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How to Tell if You're Eating at An Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Grapevine Texas

Over the past several decades, Mexican food has grown in popularity in the United States.

It's now the 3rd most popular type of cuisine in the country, thanks to an increasing Mexican-American population and interest in foreign cuisines.

Unfortunately, the high popularity of Mexican food has prompted a lot of imitators. These places claim to serve authentic Mexican cuisine but instead serve something closer to Taco Bell.

Want to make sure the Mexican food Grapevine TX you get is authentic? Keep reading. We'll show the signs you should look for in a true Mexican restaurant.

Spanish is Spoken

If you hear Spanish spoken in the restaurant and the menu is written in Spanish, you're on the right track. Try learning some basic Spanish words and get an idea of what you're ordering:

  • Pollo: Chicken

  • Carne: Meat (usually beef)

  • Carnitas: Pork

  • Pescado: Fish

  • Camarones: Shrimp

That said, don't stress out if you don't understand all the words on the menu. In general, just about anything you try will be great. Go ahead and take a risk! Branch out; try different things.

Simplicity is Key

Many American style Mexican restaurants serve large burritos the size of a small pillow. These burritos typically come stuffed with meat, rice, beans, salsas, and vegetables.

In authentic Mexican food Grapevine TX, burritos and tacos contain just the right amount of ingredients. The simpler, the better.

The same thing goes for your taco. An authentic one has lime, cilantro, and onion; lettuce and tomato is a sign of Americanized food. By the way, if the restaurant does not have any cilantro, it's not the real deal.

Additionally, look out for "double-decker" food options. Burritos, tacos, and tostadas should only ever include a single layer.

Spicy is Not Necessarily Authentic

Some people assume that an authentic Mexican experience means eating food that brings tears to their eyes.

It's true jalapenos and chili peppers are popular ingredients in Mexican cooking. But many traditional dishes feature mild flavors and aren't spicy at all.

Pay Attention to the Salsa

While not all the food needs to burn your mouth off, every good Mexican place should have a spicy salsa.

Bonus points if the restaurant serves its salsa with homemade tortilla chips. Pico de gallo, a mild salsa with large chunks of tomato, is more American than apple pie.

What Hot Sauce is on the Table?

If you like a little extra spice though, feel free to add some good Mexican hot sauce. Pay attention to the label on the bottle to determine whether your restaurant is the real deal.

You should never see tabasco on the table at a true Mexican restaurant. Instead, look for Cholula, la Victoria, or something home bottled.

Corn Tortillas

Large flour tortillas take center stage at most Tex-Mex restaurants. In a true Mexican restaurant, however, corn tortillas are the star. An authentic corn tortilla is only about the size of your hand, not the size of a dinner plate.

Also, tacos served on tortillas should only ever be on soft tortillas. Hard-shell tacos are an American invention. If you want a hard tortilla, ask for a tostada.

Queso Chips are Not on the Menu

I don't know about you, but I love queso. But, while it is delicious, its presence is a sure-fire sign the restaurant you're in isn't authentic.

And it's not limited to queso dip either; smothering meals in queso sauce is not how they do it south of the border.

Real Mexican food Grapevine TX includes queso fresco, a mild white cheese. Often it's crumbled on top of your dish, rather than melted in liquid form.

Check the Proteins

Mexican food features a variety of proteins, prepared in specific ways. Check to make sure the restaurant cooks the meat traditionally.

Shredded Beef

While crumbled ground beef is commonly found at Taco Bell, it isn't traditional to Mexican cuisine. True Mexican food is served with shredded beef or steak slices.

Keep in mind that fajita beef isn't traditional either. Sizzling fajitas are an American concoction, not a Mexican one.

Pork Al Pastor

Al pastor is a traditional pork dish made with spicy, marinated pork. If the restaurant serves "al pastor" with any protein other than pork, it isn't traditional.

Do Not Eat at a Catina

If a restaurant has "cantina" in the name, the owners don't anything about Mexican culture. A cantina is a men's social club. While these establishments would perhaps serve some small dishes, they would never serve an entire meal.

Lime Margaritas on the Rocks

Did you just order a frozen mango margarita? It may taste good, but it is certainly not genuine. Here's how to get a real margarita.

A true margarita comes with lime served over ice cubes, garnished with a salted rim and a lime wedge. They're never frozen, and they do not come in other flavors.

Try Authentic Mexican Food Grapevine TX Today

The variety of entrees and ingredients in Mexican cooking make it ideal for a casual evening, a date night, or a group night dining experience.

By looking for these signs, you will be able to tell if you are in an authentic Mexican restaurant, or if you are instead in a Tex-Mex joint.

If you are ready to experience some real authentic Mexican food Grapevine TX, contact us to make a reservation today. It will be our pleasure to serve you our most delicious dishes.

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