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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mexican Food?

Yesterday a friend in our office asked me to go with him today for lunch. As we were trying to decide where to go, he suggested a place for burritos. And then he caught himself saying “You’re probably sick of Mexican food.” I told him actually no because I have not been able to have a lot of Mexican food lately.

Most of what you see on the menu of our Mexican food restaurants up here might have started with an idea in Mexico, but it is not Mexican. Well actually the Caesar Salad is but that’s another story.

When you sit down at El Torito, Acapulco, or any of the other fine Mexican places and get your plate of fajitas, cheese covered enchiladas, chimichangas, or Spanish rice, it is not Mexican food. It is good. It can be delicious. And to tell you the truth, I like a lot of it. But it is not Mexican food.

Mexican food is carne asada. About a pound of it. On your plate with a stack of warm corn tortillas, guacamole, grilled onions, and salsa. Maybe some beans for variety. Beans that have been cooking on the stove all day.

Mexican food is pozolé. A rich stew or soup made with hominy and either pork or chicken. I like the red, but the white is also good. Served with flat tostada shells, not chips. Add cabbage, oregano, radishes, and salsa and you’re good to go.

Mexican food is chiles en nogada [pictured on the left]. A poblano chile stuffed with spicy shredded pork, maybe some apple, covered in a walnut sauce and topped off with pomegranate seeds. All the colors of the Mexican flag, the national dish, and an unbelievable taste.

Mexican food is a taco stand at the end of street. A place where you order your tacos one at a time, stand at a bar with ten of your newest friends and eat until your full, and then you pay. And the tacos are not loaded down with lettuce and tomatoes. The flavor of the meat is what sells them.

Mexican food is molé. All seven of them! My new favorite is verde, or green for the Spanish challenged reader. It is a sauce made from chiles, spices, and chocolate. Serve it over chicken with white rice. It is fantastic.

Finally, Mexican food is horchata. Or tamarindo. Or jamaica, made from the hibiscus flower. Or any of the other agua frescas you can find in most of Mexico.

And so Kevin, yeah, I’d love to have a burrito today. Just understand, it’s not Mexican food.

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Comments on "Mexican Food?"


Anonymous gordon mallon said ... (8:44 PM) : 

I'm heading for Puerto Vallarta in about ten days, and you are making me hungry too soon.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:47 AM) : 

Ask around and eat at Dona Raquel's Cenaduria. It is the best place for cena in the town. It is on a street that runs perpendicular to the malecon.

I also recommend the Caesar Salad to be had at the El Jardin. The restaurant is located real close to the cathesral. They make the salad right at your table. it is fantastic.

Anyways, I am jealous. I love Vallarta.


Blogger timmer said ... (8:29 PM) : 

So, wait, I'm confused....Taco Bell is not real Mexican food?

By the way, did you hear about this?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (2:50 PM) : 

Of course I did. Their slogan is going to be "something different", admitting that they are in fact not selling anything remotely Mexican!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:17 PM) : 

Hola David:
i finily decided to write to you in comments, because you haven't awnser my e-mails, i got worried for your health, hope everything is fine by now.
i sent you an e-mail with pictures of my son, hope you like them
please, just sent me an e-mail that you are ok...
say hi to chelle and joseph
with love Abigail


Blogger Mike's America said ... (9:52 AM) : 

OFF TOPIC: Dave: I think we have some miscommunication after reading the comment you left on my Gerald Ford book post.

If you have some links on the book I haven't seen, please feel free to drop them in my comments pages.


Blogger CommuterJames said ... (8:34 PM) : 

I am really hoping to get to Oaxaca. I miss it all...


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