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View Poll Results: What city makes the best Mexican food?
San Diego 46 8.27%
Los Angeles 133 23.92%
Pheonix 19 3.42%
Las Vegas 1 0.18%
Alburqurque 71 12.77%
Dallas 69 12.41%
San Anotonio 83 14.93%
Dallas/Fort Worth 10 1.80%
Houston 45 8.09%
Other 79 14.21%
Voters: 556. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-02-2015, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
1,383 posts, read 1,688,416 times
Reputation: 1709

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Can we see more pictures of the best Mexican food in the country on molded plastic plates with a half-pound of iceburg lettuce, tomato slices, and dark yellow American cheese shredded over it, please?
I'll do it a bit better since I'll show you my absolute favorite Mexican/New Mexican place in Albuquerque: El Modelo Mexican Foods. It's been around since the 1920s and I know from members in my family that they have been consistent with their flavor for at least sixty or so years. So, they must be doing something right.

Not only do they pile shredded iceberg lettuce and finely shredded cheddar cheese on most of the things I most love eating there, but they also use only styrofoam plates, paper bowls, thin tissue paper and white butcher paper to wrap and serve their food. Then, they put it all in a plastic bag with plastic utensils and packs of Kraft honey for the sopaipillas.


Here's what I most love from the Modelo;

Mexican Plate

https://www.facebook.com/26250789718...755295/?type=1

Stuffed Sopaipillas

https://www.facebook.com/26250789718...859327/?type=1

Tamales

https://www.facebook.com/26250789718...027622/?type=1

And here's the typical line out the door and down the street around Christmas when seemingly everybody in town drops by for some of their tamales:

https://www.facebook.com/AbqNewsCast...588267/?type=1


Aside from my favorites, they have a full and diverse menu: http://www.elmodelomexicanfoods.com/El_Modelo_Menu.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityKing View Post
Yes , I can share plenty, since I actually live the culture and I am actually of hispanic origin .

Your opinion is laughable at best due to the fact you're from Wisconsin, stick to cheese
Ha! I love it. But you will find plenty of uppity Mexicans who will try to diss places like the Modelo as not being authentic or somehow inferior because they use ingredients such as iceberg lettuce. I, unlike them, know that taste is all that truly matters. And you can't beat the taste of the Modelo in my view.


I grew up eating plenty of the more exotic Mexican foods such as buche, lengua and oxtail stew, but there's nothing like good New Mexican flat enchiladas with a fried egg on top and piles of shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes and white onions. A good green chile stew and green-chile-stuffed-with-cheese and fried-in-a-batter chile rellenos (not the poblano ones stuffed with meat and raisins) are incredible as well.

I grew up with a more Mexican side of my family (my dad's) and a more American and native New Mexican Hispanic side (my mom's), so I personally grew up with a mix of both classic New Mexican and more exotic Mexican foods.

Many of the dishes I prepare are a mix of the two cuisines. For instance, my last two meals consisted of pan-fried steaks smothered in green chile with fideos flavored with chicken bouillon cubes (the horror).

The other was chilaquiles with a New Mexican red chile sauce made from powdered chile (shriek!) along with steak strips fried with chopped onion and jalapenos and served with a Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice Side that I prepared ().

My family is and was authentic and we weren't too snobby to use normal, everyday American ingredients and convenience foods along with what we cook. Unlike many we don't feel the need to prove how Mexican we are or how authentic we can be in our cooking. Instead, we just are Mexican and Hispanic. And what we eat is a product of where we come from and where we live now.

My next big meal this weekend is going to be green chile chicken enchiladas with a side of the original Rice-a-Roni cooked with chopped white onions and canned Walmart brand mushrooms. (Have any of you snobs fainted yet?)
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: worldwide
696 posts, read 880,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQalex View Post

Not only do they pile shredded iceberg lettuce and finely shredded cheddar cheese on most of the things I most love eating there, but they also use only styrofoam plates, paper bowls, thin tissue paper and white butcher paper to wrap and serve their food. Then, they put it all in a plastic bag with plastic utensils and packs of Kraft honey for the sopaipillas.

Hahaha I'm laughing so hard at this. Add in we only use American cheese as well , because anything that doesn't come straight out of Wisconsin is not REAL cheese! It's also NOT REAL Mexican unless we are from a state that has nothing to do with mexican culture or tradition, and unless we've traveled to latin countries outside America oh yea and our wife has to be 1/2 mexican too. Disregard people who actually live it and come from that background
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:16 PM
 
6,955 posts, read 14,084,889 times
Reputation: 4533
Maybe all those plates are authentic, maybe not. I've never been to NM, so I won't say either way. But one thing I can say for sure is that LA is the city of authentic tacos. I can walk into probably 90% of the restaurants here and be 100% satisfied with my tacos. Tbh, I have NEVER been dissatisfied with a taco experience in LA before. 23 years of eating tacos in LA and never a single bad experience. And LA tacos don't have lettuce and cheese on them. Just tortillas, meat, cilantro, onion, salsa. I have to admit though that Tito's Tacos in LA is famous and they use lettuce and yellow cheese. But Mexicans straight from Mexico will even admit they make great tacos. The flavor and cooking style are there, just the cheese and lettuce are used. So given that, maybe the NM Mexican food is good and I'd have to consider something with lettuce and cheese on it to be authentic. The diced tomatoes though? Nooooo!! I've only ever had that at Taco Bell!

Also, I've been pleasantly surprised at the Mexican food in Louisville believe it or not. My favorite place there tastes no different than any taqueria in LA.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,394,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cityKing View Post
Hahaha I'm laughing so hard at this. Add in we only use American cheese as well , because anything that doesn't come straight out of Wisconsin is not REAL cheese! It's also NOT REAL Mexican unless we are from a state that has nothing to do with mexican culture or tradition, and unless we've traveled to latin countries outside America oh yea and our wife has to be 1/2 mexican too. Disregard people who actually live it and come from that background
American cheese isn't real cheese because...it's not cheese and cannot legally be sold as "cheese" in the US. You can call it "cheese food," however, if cheese is added to it at the end of the process. In the UK, it's "American slices" or "American cheese" but it's illegal to call it straight-up cheese, because IT'S NOT ACTUALLY CHEESE. Understood? You told me you were latin and that you lived in a Mexican area, so I explained that I live in a Mexican area and my wife's family is Mexican. Nothing outlandish about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Maybe all those plates are authentic, maybe not. I've never been to NM, so I won't say either way. But one thing I can say for sure is that LA is the city of authentic tacos. I can walk into probably 90% of the restaurants here and be 100% satisfied with my tacos. Tbh, I have NEVER been dissatisfied with a taco experience in LA before. 23 years of eating tacos in LA and never a single bad experience. And LA tacos don't have lettuce and cheese on them. Just tortillas, meat, cilantro, onion, salsa. I have to admit though that Tito's Tacos in LA is famous and they use lettuce and yellow cheese. But Mexicans straight from Mexico will even admit they make great tacos. The flavor and cooking style are there, just the cheese and lettuce are used. So given that, maybe the NM Mexican food is good and I'd have to consider something with lettuce and cheese on it to be authentic. The diced tomatoes though? Nooooo!! I've only ever had that at Taco Bell!
Right, or Chicago tacos, or LA tacos, or Mexican tacos, or really any area where authentic Mexican hasn't been bastardized by Americanization. Fake yellow processed cheeses, cheap nutrition-less iceburg lettuce, and mass-produced tasteless tomato slices are all products of the old America where the cheaper you can buy your food, the better, regardless of what it actually contains. Mass manufacture of foods the way we build them cars in Dee-troit.

My favorite joints down the street serve tacos that are tortillas, meat (spiced/cooked differently depending on the meat), cilantro and onion. I usually throw salsa and squeeze some lime on them. The addition of cheese and iceburg lettuce only distract from a perfect taco. I would prefer never eating iceburg lettuce on ANYTHING ever again - what exactly is it adding?

What's happening here is people are confusing Mexican food with Americanized Mexican food (southwest, tex-mex, etc.). And the people in those regions have such a long history around it they often mistakenly think what they have is more authentic than many areas dominated by first and second and third generation Mexicans, who in fact are used to and prefer a more authentic dish.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Miami Beach, FL/Tokyo, Japan
1,699 posts, read 1,596,142 times
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New Mexican cuisine is a local variant cuisine that bears many similarities to Mexican food but also differences. It's not "Mexican" food. In some ways, you can argue that Tex-Mex is more "Mexican" than New Mexican food.

That being said, it's good but also one note. It doesn't compare to the varieties of Mexican food found across all regions of Mexico. There is only one city in the USA where you can eat a variety of quality of Mexican food easily and that's Los Angeles. Even other major, relatively Mexican cities, like Houston and Dallas area do not cut it. Chicago is surprisingly good given it's a midwestern city east of the Mississippi but it still has a long way to go before it catches up to Los Angeles.

That leaves San Diego. TBH, I don't see how anyone is voting for San Diego. Its Mexican fare is surprisingly weak given her location of being tucked in-between Los Angeles and Mexico. In fact, touching Mexico! Is it because San Diego is a border city? Or is it because a lot of midwestern tourists try "Mexican" food there for the first time? People who are voting San Diego, justify your position.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Jesus, I actually agree with nearly every word you posted, though you paint with an overly-broad brush, as usual.

And I don't think it's "midwestern tourists" rating SD so high, why would that be? Seems like it would be locals + regions without quality Mexican food who vacationed there (basically, anywhere east of Illinois, north-to-south).
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:45 AM
 
Location: worldwide
696 posts, read 880,189 times
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The only people I feel should have an opinion on what Mexican food actually is and what the best is are people of Hispanic origin and who have actually lived it culturally. There is no point in any other ethnic group outside Hispanic origin coming into our house and telling us whats real and what's not when they are white or any other background besides Hispanic. No living in a state where there is one Mexican neighborhood does not count, being married to a 1/2 does not count. Living in a region where their is minimal Hispanics does not count. Traveling a couple of times out of the country does not count .

That would be like a kid from the suburbs saying what real rap music is to street people who really lived it. How is some white wannabe (malibus most wanted) going to start telling blacks and Hispanics they are doing rap music wrong when they never lived it? Makes no sense at all. Same thing a city person who never lived the country life starts to think he knows everything about country music and what's good and what's not when he never lived it when he's just visited twice he thinks he knows. Exact same thing is going on this thread my bet is that the vast majority of the people here never lived it , don't know it, and never experienced it culturally. Somehow they have the biggest opinions here. How's some white guy going to walk into a Mexicans house and tell them are making tacos and enchiladas wrong? That their food isn't authentic enough? What's real and what's not? Makes no sense SMH.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:13 AM
PDF
 
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Los Angeles.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:23 AM
 
6,955 posts, read 14,084,889 times
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I think I count. I'm white, but I'm born and raised in the city of LA. My high school was like 50/50 white/Hispanic. As a kid I did even venture to the barrios with my Latina nanny. I was raised by her for a while on a strictly Latin food diet basically and I was raised bilingual and still am to this day. I'm Jewish but still attended Hispanic Catholic masses with her. I'm honestly culturally more Hispanic than many Hispanics I know. Just because my parents didn't come from a Latin American country doesn't mean I can't know. Even my best friends' parents have made me an honorary Latino, they love that I'm so involved in the culture, the abuelas love that I can speak Spanish with them and help them cook for Christmas and Easter and stuff. Would you really tell a Chinese person growing up in America that they don't understand American food and culture just because their parents aren't American? That's basically my situation. My parents aren't Hispanic, but I have been basically just as involved in the Hispanic culture as the white and Jewish cultures all my life.

That said, I can definitively 100%, even as an honorary Latino according to los padres y las abuelas, say that LA has the best Mexican food. I grew up eating this. I go to the taquerias where I have to order in Spanish and I'm the only gringo there. I eat tacos only where the real Mexicans do. So yes, I know what good Mexican food tastes like. I also refuse to pay for expensive Mexican food because it's always fake and not as good. The real Mexican way is done with tortilla, meat, cilantro, onion and then you add your own salsa on top and squeeze a lime if you want. That's ubiquitous in LA. Maybe a stand out establishment somewhere in the country is a 10/10, but I'd rate LA's tacos consistently in the 8.5-10/10 range. I've never had a taco I'd rate under 8.5 in LA. Other cities might have a place that could make a taco 10/10, but the rest will probably be much worse than that.

SD doesn't have the large Mexican population that LA does. It's more white there. LA has more blue collar labor jobs in manufacturing and shipping and industries that attract unskilled labor. The immigrant population generally ends up in places where unskilled laborers are required and SD doesn't have as much of that as LA. With the higher Mexican population, LA has the better Mexican food.

Chicago definitely can hold its own for such the wild card that it is.

No matter how large the Mexican population of Houston or any part of Texas, it always has the Tex Mex vibe to me. Maybe El Paso is different, Houston just doesn't seem to have the authentic taqueria style Mexican food like LA. There's a few, I'm sure, but not all over the city in that style.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:36 AM
 
Location: LoS ScAnDaLoUs KiLLa CaLI
1,227 posts, read 1,194,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Jesus, I actually agree with nearly every word you posted, though you paint with an overly-broad brush, as usual.

And I don't think it's "midwestern tourists" rating SD so high, why would that be? Seems like it would be locals + regions without quality Mexican food who vacationed there (basically, anywhere east of Illinois, north-to-south).
You seem to forget where you are: this is City-Data. Without broad generalizations, City-Data wouldn't be City-Data.

It's funny because some of the posters here honestly believe that if you take a chef out of a certain place, the quality of food would get worse even if they have access to the same ingredients. FOH.
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