¡Fake Mexican Food! ¿What’s the Least Authentic You’ve Seen?

Taco Bell logo.svg

¡Fake Mexican Food! 

¡Audience participation requested!   ¿Can you beat “Doritos Locos Tacos”?  ¿Or is the combinacion plate of nasty Taco Bell beef and big brand hard-shell paired with the messed up Spanish adjective order bastante?

“Something is lacking here,” said one customer at the Apodaca restaurant, Jonathan Elorriaga, 26. “Maybe the food shouldn’t come with french fries.” [1]

So said a customer at the only Taco Bell restaurant in Mexico.  Other customers were confused.

It’s still a mixed message for Mexicans like Marco Fragoso, a 39-year-old office worker sitting down for lunch at a traditional taqueria in Mexico City, because the U.S. chain uses traditional Mexican names for its burritos, gorditas, and chalupas.

“They’re not tacos,” Fragoso said. “They’re folded tostadas. They’re very ugly.” [1]


¿Taco Bell In Mexico?

Taco Bell twice opened high-profile restaurants  in Mexico (Mexico City in 1992 and Monterrey in 2007).  Both imperialistic efforts closed, no more successful than Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Con el cierre de las dos sucursales de Monterrey, la aventura de Taco Bell, por segunda ocasión en menos de 18 años, tuvo un triste final en la tierra que precisamente inspiró su menú. [2]

El Pollo Loco logo.svg

¿What’s the Most Offensive Chain Logo? 

I vote Taco Del Mar.


¿What’s the Least Authentic Mexican Food You’ve Seen?

Is it:  ¿Taco Cabana?  ¿Taco Bell?  ¿On The Border?  ¿TacoTime?  ¿Del Taco?  ¿Chi-Chi’s?   ¿El Pollo Loco?   ¿Green Burrito?  ¿Mucho Burrito?   ¿Taco John’s?  ¿Taco Del Mar?  ¿El Famous Burrito? ¿ Taco Bueno?  ¿Or would you like to nominate one I’m unfamiliar with?

 Corporate logo of Taco Bueno

We, the gringos y gabachos, love Mexican food.  Sadly, Mexicans rarely recognize our popular “Mexican” food.  Ask an Oaxacan restaurateur about  burritos and he stares at you, trying to recall if some panista from the north once asked for one.  Don’t even try Potatoes Olé off the Taco John’s menu.

I have a little fun with this topic in my novel Details:

“There’s no such thing as Mexican pizza or enchirito,” Cristina warned with a laugh.

“Bummer, I don’t see Potatoes Olé or Bell Burgers, either.”  I pointed to an overhead white screen.  What looked like children’s alphabet letters spelled chorizo, torta, and tamale.

Cristina laughed, “Sorry, Potatoes Olé come from Baja Idaho.  The Gómez are from Guanajuato.”  She turned to Pilar.  “He wants the Meximelt.  With fire sauce.”

In Eloisa, we find the Mexican pop star hiding from the paparazzi at a place they’d never expect.  She opens the Applebee’s menu:

She laughed as she read. “Steak Quesadilla Tower?”

I peered up from the salad entre section on my menu.  I saw a server carry a plate with a mountain of French fries, obscuring all but the top of a burger’s sesame seed bun.  Eloisa’s eyes caught the other item on the server’s tray, a Mucho-sized glass of margarita with a lime wedge and a couple of strawberries on top.

“Mi Madre no cook Steak Quesadilla Tower!  Chicken fajita roll-up with French fries?  Chicken wonton tacos?  Is wonton China food?”

I must have missed some.  ¿What crazy items litter the menu at your local, inauthentic Mexican chain?


[1] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21209104/


Pictures from Wikipedia Commons, except OK Burrito, taken by author.



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