While many people may have eaten at a Mexican restaurant, they may not be sure if it was a Tex Mex grill or an authentic South American style restaurant. While both are great restaurants with wonderful menus, there are ways to differentiate one from the other.
First, it is important to understand what the term Tex Mex grill and restaurant means. Many years ago people began to immigrate to the United States from Mexico. They brought with them the recipes from their region of that large country. Each region has specific recipes that will vary depending on what types of ingredients are available to them. The southern region may have many recipes that feature local fish, shrimp, or other seafood. The poorer northern regions may feature recipes that have other types of proteins in them such as chicken or goat. Once they had settled in the United States, they realized that some of the ingredients were not readily available. They also realized that some of the dishes did not really appeal to the local people. So they began to change the recipes to suit the tastes of those who live north of the border. One of those changes was to use more beef than other types of meat. They also modified their choices for spices. This is how the Americanized, Tex Mex restaurants were born.
Authentic South American restaurants serve recipes that incorporate the actual ingredients that would be found in a dish if one were to order it when in that region of Mexico. This usually means that hard taco shells and beef will not be as prevalent on the menu. A visiting patron may also find dishes that they might never have heard of before. As stated before, there are many regions of this country, with varying local dishes. Proprietors will likely feature specialty menu options that are indicative of their culture. Therefore, not all authentic South American restaurants will have the same dishes offered.
Both authentic Mexican cuisine and Tex Mex grill menus are very delicious. It is simply a matter of what the customer prefers. People who may have been to different areas of the country south of the border may prefer the more authentic recipes. On the other hand, there will be many who have always dined at the more American influenced establishments and will prefer the menu of a Tex Mex grill. People who grew up in Mexico may also prefer the more authentic type of recipes.
Recipes that come from South America also feature dishes that are culturally diverse. Over time, there have been many different countries that have influenced the way that the Hispanic people both cook and eat. As these cultures meshed, the result was a mixture of old Mexican recipes and a new flair. This is true for the United States as well. As the recipes made their way to this country, they began to change to incorporate the tastes and ingredients that are often widely used and accepted as standard fare in the states.
This is a prime example of how a Tex Mex grill and an authentic Mexican food restaurant will differ today.