What is the Difference Between Tex-Mex and Traditional Mexican Dishes?
The long border between the United States and Mexico has led to many wonderful things. Perhaps the most amazing is the creation of a delicious cuisine. Today, it is common to find a Mexican restaurant that serves both traditional Mexican food and the vibrant hybrid lovingly called Tex-Mex by happy fans everywhere. Both traditional Mexican dishes and modern Tex-Mex incorporate varied flavors, and the difference between the two is one of subtlety. But understanding this difference can help make your Mexican restaurant dining experience even better.
The History of Tex-Mex Food
As people began to travel back and forth between Texas and Mexico, they began to develop a new appreciation for the local foods seen in both places. This movement also began to divide into multiple subcultures as well. Citizens of Arizona and New Mexico began to develop a separate "Tex-Mex" cuisine from that of Texas and the ranchos of California. Today, each area has an interpretation of these dishes that is unique to only that part of the country.
In many classic Mexican dishes, chefs tend to rely on fish and chicken as sources of protein. They also like to use corn for grains. In contrast, many Tex-Mex dishes use ingredients such as beef, wheat flour, cheddar cheese, black beans and cumin. These are items that are more commonly used in the Northern part of Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States.
Contemporary Tex-Mex menus feature dishes that are popular across the southwest. Sizzling fajitas are a delicious Tex-Mex invention. The same is true of chili con carne, cheese enchiladas and chimichangas. Many such dishes use elements of both cuisines. The classic enchiladas that were made with a spicy green tomatillo sauce and topped local white cheese now have an American twist with deeply flavorful cheddar instead.
Savor The Papa Lopez Menu
Papa Lopez is the place for your majority authentic Tex-Mex dishes that people have loved for decades and authentic Mexican food as well. Here, you can sample Tex-Mex dishes such as beef nachos with rich seasonings or a tamale lovingly prepared and then topped with a multilayered chili con carne sauce. The menu at Papa Lopez also features some traditional Mexican dishes that make an ideal lunch or dinner for those who love other kinds of Mexican food. Try the gorditas with shredded cheese and chicken along with a side of Mexican coleslaw or the ceviche concha marina. The shrimp and tilapia here are marinated in classic Mexican spices such as cilantro and rubbed with lime.
Papa Lopez is a "Cantina" as well. This means that drinks are always available, so you can enjoy a fun night out with fresh margaritas made in house. Come to Papa Lopez for a great meal in a beautiful setting.