At ‘Mexican Hot n Spicy Restaurant’ You’ll Get All Kinds of Food Except ‘Mexican’?

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At ‘Mexican Hot n Spicy Restaurant’ You’ll Get All Kinds of Food Except ‘Mexican’?

Mangaluru: As the saying goes, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover|; “Don’t Judge a Person by how he/she looks from outside”- and similar in this case, “Never Judge a restaurant by its look from outside”, or for that matter, “What the outside restaurant Sign Board Says?”. And for a person like me, who has savored authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine for over two decades in Mexican town in Chicago-USA, and also in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun in Mexico, when I had visited there thrice- I thought that a Mexican restaurant here in Kudla will bring back memories of the past, and also satisfy my craving for real Caliente {Spicy and pungent} Mexican cuisine, but all in vain. The last time I tried Mexican food was at Taco Bell in Bengaluru a few months ago, and that was artificial Mexican food, simply crap. Read more in this story about my experience at the local Mexican Hot n Spicy Family Restaurant, which is NOT REALLY MEXICAN?

Mexican food has long been a staple in my diet. On my first forays into the US since 1990, I made a few optimistic attempts to find suitable Mexican restaurants to satisfy my cravings for chips with salsa, fish tacos, chimichangas, over-sized greasy burritos, and cheesy enchiladas. Just about every single attempt was a complete success, at all the restaurants I patronized, which served real and authentic Mexican food. No food is more contradictory to the American mind than Mexican cuisine. It’s a cuisine that’s simultaneously foreign yet completely at home; expected to be rich in flavour yet cheap in cost and presentation; perceived as best when inexpensive and terrible when elegant; considered “gourmet” when Gabachos/Gringos sling it out of food trucks but “roach coach” when Mexicans do it. Gone are those days where I enjoyed the Caliente Mexican food, to put some spice into my life, and probably have to wait until I come across a good Mexican restaurant which would serve authentic Mexican delicacies.

One who has travelled to Mexico or might have tried the best Mexican food at outlets in India will know the exact taste of Mexican cuisine. But using the name Mexican for a restaurant and selling Hot and Spicy items other than Caliente Mexican dishes is nothing but attracting Mexican food lovers, and once they enter the shack, they are cheated with different food items. How Indians react to Mexican food has created a generation of Mexican eaters understandably protective of Indian dishes, a generation quick to criticize and even boycott anyone who dares breach our beloved birthright. But that defensiveness also leads to our own romanticizing of the cuisine: Best only when “authentic”; always Caliente; one that must be perpetually humble or else it isn’t real; one that can only properly be prepared by Mexicans or experienced Chefs on Mexican food and is always destroyed by Gabachos, who can’t possibly appreciate Mexican food because they’re, well, Gabachos.

Okay, coming to the story- desperately craving for Mexican food which I have been missing for a long time, I stopped by at one of these Mexican Hot n spicy franchise restaurants in town few days, and sitting at the table was anxiously waiting to order my favourite Caliente food. But surprisingly, the menu which was handed over to me had all kinds of dishes EXCEPT MEXICAN? The menu comprised of Fried Indian, Chinese, Arabic, and Tandoori dishes, including Biriyani. Wow- surprised to see Biriyani served at a Mexican Family Restaurant. rather than Mexican/Spanish Rice. Just in case they have, I asked if they had Nachos with cheese, for which the server was unaware of what Nachos were. Giving a hint, that they are like chips, the server quickly replied, “Saar, we have French Fries and Masala Fries”. Okay, thanks, I replied.

This is What Mexican Cuisine Looks Like?

Browsing through the entire menu, finding not even a single Mexican dish, I decided on having Arabic dish “Shawarma”, since it resembled the shape of a Mexican Burrito. And even if the menu has two items with Mexican names, like the Mexican Wings, and Mexican Tikka-they are nothing but duplicate Indian Chicken wings and Indian Chicken Tikka coated with Indian spices. Oh well, having gulped the ‘Shawarma’ and a glass of lime soda I hurried out of the shack, experiencing a horrible mistake made, without checking the menu first before entering. My hopes were that the Indian version of Mexican food would be significantly better because Indian food is very good. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This restaurant is a chain, however, and I’m not sure there are any actual Mexicans involved. I guess not?

This experience brings me to the real reason for avoiding Mexican food in any part of India in future, for the reason there just aren’t enough Mexicans in the country to allow for authentic cuisine in restaurants. Seems like this local so-called “Mexican Restaurant” took “Provecho” {Advantage} of me, oh well, can’t help. Anyways, yes, Mexican food is the best food on the planet. Should you find good Mexican restaurants, please let me know… and until then, I will try to make my own tacos at home. Muchas Gracias! {Thank You Very Much}

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  1. I doubt very much if they had just Mexican dishes they may not be successful. In India all ethnic outlets have local dishes. General public are not exposed to other foods as we Americans are. Besides In USA all are immigrants except Native American Indians. All immigrants bring their knowledge of their own regional authentic food. Just like India different regions in Mexico has different variations of Mexican food. I was fortunate to taste food from different regions. In India I doubt very much the owners have studied or travelled to learn how to cook authentic Mexican fare.
    The sign as Mexican restaurant is just a sales gimmick to be different than other restaurants. One develops a taste for food all over the world. It is acquired taste.
    I for one likes to mix most foods with chilies, hot sauce, habanero etc yo spice it. Certain parts of Mexico do not like spicy.

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