Is There Any Good Mexican Food in England?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what's the difference between Tex-Mex and New Mexican food?

DEAR READERS: The U.K.'s spectacular Guardian newspaper asked if I could field some questions for its readers as part of the paper's summer travel package—turns out Brits want to know more about Mexican food! Let's be benevolent toward those buggerers; their idea of what our comida constitutes comes solely from their gabacho cousins, not any actual Mexicans. Gracias to the Guardian for the opportunity, and mark my words: We Mexicans are going to avenge the Armada, with the Irish as our wingmen. So, without further ado . . .

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DEAR MEXICAN: I'm a Brit who's traveling to New Mexico and Texas during the summer. We love our Tex-Mex in England—all that chile and yellow cheese! So where can I get the good stuff?

The Boy With the Nachos In His Side

    

DEAR LIMEY: For starters, you're not going to find much chile and yellow cheese in New Mexico, or even in all parts of Texas—the two states have about as much in common as Doctor Who and Star Wars. New Mexico is most famous for its Hatch chiles, fulsome, fleshy peppers from the southern part of the Land of Enchantment that the state's residents either eat whole, grill and place inside cheeseburgers (the Blake's Lotaburger chain is famous for its version), or turn into a stew. That state's Mexican food is unique because it dates back to the days of the Spanish conquistadors, back when you Brits were still eating one another at Jamestown. You should think of Texas, meanwhile, as the Indian subcontinent: a large, unwieldy country, with edible brimstone (curry for the Asians, salsa for the Mexis) the sole unifier. Since you want to visit New Mexico as well, you'll probably only be able to travel to El Paso—make sure to stop by Chico's Tacos and order the rolled tacos, which we Yanks call taquitos. Just in case you travel elsewhere in Texas, here's a brief primer on Tex-Mex faves: In San Antonio, the natives eat puffy tacos, which resemble Cornish pastys inflated to their golden, crispy extreme. South Texas is famous for barbacoa (a slow-roasted cow's head) and cabrito (slow-roasted kid—have the Pakis taught y'all to eat goat yet?). Texas is also the land of nachos, so do me a favor: Remind them that they stole the idea of vile yellow goop poured over crunchy trash from your Welsh rarebit.

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DEAR MEXICAN: Do we have authentic Mexican food in the United Kingdom?

Black Legend Bloke

    

DEAR LIMEY: Yes, and no. My friends who have traveled across the pond always return with horror stories about the Mexican food there, and they all agree with the Top Gear pendejos—Mexican food in Britain is refried sick. But it's still Mexican food. See, all tacos are created equal, but some tacos are more equal than others. When people ask about "authentic" food, they mean regional Mexican specialties that haven't achieved widespread popularity à la tacos and tequila. A good place to try such dishes in the U.K. is London's Wahaca—its mescal comes from Mexico's rural regions, tinga is a meat preparation from Mexico City, and pibil is the pride and joy of the Yucatan. I'll only fault Wahaca for its silly name, a transliteration of the Mexican state of Oaxaca—you tea sippers too stupid to learn how to pronounce Nahuatl?

 
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6 comments
dayglo_pendejo
dayglo_pendejo

Back when I lived in London in 1991-92, I knew of precisely two Mexican restaurants in the west end.  One was one of those uptight, overpriced places that served £10 margaritas, and the other was the Taco Bell near the Earls Court tube station.  

Every once in a while I'd get a jones for tacos, so I'd stop by the TB to get my (admittedly weak) fix. Unfortunately I was only able to make a run for the border a few times, as that Taco Bell closed down after only being open a few months.

MasculinaziPea
MasculinaziPea

As far as I know, there are hardly any Mexican restaurants or businesses in all nations of the UK because Mexicans living here are a rarity (roughly 300 people or less). I think there would be more of a Mexican foothold in Spain, although I heard that the Spanish, not all, are bigoted/racist towards mixed peoples of their former colonies.

The popular foreign food businesses here that have a big impact are Indian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Italian and American. If we want good Mexican shit, we'd go to the US and Mexico for that.

itchy
itchy

does mexican food harm the ozone layer?

Vawlkee
Vawlkee

You call them "Limey" eh?

How'd you like me to call you "Beaner"??

Admit it Gustavo, you really hate white people!

Bigots come in all races and creeds, you make me sick!

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

"we Yanks " good lord. no no no. your needles don't get to be couched in America hate. 

Actually though, I think you should compare/contrast a proper torta with a nice donner kabab. 

Kilakona
Kilakona

While I know "Limey" is considered offensive, I believe it's (unfairly) considered okay to say, a la 'gringo,' 'honky,' and 'cracker' (also unfair, in my opinion).  What caught my eye was Gustavo's saying "buggerers."  Wasn't that akin to calling the Brits sodomizers?  

 
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