Did you know Mexican food is the 3rd favorite food amongst Americans?
However, most of these restaurants and chains don't serve anything remotely like genuine Mexican food!
If you're on the hunt for authentic Grapevine Mexican food, don't worry, we've got you covered.
We've created a guide to help you identify genuine Mexican restaurants.
Let's dive on in.
Do the Chefs Have a Familial Connection to Mexico or Are They Mexican Themselves?
The beauty of Mexican food is that it's diverse, full of flavor, and originated centuries ago.
Unfortunately, nowadays we associate Mexican food with fast food chains like Chipotle and Taco Bell. These don't serve authentic Mexican cuisine.
So, first things first, if you're looking for genuine Grapevine Mexican food, you need to find a restaurant that prides itself on using authentic Mexican recipes.
Following these instructions to the letter is imperative. The way the ingredients are mixed and cooked is crucial.
Often these recipes are passed down for decades throughout the generations. If you stumble across an eatery that cooks their dishes using these methods, you've struck gold!
Typically, restaurant workers who have a familial connection to Mexico have a greater desire to replicate typical Mexican culture.
To put it frankly, husband and wife teams originating from Mexico are the best (we promise we aren't biased on this one!)
The love of their homeland permeates throughout the atmosphere, food, and decor. Rest assured, you'll be in for a truly delicious and unique dining experience.
Can You Hear Any Spanish?
On your mission to find typical Grapevine Mexican food, listen out for any Spanish.
It's a good sign if you can hear the sweet sound of the Spanish language ringing through the air.
In any working environment, you'd expect the employees and managers to speak to one another in their mother tongue.
This is why if you hear any Spanish, it's a good indication that you're in for beautifully authentic food.
This is especially true if you hear any customers speaking Spanish to one another. The dishes should be divine if Mexicans regularly attend the eatery.
Do the Cooks Source Typical Mexican Ingredients and Produce?
A good quality restaurant that serves authentic Grapevine Mexican food will always serve genuine produce and ingredients. Cost should never be an issue where this is concerned.
It doesn't matter what you order off the menu, it should be genuine. Mexicans have always purchased and will always purchase the same ingredients grown in their homeland to create their tasty dishes.
For example, an authentic Mexican restaurant should never dream of serving shop bought salsa.
Instead, they should offer you a choice of salsa roja, salsa verde, and pico de gallo.
All three of these are divine. However, pico de gallo might just be our favorite. The best way to describe this is raw diced tomatoes and vegetables mixed with cilantro. It's packed with flavor - very tasty!
You'll undoubtedly be able to taste the difference from commercially manufactured jars of salsa - yuck!
Is the Decor a Giveaway?
In short, yes, it definitely will be a giveaway.
An authentic Mexican restaurant will aim to reach out to native Mexicans. They'll want to evoke a feeling of home.
This means good Mexican restaurants will opt for decor that encompasses traditional folk art, rustic looking furniture, and perhaps handmade woven baskets.
If you see a million pi?atas hanging from the ceiling, garish posters of bullfighters, and sombreros hanging from every nook and cranny- run for the hills because the chances are you're not going to receive authentic Grapevine Mexican food.
Plus, if your waiters or waitress' are all dressed as matadors or in a mariachi costume, it's safe to say that you're not going to experience typical Grapevine Mexican food.
What Dishes Should I Look for on an Authentic Menu?
If you want to experience genuine Grapevine Mexican food, then you should order one of the following dishes.
You'll be hard pushed to decide what to go for because they're all delicious!
If you're serious about tasting genuine Grapevine Mexican food always opt for soft- shell tacos with white cheese. NOT hard-shell tacos.
Although hard-shell tacos are tasty, they're not authentic. The hard-shell taco has surged in popularity throughout the States.
These tacos are usually full of spiced ground beef, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and 'Mexican cheese.'
We hate to break it to you, but this was an American invention.
In stark contrast to this, Mexican tacos tend to be smaller and are soft.
The tortillas tend to either be lightly grilled or streamed - not deep fried. And contrary to popular opinion, tacos aren't monopolized by beef.
In addition to beef, other taco fillers include chicken, pork, or seafood - all equally as tasty!
No authentic Mexican taco is complete without fresh vegetables like avocados, salsa, and diced onions.
To round off this delicious dish, a drizzle of fresh lime juice and cilantro is essential.
Also, if you add any cheese to your taco, it has to be fresh white cheese, just like the Mexicans eat.
Lastly, try and avoid adding sour cream. Instead, opt for la crema, this is usually what Mexicans eat. It isn't as bitter and tends to be thinner than sour cream.
Order Wheat Flour Tacos Rather Than a Burrito
Don't be alarmed if you can't find flour tacos on the menu; it may appear as tacos de harina.
Wheat flour tacos tend to be smaller than burritos, but boy do they make up for it in flavor.
An American burrito is a dish that's associated with modern-day obesity. It's packed with cheese, sour cream, rice, meat, etc. (you get the picture).
Unsurprisingly, the modern burrito isn't authentic. Instead, it was a similar dish called tacos de harina that originated from Southern Mexico.
It's much thinner than the typical burrito and only includes three separate ingredients.
The filling of your wheat flour taco will consist of three of the following options: meat or seafood base accompanied by rice, beans, white cheese, or chiles.
Instead of Fajitas Try Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita pibil is a favorite slow-roasted pork dish.
Sadly, sizzling plates of fajitas is also an American invention.
However, luckily for you, we have an equally if not tastier alternative for you to look out for.
Cochinita pibil is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish. This requires marinating the pork in citrus juice and annatto seeds. It's then roasted while wrapped in a banana leaf.
Similarly to fajitas, cochinita pibil is accompanied by corn tortillas and topped with a selection of pickled red onions, refried beans, and habanero chiles.
Opt for Authentic Mexican Enchiladas
For those of you who don't know, you don't bake genuine Mexican enchiladas in an oven.
The beauty of the Mexican enchilada is that it varies massively.
However, you'll often find that tortillas are fried and dunked in spicy enchilada sauce.
They're then rolled up and stuffed with a frugal amount of meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc.), vegetables, and white cheese.
Enchiladas are usually garnished with a light sprinkling of with white cheese and served to order.
If You Fancy Chili Con Queso, Opt for Queso Flameado
Queso flameado (also known as cheese fondue with meat sauce) is dolloped onto small tortillas.
Unsurprisingly, chili con queso is another American innovation. It tends to be full of processed cheese, garlic, cumin, onion, and chopped jalapenos.
It's believed that this dish descends from a native plate from El Paso. As previously alluded to, this meal is known as queso flameado.
It's a cheese fondue with a meat sauce accompanied by chorizo, tomatoes, onions, chiles, and spices.
The only way to cook this dish is to flambee it. This requires pouring liquor such as rum, brandy, or tequila over the cheese. Then, you set the alcohol alight.
The chef should then fold in the meat sauce while the dish is burning.
The recipient of this dish will then spoon the queso flameado onto little tortillas.
Just talking about this dish is getting our mouths watering!
Authentic Mexican Cocktails
Any half-decent Mexican dining experience should start with cocktails. These are perfect for complimenting the flavors of Grapevine Mexican food.
We suggest trying the Tequila Mule. This puts a fun, Latin spin on the traditional mule.
The Casa Amigos Blanco, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice pack this cocktail full of flavor. It's simply delightful.
A spicy margarita is also a must. A Mexican margarita consisting of Serrano, Habanero, jalapeno chiles, Sauza Blue, triple sec and lime juice is divine.
WARNING- it's very spicy but delicious.
Alternatively, you could try the Jamaica Paloma. This a fun cocktail made of Roca Patron Silver, grapefruit juice, hibiscus water and club soda.
The best way to describe it is fruity and the perfect choice if you're after a refreshing, summery drink.
Finally, you can't go wrong with a Coconut Caipirinha. In contrast to other coconut-based cocktails, it's surprisingly light.
It's perfect if you're not a fan of coconutty flavors because the taste isn't too overwhelming.
This drink is ideal if you want to get in the mood for a holiday; this cocktail takes you straight to the beautiful beaches of Mexico- divine!
Are You Looking for Typical Mexican Appetizers?
There are so many beautiful starters to choose from when you're experiencing Grapevine Mexican food.
We suggest ordering a variety of appetizers so you can sample several.
One of our favorites is enmoladas topped off with Chef Olga's famous mole with eggs on the side.
Another Mexican classic is ceviche. This consists of fresh shrimps and other fish, avocado, pico de gallo and homemade chips.
If you're looking for a light and fresh appetizer, this is the one for you. The flavors aren't overwhelming, yet there's still plenty of taste.
No Mexican dining experience is complete without some guacamole. Needless to say, that authentic guacamole needs to be made from scratch and accompanied by homemade chips.
No shop bought jars here!
Don't Be Afraid of Seafood
We tend to either love or hate fish. However, if you want to experience authentic Grapevine Mexican food, we suggest you give it a try.
However, if you're heading to an authentic Mexican restaurant - be prepared to taste seafood as you've never had before.
The fish should all be fresh; you'll be able to tell the difference in comparison to frozen produce.
Seafood makes the perfect base for enchiladas. We encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and give it a try; we dare you!
If you can find an enchilada that uses lobster fresh from the Pacific Ocean, blue crap, and shrimps, then you've hit gold!
Be prepared to experience an equally tasty sauce made of creamed peppers. Ideally, the dish comes with sides of julienned vegetables, avocados, smoked bacon, and bell pepper rice.
Have You Ever Heard of Guiso Del Chef?
If you haven't, you're in for a treat. It's incredible.
If you're a lover of seafood, you'll feel like you've died and gone to heaven. It's jam-packed with mussels, clams, octopus, scallops, and shrimp.
It's served with white wine and beer sauce and a delicious garlic and jasmine rice. It's a fabulous dish; we can't recommend it enough!
Final Tips for Spotting Fake Grapevine Mexican Food in Restaurants
You should also be on the lookout for the following warning signs. If you witness any of this at a Mexican restaurant, there's a high chance it's not the real deal:
Is all of your food dripping in cheese? Authentic Mexican food uses cheese but it's not a topping for everything, it's more of a garnish.
Are the Margaritas huge and served in every flavor under the sun? As previously spoken about, margaritas do originate from Mexico. However, they shouldn't be frozen or flavored strawberry. They also shouldn't be served in bowl sized glasses!
We hope the above advice helps you with your quest to find authentic Grapevine Mexican food.
Are You Ready for Some Amazing Grapevine Mexican Food?
If you're feeling hungry after reading this blog post and want to try some fabulous Grapevine Mexican food, please feel free to contact us to reserve a table today.
We look forward to welcoming you into our family run restaurant and giving you a dining experience you'll never forget.
Alternatively, if you're curious about the kinds of dishes we have on offer, please feel free to peruse our delicious dinner menu. We're confident you'll spot something you'll want to try!
We look forward to seeing you soon - take care.