Who doesn't love an authentic Mexican meal? Chances are, no matter where you live, you're not too far from a Mexican restaurant that claims to be authentic. Unfortunately, not all restaurants that advertise themselves as authentic actually are. The good news is that by being aware of some staples of real Mexican food, you can distinguish the wannabes from the real deal.
You're Served Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are the default option at any real Mexican restaurant. That's because corn is a huge staple of Mexican food. So, if you're eating at a restaurant that brings your food to you on flour tortillas and doesn't have corn tortillas as an option, there's a good chance the place is not authentic.
Ground Beef is Not an Option
In the United States, tacos are commonly made with seasoned ground beef. However, an authentic Mexican taco will be served with just about any other type of meat as an option. Chicken, steak, pork, and even barbacoa are more likely to be found on an authentic Mexican taco, and a ground beef option likely won't even be on the menu.
Toppings Aren't Piled on Tacos
There's the authentic Mexican taco, and then there's the Americanized version of the taco. The latter, as mentioned above, typically comes with ground beef as its default filling. However, American tacos also tend to be piled high with toppings, including shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the like. An authentic Mexican taco, on the other hand, is quite simple. It'll contain your chosen type of meat, a little bit of fresh cilantro, some onion, and maybe a small amount of cheese.
Fajitas Aren't on the Menu
Believe it or not, fajitas are not a native Mexican food! In fact, it's believed that the coveted fajita dish first originated in the United States. For this reason, they're considered Tex-Mex food and not authentic Mexican cuisine. So, if you're eating at a "Mexican" restaurant that's serving up sizzling fajita platters left and right, it's probably safe to say that you're not eating in an authentic establishment.
These are just a few things to be on the lookout for when scoping out authentic Mexican restaurants in your area. What you'll likely find is that truly authentic Mexican restaurants are few and far between. Still, once you've eaten authentic Mexican cuisine, you may never want to go back to the Americanized version that's so widely available! To learn more, take a look at the site here.