Texmex for Dummies (and fake Mexican restaurants)

Now let’s just get this straight Mr. Enchilada Restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany – just because you serve tacos and fajitas doesn’t give you the right to claim you are a texmex restaurant. Giving me a sort of chunky ketchup and calling it salsa was a dead giveaway. That and when I asked for SPICY salsa, you brought out a bowl of yellow oil with two or three lonely pepper seeds drowning at the bottom. That’s good for pizza but IT AIN’T TEXMEX. Oh, and then if you don’t have a single mexican or texan beer on the menu (the Pils and Dunkel are nice but they are NOT Corona, Dos Equis or the eternal Shiner Boch), you obviously are in serious need of help. So, in order to improve your image, here are some texmex basics.

1/ There are more peppers out there than jalepeños. There are the knock your pants off habaneros, the smokey chipoltes, as well as serranos and anchos. It’s like here in Paris where one could get the impression that sushi is only either salmon or mackerel (something even Japanese people probably find grody). The whole joy of Mexican cooking and why Texas who hate Mexicans but love Mexican food are so crazy about it is the wide variety of chilis. It is like a religious cult in Texas. Hell, there is an annual chili/salsa festival in Austin – so send a representative (and some Peptobismal) down to that and you’ll see that I am right!

2 /Chili con carne should not taste like warmed-over dog food. It should have TASTE and be FUCKING SPICY AS HELL. Otherwise, they wouldn’t call it CHILI. The reference there is the Texas Chili Parlour (featured in Tarantino’s Death Proof by the way) where I actually worked up to the 3-alarm version. Please note the critical difference between the Texas chili recipe and the Mexican chili recipe: real Texan chili HAS NO BEANS. So, if you are going to pawn off chili with beans at least admit that it is Mexican but not Texmex since it ain’t got no Texas in it.

3/ Beer is a necessary requirement for washing down texmex food and the beer should be from at least Texas if not Mexico. I mean, its like having a Sprite with a Filet Mignon. That’s what a red wine is for right? Anyway, we’ll admit that Corona is not the best and that’s why we add a lime slice to it. But, Dos Equis (also written DosXX) is great as is Negro Modelo, Bohemia, and Pacifico.

4/ Nacho etiquette is that you should be able to SEE the nachos and not have to get melted cheese all over your fingers. The nachos should be crispy. Only fake restaurants sell nachos with melted velveeta and jalapeños on soggy nachos. REAL texmex restaurants just offer the nachos and a VARIETY of different green tomatilla-based and red chili-based salsas. Well, the self-respecting real ones that is. Oh yeah, the guac that you serve with the nachos should be chunky with FRESH avocado. That blendered green shit passed off as guac needs to go.

5/ Mole poblano should also be a requirement. As should breakfast migas. As well as tamales. And ALL the dishes should have healthy servings of coriander. Mexican cooking without coriander would be like cooking without salt. Its a prereq. Deal with it.

So there you go, if you are listening out there Mr. Enchilada.

And also, Austin – I miss you!

Coda: I found one! Here is Paris! El Nopal next to the Canal St Martin is a GENUINE burrito oasis in the texmex desert that is Paris. They have both red (sorta spicy) and green (with real tomatillas!) salsa and yummy tacos, burritos and the like. Here is a review I found that is recent and features yummy pictures! Don’t walk. Run!


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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2 Responses to Texmex for Dummies (and fake Mexican restaurants)

  1. David says:

    Of course, the only place to get real TexMex is… Texas!
    I’ve looked hard and long across most of Europe, and alas, it does not seem that this particular cuisine (or even anything vaguely resembling TexMex) has been able to make the trip across the ocean.

    I would love to be proven wrong…

  2. Pingback: Advice please: Anti-Spam | Fino's Weblog

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