If you’ve been to several Mexican restaurants in Alexandria, VA, you might have noticed some differences between their menus. With so many Mexican food chains and bistros in the area, it can be challenging to determine which ones serve authentic Mexican dishes.
El Paso Mexican Restaurant discusses some ways to spot real Mexican restaurants.
1. A Variety of Salsa
People love to jump start their appetite by ordering the chips and salsa combination. In most bistros, you may only notice one type of salsa, and it’s usually the canned ones that you can also buy from the supermarket. A good Mexican restaurant should at least serve freshly made green and red salsa. Some even have more varieties. You can tell from the way it looks and tastes that they used fresh ingredients compared to overly mashed tomatoes filled with ketchup.
2. A Detailed Set of Dish on the Menu
Notice any random Spanish words on the menu that does not make sense at all? This is one of biggest signs you’re not in a legit Mexican restaurant. Some of the common names you might have encountered are “Ole Burrito” and “Mucho Taco Grande”. Authentic Mexican restaurants usually include some details on their menu. They even share fun facts about the origin of the dish and the ingredients used.
3. Corn Tortillas
If there are no corn tortillas on their menu, then it’s a red flag. On top of that, they should always serve fresh tortillas. Choose a restaurant that serves fresh, handmade tortillas.
Real tacos are often served on small and soft corn tortillas. The meat shouldn’t be that crumbly. In fact, they should come with adobada, asada, chorizo, or tripas instead of ground beef. Ask the waiter if they have options for the tortillas. If none and they give you tacos on a hard shell, then it’s not authentic.
Before deciding which Mexican restaurant you should go to, do your research. Search online and read reviews about their food and services. Ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues.