Southwest By South

I never learn.

I keep hoping that I will find a good Mexican food restaurant in the South, and I keep being disappointed.

The last time I did this, I went to a no-name restaurant in Olive Branch, Mississippi. I had hoped that I would get some authentic Mexican food if I steered clear of major chains, but it was not to be.

When my food arrived, I was shocked. The “enchilada sauce” was basically thin ketchup, the gound beef had no seasoning, and the cheese on the taco was mozzarella. It was a huge disappointment.

Today, I’m in Atlanta, and I had lunch at a restaurant called Frontera Mex-Mex Grill. The atmosphere is not bad, the Diet Coke is perfectly balanced (I am in Atlanta, after all, the home of Coca-Cola), and the salsas are not bad, if a little bland for my taste.


Mexican food -- sort of

Now the bad news. Once again, the cheese on the taco and enchilada is mozzarella (or some non-Mexican white cheese.) However, the ground beef tastes pretty good, and the enchilada sauce is … okay, I guess. The real disappointment is the blob in the upper left corner, with the flag sticking out of it. Believe it or not, that’s not a dumpling sitting on a pool of hollandaise, though it appears to be. It’s actually supposed to be a chile relleno. Yes, there is a paper-thin piece of green chile under the deep-fried skin; I checked.

Don’t let this happen to you. If you are from the Southwest, like me, do yourself a favor and avoid Mexican food restaurants in the South. Go get some good ribs, or jambalaya, or something that the South is famous for. Your stomach will thank you.

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