Telltale Signs You're Eating Americanized Mexican Food

Posted on: 25 June 2015

These days, it can be difficult to come by authentic Mexican food. There's a good chance that your favorite "Mexican place" actually serves up Americanized versions of traditional Mexican dishes. And while there's nothing inherently wrong with a little Tex-Mex now and then, it's a good idea to be able to spot the telltale signs that the restaurant you're eating at isn't serving up authentic Mexican food.

Fajitas Are on the Menu

First of all, if you take a glance at the menu and see fajitas anywhere on it, there's a pretty good chance that you're in a Tex-Mex restaurant, rather than an authentic Mexican one. That's because, contrary to popular belief, fajitas aren't a Mexican dish. They were actually developed in Texas, USA!

All the Wrong Toppings

Another sign that you might be eating in a Tex-Mex restaurant is noticing that every dish is served up with a huge pile of melted cheese on top. This isn't to say that real Mexican dishes don't incorporate cheese, but they typically don't drown every dish in a huge glop of cheese. Furthermore, if your taco is covered in a pile of lettuce and tomato, you're not eating real Mexican food. An authentic taco is usually topped with no more than a small amount of cheese, some cilantro, and a fresh lime wedge for garnish.

Ground Beef on Your Taco

A real Mexican kitchen will not serve ground beef in their tacos, burritos, or most other dishes. Instead, they prefer to serve up higher quality meats like carne asada, chicken, or chorizo. Some will also serve skirt steak or tripas.

Flour Tortillas Instead of Corn

Finally, if you order a dish that includes a tortilla and it comes out with a flour tortilla, you're probably eating at a Tex-Mex restaurant; any authentic Mexican restaurant will serve up their meals with corn tortillas instead. On that same note, a real Mexican kitchen won't have any "hard shells" in stock; if you want something a little crunchier, then you'll have to order something else, like a tostada or something that is fried before it's served.

As you can see, there are many signs to be on the lookout for when you think you're eating "authentic" Mexican food. Most of the time, you may be disappointed to find that you're really just eating an Americanized version of the real thing. But with enough research, surely you can find a real Mexican place in your area. Next time you visit a restaurant like La Cabana Mexican Restaurant, keep an eye out for authentic, traditional Mexican dishes.

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