It's really hard to find good Mexican food in the states unless you live in Texas or anywhere near the Mexican border. Maybe it's because making Mexican food that's really good isn't so easy. Oh sure, you can head on over to Chili's or Taco Bell for a poor substitute, but for really good Mexican food you want to stay away from those places, especially Taco Bell.
And while we're on the subject, let's just briefly touch on Taco Bell. Have you ever been to a Taco Bell? Have you ever had one of their so called tacos? The shells are so flimsy that they'd fall apart in a good stiff breeze. The filling is so wimpy that you could get spaghetti sauce with more zip. I realize the idiots who created this place think that Americans can't handle spicy food, but this is a joke. To even try to pass this off as Mexican food is an insult to Mexicans.
Chili's is a little better. Some of their dishes actually do have a little zip to them and they do have a much wider variety on their menu. Of course that is to be expected since Taco Bell is a fast food joint and Chili's is an actual sit down restaurant where you get served a decent meal. The operative word here is decent. It's nothing that's going to have a Mexican run out of the place singing its praises.
The closest you're going to come to good Mexican food in the states is if you go to those little village restaurants in predominantly Mexican neighborhoods. Because there are so many Mexicans living in these areas, the local food joints have to at least try to come out with a quality product. And in most cases, the food is actually quite authentic and not too bad. It is certainly hotter than anything you're going to find at a Taco Bell or a Chili's. The problem is finding these places. Most of the neighborhoods themselves are kind of run down so they're not the kind of places you want to travel to alone. Your best bet is to have a Mexican friend who lives by one of these establishments so you can go as his guest. Otherwise, you probably don't want to travel there by yourself.
For the most part, when you do find a good Mexican restaurant, you want to stick to things that are basic unless you have an iron clad constitution. Some of the stuff can literally burn a hole in your stomach if you're not used to it. One place in Jersey actually, specializes in Chili that's made with very hot sauce. Grown men have been made to cry eating this stuff. Definitely not for the meek. Just make sure you have plenty of crackers with you. Water doesn't help. It only makes it worse.
Yes, finding a very good Mexican restaurant in the states is like looking for gold in your backyard. But, with a lot of perseverance and a little luck, you just might find one that will curl the hair on your nose.
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