Exploring the 7 Regions of Mexican Cuisine: Northern Mexico

Exploring the 7 Regions of Mexican Cuisine: Northern Mexico

There are approximately 67,391 restaurants in the U.S. that serve burritos, and odds are you've eaten at one of them. But have you ever stopped to consider where that particular type of cuisine in your Mexican restaurant came from? Or if it's authentic Mexican food at all? 

QUIZ: What Mexican Food Best Suits Your Personality?

QUIZ: What Mexican Food Best Suits Your Personality?

The United States is a melting pot, and with that comes a great selection of international foods. But despite all the different cultures across the nation, Mexican food is the most popular ethnic food segment in the United States, with a whopping 42% share of ethnic food sales.

Holy Mole:Your Guide to the 7 Oaxaca Moles

Holy Mole:Your Guide to the 7 Oaxaca Moles

When it comes to Mexican cuisine, there is little that is as important as the mole sauce. Like the most famous French sauces, the mole can be used either as a way to improve a dish or as the base component on which to build a culinary masterpiece.

Mexican Menu Items Explained

best mexican restaurants

Mexican food continues to be the most popular ethnic food segment in the United States with a 42% share of ethnic food sales. Mexican restaurants are often the preferred option when going out with friends and family because it can be difficult to create authentic Mexican food from home. However, the menu can be daunting because of the many Mexican dishes available. What's the difference between a burrito and a fajita? What about an enchilada and quesadillas? Here is the breakdown of what to expect at the best Mexican restaurants when ordering some of the most popular food options

  • ENCHILADAS
    An enchilada is a rolled corn tortilla with the option of a variety of fillings and served with a chili sauce, a mild, red chili sauce, and cheese. Enchiladas can be filled with meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, or even combinations.
     
  • BURRITOS
    A burrito is a rolled flour tortilla with the option of a variety of fillings. It is wrapped into a closed-ended cylinder, in contrast to a taco, where the tortilla is simply folded around the filling. Burritos can also be filled with meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, or any combination.

  • QUESADILLAS
    According to the website The Daily Meal, the word "quesadilla" roughly translates to "little cheesy pastry" in Spanish and it's a fairly accurate description, although instead of true pastry, a corn or flour tortilla is commonly used. Quite simply it is two tortillas with cheese melted in between. You can opt to also have many other fillings along with the cheese such as meats or vegetables.

  • FAJITAS
    A fajita refers to any grilled meat usually served on a flour or corn tortilla. This is a dish where some assembly is required. You can put together your fajita with cheeses, sour cream, salsa, onions, peppers, rice, beans and more! Make sure you ask for all the fillings you want to be included. When you hear a dish sizzling, it is most likely a fajita!

The best Mexican restaurants out there will offer fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas, and burritos, and it is up to you to know exactly what you're ordering. Whether you are looking for a corn based or flour based tortilla, something extra cheesy, or a sizzling grilled masterpiece knowing the various Mexican dishes available will be helpful the next time you're out with friends. Make sure you share your knowledge so that everyone can order what they want!

What are the Healthy Options at Mexican Restaurants?

What are the Healthy Options at Mexican Restaurants?

There is nothing harder when you are trying to lose weight and are asked to join friends or family out to eat. 1 out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. sells Mexican food, making it the most popular style of international cuisine in the country. This is a very common option for a night out because not only is the food delicious, but many Mexican restaurants provide some great drink options too.

Tex-Mex or Authentic Mexican? How To Spot The Difference

Tex-Mex or Authentic Mexican? How To Spot The Difference

When you are craving Mexican food, it can be tricky to find an authentic restaurant. Many places that appear to serve Mexican cuisine are actually Tex-Mex restaurants, a modern mix of Texan and Mexican food. Learn about the origin of Tex-Mex and how to spot authentic Mexican food, with this guide. 

Mexican Food Misconceptions You Might Think Are True

Mexican Food Misconceptions You Might Think Are True

There are no buts about it: Americans love Mexican food. With so much variety and tons of crowd-pleasing elements, it's not surprising that Mexican cuisine is the most popular ethnic food segment in the U.S., accounting for 42% of all ethnic food sales. But as with most cuisines derived from other cultures, many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. have Americanized certain dishes or have added ingredients not found in authentic Mexican meals. There are also some misconceptions people tend to have regarding Mexican food, likely due to eateries that didn't provide authentic experiences in the past. We've compiled just a few of those widely held beliefs about Mexican cuisine so we can set the record straight.

Mexican Food: History, Culture, Deliciousness, and... Nutritional Value?

Mexican Food: History, Culture, Deliciousness, and... Nutritional Value?

Everything in this world has its own piece of historical significance. This is multiplied by about a million when it comes to the food we eat. Every bite of food is like a bite out of history, and depending on the kind of food, a significant amount of rich and interesting history. It's important to consider not only just the taste, smell, and ingredients of each dish, but the origins and nutritional benefits as well.

4 Signs You're NOT at an Authentic Mexican Restuarant

mexican restaurants

One out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. serves Mexican food, but how many of those dining establishments can actually say that their cuisine is authentic? There are certainly a lot of places that pass themselves off as Mexican restaurants. Yet, most of their employees have probably never even been to Mexico or even know the difference between flour and corn tortillas. You yourself may not be able to tell the difference, but wouldn’t you like to know when you’re eating the real thing and when you’re simply consuming a cheap knockoff? Below are a few ways to tell if you’re at a real Mexican restaurant or an Americanized imitation.

  1. Are fajitas on the menu?
    Guess what? Fajitas don’t actually exist in Mexico. They were invented in the U.S. in the 1960s and have become a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine -- a fusion of Mexican and Southwestern American foods.

  2. Is the establishment called a “cantina?”
    In Mexico, a cantina is a men’s social club featuring alcohol, appetizers, and tables games like cards and dominoes. They typically don’t allow women or minors and sometimes even exclude police officers or anyone in a military uniform. So, look around you. Do you see women and children? Is there a distinct lack of gambling? You’re probably not in a real cantina but rather an American restaurant with a cactus motif.

  3. Did you order cheese with a side of cheese?
    Did your dish come out covered in cheese? It’s not that Mexicans don’t eat cheese; it’s just that they don’t glob cheese on top of cheese on top of cheese like Americans tend to do. Authentic Mexican restaurants include cheese as an essential ingredient in most dishes, not as a topping on all dishes.

  4. Is your waiter dressed like he’s in a mariachi band?
    If your waiter shows up at your table in a black trimmed vest, pants with silver pegs up the side, a wide-brimmed sombrero, and cowboy boots, you’re not in a Mexican restaurant -- you’re in a Mexican restaurateur’s worst nightmare. This costume is called a “traje de charro” and it is typically worn by musicians. If your waiter is serving you rice and beans in full “charro” getup, don’t expect the best Mexican food you’ve ever had.

Mexican is the most popular style of international cuisine in the U.S., but if you want an authentic Mexican dining experience, avoid any place that exhibits the warning signs listed above. Provecho!

Mexican Food: Definitions and Words You Need to Know

Mexican Food: Definitions and Words You Need to Know

When you do eventually find that restaurant that serves traditional Mexican fare, it can be hard to make sense of the menu if you've never seen some of the items before and don't speak Spanish. But don't worry, you won't miss out -- just check out this glossary of ingredients, foods, and terms often used in the menus at the best Mexican food joints around the country:

Here's What You're Missing When You Go Out For Mexican

Here's What You're Missing When You Go Out For Mexican

Mexican food enjoys a rare status in the United States -- it is a staple across the entire country. In fact, at this point, Mexican food is American food. And while there are a few holdouts who will say that they don't enjoy Mexican restaurants, they are the exception to the rule. It helps that no matter where you live, it is widely accessible. Here in the States, there are 67,391 restaurants that serve burritos, and one out of every 10 U.S. restaurants sells Mexican food, making it the most popular international cuisine in the country.
 

 The 10 Best Mexican Food Dishes, Ranked

The 10 Best Mexican Food Dishes, Ranked

Mexico is one of the top four "megabiodiverse" countries of the world, meaning that 60-70% of the planet's diverse plant and animal species are in Mexico. That incredible range of ingredients has given the country a highly distinct culinary tradition that is, in itself, also incredibly diverse.