Friday, September 22, 2006

Ex-Mex


Last week someone commented on how our area “now” has several good restaurants, and included all the Mexican restaurants as being good, to which I disagreed. I wish to elaborate on my reasoning.

Often people will enter a restaurant and see they are being patronized by people of the same heritage as the restaurant. You might think that the place is really good because the Mexicans are eating in a Mexican spot or Asians are eating in a Chinese restaurant. But consider how many Americans eat at McDonalds every day. Just because a lot of Americans eat at an American restaurant doesn’t make the food good.

Though the Mexican restaurants here may have Mexican owners, cooks and wait staff; Mexican name and décor, and their menus may have Mexican or Mexicanish items on it, doesn’t mean that it is good.

Here are the problems I have with all the Mexican restaurants in this County:

First, when your meal comes out you will see that everything is flat. The beans are flat; the rice is flat and boring. Then it is covered with melted cheese and ends up resembling a bad looking pizza. I often wonder if the rice is real or is it instant rice. Is there a rule against longer grained rice in Mexican cuisine?

Next where are the fruits and vegetables? If one is lucky you will find a dish that has onions, peppers and tomatoes, but that’s it. They only use iceberg lettuce. Rarely will you ever taste cilantro. Rarely will I see anything else that is green. And where is the corn?

Now for other missing items: I have yet to see chevon or cabrito on any menu here. Goat is an absolute essential in Mexico. I have friends who are in the meat goat business, and they are deluged by Mexicans wanting to buy whole goats for their traditional fiestas. Why are they keeping this from us? Also Mexico has a rich tradition of knowing what to do with seafood, which I find no emphasis on here. I’ve had some seafood selections and they are anything but flavorful. They are a salty mess covered in sauces that only detract from the taste of the flesh that made the ultimate sacrifice to nourish us.

Finally where is any of the good texture of coarsely ground grains? Everything seems to be made of ground white flour. The texture of Mexican food should be so much more interesting. I think it has all been adapted for the boring American food consumers.

So I challenge them to get back to basics. Make it fresh, make it interesting, make it authentic, and most of all make it flavorful. We can take it.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just like Chinese food, the menu has been developed as "Americanized Mexican food". The fortune cookies does not come from China, it was created in America. Authentic Mexican food can only be found in small, out of the way locations. The menu will be in Spanish and you have to hope for the best if you don't speak the language. I ate at one years ago and ordered some tacos. The menu listed several different types of tacos in Spanish. They were nice enought to put in parenthesis whether it was beef, chicken, pork, or other type of meat. I selected one that had the word "beef". My hispanic friend had a smirk on this face. After eating one of the tacos, he asked how I liked it. It was flavorful and good. He proceeded to inform me that I just ate cow brains.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous portosan said...

I had some good mexican in Manzanita about two years ago. I remember they offered black beans with the menu and it was tasty I thought. I have stopped by the place several times since but it was too crowded for me and I went elsewhere. I do not know the name of the place, sorry.

Glad you are back and not taking another sick day. I thought for a moment that you had gotten ahold of some bad spinich. What, with the voices and all.

8:01 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Best be careful with eating brains these days. See my article My Beef

I don't know if it is still around, but a few years back the best Mexican food here came from what people called "The Truck" which parked across from Berger King in the pre-sort parking lot.

And Portosan, I'm not actually sick on sick days. A sick day post is a quasi monthly dump of things that piss me off. I compile a list of things as they hit me and when I have enough I post a sick day article. Plus it gives me a chance to post vomit photos that people send me. Yesterdays was the grand daddy. Almost made me sick.

And holy crap, I had 205 hits yesterday. I guess a couple new people stopped by and read every article.
Welcome one and all. Sorry your first view of this blog had a photo of prjectile vomiting.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I would no more eat out of one of those vans than I would follow a cow around with a fork & spoon.
Take one look at the cook. Need I say more?
Mexican food is bland.
If you spend time in Mexico and eat there, you get to see how screwed up our so called mexican cusine is here in the states.
The only real mexican food I have enjoyed in the last 40 years in Oregon were served at a Mexican's house.
The rest were all americanized vomit.
Oh and by the way, I participated in a rather popular chili contest years ago. Long story short; the winner was the person that poured the most pepper in the kettle.
That's the mentality, or lack thereof.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Aw man, you are so right. I used to eat at a place in Chico that was called Aca Taco and OMG this place was so fantastic. It was totally cheap and there wasn't even really any decor, but these people did the light Mexican. I hate the soupy stuff. It's gross.

Assuming a Mexican restaurant is good because Mexicans eat there is like assumiung McDonald's is good because Americans do. Ewww.

12:54 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mo3, I'm happy you finished the move. It's nice to see you writing again. Remember, as far as the junk goes, three moves is equal to one fire regarding getting rid of stuff.

Gearhead, Exactly!

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rio cafe comes real close to good mexican food. Another good taste of mexican food is further away, a few blocks after you get off the longview bridge on the left is a taco stand, used to be taco johns or something. The place doesn't look like much, I bet it is a clean as the finer restaurant's. Their turn-over of food is quick, low overhead and excellent food.
If I notice a "dirty" restroom, I assume the whole restaurant is. How could it not be?

2:32 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The Rio is probably the best of all Mexican restaurants here. The place is always packed for lunch with the same loyal customers every day. That says a lot, but still no goat on the menu.

6:11 AM  

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