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Old 08-07-2019, 10:28 AM
pulykamell is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 48,063
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
If a Mexican joint doesn't have a painting and/or statue of Popocatépetl & Iztaccíhuatl, is it even a Mexican restaurant?
Huh. Don't think I've seen that in any of the Mexican joints around here. A painting or statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Yes. Pretty much required.

Chips & salsa have nothing to do here with the "authenticity" of a joint. Half the places will serve you up with still-warm chips and a couple of homemade salsas (sometimes one of those is even warm.) Seafood Mexican joints will sometimes give you salsa and a small portion of ceviche for free. Other places might even give you a small bowl of fideo or some kind of other Mexican amuse-bouche/botana kind of thing (complimentary.)

I also don't agree with the turmeric-stained fingers with Indian restaurants. Not all Indian food is turmeric heavy (most of the stuff I eat isn't, and I work in the Indian community a lot and eat a lot of food that you don't typically find at Indian restaurants around here.)

I don't have any real rules for what might clue me in to it being authentic or not. A menu in the language of the ethnic restaurant is a reasonable sign, and the presence of customers of that ethnicity are a good sign, as well.