Some of the best Mexican restaurants are the ones you just stumble upon. They might not always look like much from the outside, but it’s the food that counts, and the best Mexican restaurants always have that covered.
When counted in 2011, there were 38,000 Mexican restaurants throughout the United States. From coast to coast and north to south, Mexican restaurants have become a favorite place to dine for anyone looking for authentic recipes made with authentic ingredients
Part of the problem with Mexican restaurants is that many restaurants say they are authentic, but just a quick look will tell you they are far from it. Here are three ways you’ll know if your Mexican restaurant is authentic.
1. Drinks are all served in those red frosted cups
If you are on the hunt for some authentic Mexican food, you don’t have to get all the way into the meal to know if you are getting the true experience of some of the best Mexican restaurants. There are a few things that will tip you off straight away, and none more obvious than the red frosted cups. Either small or large, these classic cups help cool down the hot sauce for both the novice and even the experienced Mexican food diners.
2. The hot sauce is on the table
Speaking of cooling off the hot sauce, if your table does not have a half-full bottle of the spiciest sauce out there, chances are you are in the wrong place. Most of the best Mexican restaurants have their favorite hot sauce, and it will likely be a brand you’ve never heard of.
3. The recipes are homegrown and authentic to the restaurant
Mexican food has a 42% market share of ethnic food sales in the United States. Ten percent of all restaurants in the United States sell at least some Mexican food. There is no denying that Americans have a real appetite for it.
At the same time, the authenticity argument is over when you come across a Mexican restaurant where someone’s grandma is in the kitchen, cooking up some of the most unique and insanely delicious meals with recipes that come straight out of the family cookbook.
If you take your Mexican food seriously–as well you should–don’t be fooled by the outward appearance of a place that claims to be authentically Mexican. Go on in and check for yourself. You know what to look for.