Walk up to me any day of the week and ask me if I would like to eat Mexican food and you would rarely hear me reply with no. It's not just me though. Mexican food has risen straight to the top. Along with Italian and Chinese food, it's one of the three main ethnic cuisines popular with the mainstream American consumer.
Though all of this is true, most of the food that we enjoy eating so much isn't really authentic Mexican food. Ask any hispanic person for burritos, chimichangas or any other dish we might commonly consider Mexican food, and they might look at you as if you had just asked for a Gyro in a Chinese restaurant. Food that can be ordered in restaurants such as Chipotle, Taco Bell and even Mi Pueblo is commonly referred to as Tex-Mex.
Tex-Mex is a fusion of United States and Mexican cuisines. Tex-Mex is known by its heavy use of shredded cheese, meat (particularly beef, pork and chicken), beans, peppers and spices, in addition to flour tortillas. Tex-Mex is everything that we as Americans love; its cheesy, greasy and served in big portions.
Tex-Mex food is in no way undesirable and will continue to be considered as one of America's favorite foods. It is simply just, for lack of a better word, different from authentic hispanic food.
Authentic Mexican food almost never incorporates ingredients like beef, cheddar cheese, black beans and wheat flour. Though you can find beef being sold in a lot of Authentic Mexican restaurants due to popular demand.
Over the years, Ripley has seen more Authentic Mexican food become available, like the new restaurant Sarah's Tacos.
At Sarah's Tacos you will find food such as traditional tacos, quesadillas and burritos as well as tortas, huarachas and other foods prevalent in authentic Mexican culture.
Owner Irma Tello, says her food is made fresh with organic ingredients.
"The food that I serve is made fresh from scratch every day. Nothing served is pre-made, everything is authentic," says Tello.
Tello's tacos are smaller than the ones you may find at a Tex-Mex restaurant, but what they lack in size they make up for in taste. They are filled with either fresh marinated pork, chicken or beef and topped with diced cilantro, onions, avocado and my personal new favorite pineapples.
Though the food is delicious enough to eat on its own, it is served with a choice of two salsas unlike those served at Tex-Mex restaurants. The first one, and personally the only one that I have been able to handle, is not red but green. Made with tomatillos, jalapeño peppers and other ingredients it adds just enough spiciness and flavor to make your dish even more tasty. The second salsa is red and is extremely spicy. If you’re looking to up the heat on your dish then this is the salsa you are looking for.
Different does not constitute better and one should not dwell on whether Tex-Mex food or authentic Mexican food is the best. However, Sarah’s Tacos has helped me leave my comfort zone and try something new. That is, in my opinion, what makes authentic Mexican food so great. It gives a chance to try familiar foods, like tacos, in a different way, and introduces you to unfamiliar dishes that are equally delicious.