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Did You Know That This Is How Your Tex-Mex Food Should Be Served?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
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Tex-Mex cuisine has found its way into the history of the United States. Author Diane Kennedy inadvertently gave this style of food a rightful place, although she stated that Tex-Mex dishes aren’t authentic Mexican cuisine. However, as something far more interesting, they hold their own place as one of America’s oldest regional cuisines.

People argue against Kennedy’s opinion in regards to nachos, fajitas, and tacos and continue to see them as authentic Mexican dishes. Others understand Kennedy’s stand on these foods. In their opinion, these dishes are a combination of foods so they are not pure. Tex-Mex lovers would say that this is what makes the food so delicious, because it brings together multiple flavors to enhance each dish.

Even though popularity has grown for Tex-Mex cuisine, you may not realize there are “rules” behind properly serving this type of food.

Margaritas and Tex-Mex food served at the Plaza Restaurant

Chips and salsa should arrive first

As soon as you sit down at your table, you should be served chips and salsa. The chips need to be warmed, and at a restaurant, should be brought when the server comes for your drink order. This free-food aspect of Tex-Mex cuisine is a bonus not often found with other cuisines. If you are given a green sauce, many would agree that you have gotten an added treat.

Margaritas must be frozen

When you place your drink order for a Margarita, you should know it will come frozen. You can ask your server for one “on-the-rocks,” however. Frozen margaritas were invented in Dallas, Texas and are considered authentic Tex-Mex. These drinks are the perfect cocktail for Tex-Mex foods as they are refreshing and strong.

Flour tortillas should be made in-house

If the dish you’ve selected contains flour tortillas, they should have been made at the restaurant. In the world of Tex-Mex, flour tortillas reign supreme and should not be taken lightly. They are perfect for leftovers and mini burritos, so see if you can order a batch to-go before leaving the restaurant.

fresh flour tortillas at the Plaza Restaurant

Every nacho must be covered

The Tex-Mex method of serving Nachos is not what you will find at a sports bar. They should not be a pile of soggy chips found underneath a pile of toppings. The Tex-Mex version of nachos serves each individual chip with all of the ingredients. Making the dish this way means you will not have a plate full of plain chips once you’ve eaten the top.

Plates are oval and always brought out hot

Oval-shaped plates present Tex-Mex foods more appropriately. This shape allows for your dish to be surrounded by beans and rice. These plates have become iconic in Tex-Mex restaurants and should be placed in front of you piping hot.

Hefty portions of beans and rice should be served

Refried beans and Mexican rice make excellent plate-ends, especially if you’ve chosen an entree with sauce. They are almost always served on the same plate so you can mix them into your entree or eat them separately. There is no rule regarding how you include the rice and beans into your meal.

Yellow cheese is the best for melting

Mexican food can contain Oaxacan or Cotija cheeses, while Tex-Mex should always use processed American cheese. This difference comes from the fact that Tex-Mex is a Mexican technique of cooking with American ingredients. Some restaurants do choose to use Monterey Jack cheese with enchiladas, but may not achieve that fantastic melting only yellow American cheese can provide.

Chili gravy and other sauces should be offered

One primary key to real Tex-Mex dishes is the chili gravy. This gravy is brown-red and includes chili powder in most restaurants. When first introduced, this gravy always included ancho chiles, but restaurants have changed many of their recipes to use chili powder instead. The most common dish that will serve you chili gravy is a plate full of enchiladas. You may also see it served with tamales.

Other sauces are served with Tex-Mex food throughout the country, with red, green, queso, and sour cream being required staples. Other restaurants prefer to serve other options, like jalapeno cream sauce or tomato sauce, to complement their dishes.

At your local Plaza Restaurant, we specialize in making fresh Tex-Mex food. Take a look at our Menu to see the wide array of options we have available and Check out our Locations to find a restaurant near you, including in Amarillo, Lubbock, Borger, Pampa, Childress and Dumas Texas and Altus, Oklahoma. We are family owned and operated and have been creating quality Tex-Mex dishes since 1982.