in so unlikely a place. Too bad no one knows about it.
Isidor ("Izzy") Navarro is the proprietor of that restaurant, Tortilla Heaven. He is also the town's token heathen. While the rest of the community, including his pious wife and son, attend mass at the church across the street, Izzy busies himself with preparing food for the inevitable lunchtime crowd. Frustrated at some unruly dough, Izzy throws it onto the grill with a blasphemous curse. As if in response to his sacrilege, the tortilla begins to burn in a truly astonishing way. Before our eyes, the face of Jesus Christ appears. At first, Izzy doesn't see it; sometimes we're too caught up with life to notice genuine miracles taking place right beneath our noses.
When Izzy does discover the tortilla, he tries to keep the miracle a secret. But secrets have a way of getting out, and before long the entire town is beating down his door—not to eat his food, but to get a glimpse of his gastronomic marvel. Izzy, who only scrapes by, has a revelation: he can make a fortune from this miracle. Charging three dollars a head ("One dollar for the Father, a second for the Son, and a third for the Holy Spirit") his poor friends gladly pony up.
Word of the miracle spreads. In scenes evoking the closing moments of Field of Dreams, pilgrims begin streaming in from all over the state to gawk at the tortilla. Izzy is forced ...1