TexMex vs. CalMex

Author
Marsh
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 39
  • Joined: 2002/10/23 13:15:00
  • Location: Beaumont, TX
  • Status: offline
2003/10/27 13:05:21 (permalink)

TexMex vs. CalMex

In my mind, there is a big difference in TexMex and CalMex. TexMex has yellow cheese, pinto beans(refried or ala charra), fried corn tortillas, like chips, tacos, chalupas(or as some call them tostadas), and nachos. CalMex has white cheese, white beans, and flour tortillas like burritos and quesadillas. Black beans and white rice are for Caribbean people, like Cubans. CalMex is not as seasoned as TexMex, but both has Spanish Rice, but In Texas we have sopa fideo. In Texas, we expect free chips and hot sauce with our dinner. We have red enchiladas cheese or beef and we have tamales. Dinner end with sopapillas, jamoncillio, or leche quemada pralines. Iced tea is the requisite beverage with any Texas meal. San Diego fish tacos and the San Francisco mission style burritos has not yet made it big here. Besides the New Mexico green chile stacked enchiladas and the Tucson Chimmichongas, what other variations of "Mexican" are there?
#1

27 Replies Related Threads

    wanderingjew
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 7966
    • Joined: 2001/01/18 18:49:00
    • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
    • Status: online
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/10/27 14:19:49 (permalink)
    Mississippi Mex Tamales, big in the Mississippi Delta area
    #2
    1bbqboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4653
    • Joined: 2000/11/20 16:52:00
    • Location: Rogue Valley
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/10/27 16:21:44 (permalink)
    It's every state-mex now. The Latino culture's move to various states
    is producing different regional variations in every part of the US. Here in Southern Oregon we have a Mexican Seafood Place, numerous Taco Trucks, even More cafe combos.We have delicious dishes like crab enchiladas and lamb, and neat stuff like trays of carrots and peppers to use
    as condiments. Definitely not what I grew up with in Kansas City. Like previous waves of European immigrants, where these new folks come from mixes with where they end up.
    #3
    Rick&Danni
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 6
    • Joined: 2003/11/05 12:40:00
    • Location: Vista, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/11/05 13:09:21 (permalink)
    I disagree with this Tex-Mex/Cal-Mex difference, yes there is a difference between Mexican food from Texas & California, but in California I could take you to 5 different Mexican reseraunts & you could eat 5 different styles of Mexican food. It depends on what part of Mexico the people are from & the food of that region. I love Mexican food, what our family calls a taco you call it a burrito. I grew up on home made tortillas & have relatives in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, & Cal., the main difference is the chile they use. My point is that it goes back to what region of Mexico the recipes came from with the people who came here & setteled in these areas of the US.
    Marsh, nerver been to Texas but grew up on Sopa, tamales, refried & soupie beans - never black beans, tacos (burrito style), & hot homemade chile. Would agree that most of what we now eat has been Americanized or renamed in the reseraunts?
    Not as good as homemade but it will do. I always look for the best chile & tamales.
    #4
    Ralph Isbill
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 185
    • Joined: 2000/08/25 15:07:00
    • Location: Midwest City, OK
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/11/05 16:35:56 (permalink)
    Oklahoma has it's share of Tex-Mex and allother-Mex. If you are in Okla. City try the best Mexican Taco place around. It's
    Tacos San Pedro
    2301 S.W. 44th Street
    405-682-1179

    You will think you are in Mexico, they serve tacos the Mexican way. You will throw rocks at Taco Bell after one trip there.
    #5
    EliseT
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2888
    • Joined: 2001/07/11 13:25:00
    • Location: L.A, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/11/05 23:42:28 (permalink)
    White beans? It's all pintos or black beans here in California. I only see white beans in cassoulet.
    #6
    Marsh
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 39
    • Joined: 2002/10/23 13:15:00
    • Location: Beaumont, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/11/06 09:09:28 (permalink)
    When I refer to Cali, I am more familiar with the Delta, esp. Suisun/Fairfield area. But here in Texas its usually the combo platter with a cold plate with a bean or a ccq chalupa (the flat taco, ie. tostada), beef taco, and a scoop of guac, and a hot plate with a cheese or beef enchilada and pork tamale, with "Spanish rice" and refried beans. And of course lots of free tortilla chips and hot sauce. Of course iced tea along with that, except my sister who insists on Dr. Pepper with every meal. There even one place that serves fideo with the combo platter, they also put in pieces of taco salad flour tortillas covered with cinnamon sugar in with the free chips for after the meal. Until fajita came about that was the extent of "Mexican" food around here. Plenty of yellow cheese and chile gravy. The only reason I like it, its comfort food, but I don't know if others would care for it.
    #7
    Lone Star
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1730
    • Joined: 2003/05/22 10:02:00
    • Location: Houston, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/11/09 00:26:31 (permalink)
    Texmex - I would have to define it as the ultimate comfort food every Texan craves and must have at least once a week, and when out of their native enviorns and deprived, obsess and search endlessly for the fix that you can order by number. (Hot plate! Hot plate! )


    When I think of Cal-Mex - I think of more seafood type dishes, and more cream/white/Jack type sauces.

    New Mex- Mex- Christmas and stacked enchiladas.
    #8
    olphart
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 289
    • Joined: 2003/12/29 18:41:00
    • Location: Bastrop, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2003/12/29 20:21:35 (permalink)
    Marsh, hate to correct you, but the "requisite beverage" to have with Mexican food is not iced tea, rather it is the requisite margarita!
    #9
    rigoleto
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 15
    • Joined: 2004/07/11 03:52:00
    • Location: Mexico City, XX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 04:10:51 (permalink)
    Next time, try Mex-Mex. That is, find a restaurant that's really Mexican, owned by Mexicans and with Mexican clientele. You won't go wrong, and you'll never look back!
    #10
    BT
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3589
    • Joined: 2004/07/03 13:19:00
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 04:47:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rigoleto

    Next time, try Mex-Mex. That is, find a restaurant that's really Mexican, owned by Mexicans and with Mexican clientele. You won't go wrong, and you'll never look back!


    Of course I would never presume to tell a Mexican they don't know how to cook Mexican food, but I do presume to decide what I like (and whether or not I'll look back) and since part of the year I live 30 miles from the border and cross it often, I've gotta say I've eaten some pretty mediocre food in Mexico.

    Now Mexican food, as I'm sure you know, is as varied as is American food with big differences among different parts of the country, and there's lots of delicious dishes that are common in certain regions but which are hardly ever seen in US "Mexican" restaurants. But limiting the discussion to the taco-based street food which we call "Mexican Food", I've got one or two favorite spots just south of the border that really do serve top notch chow as you suggest. But still, even in Mexico there's good and there's not so good.

    What really shocks me is when I see a truck (usually it IS a truck, not a car) with Sonora plates pull up at Taco Bell and a bunch of guys pile inside. Not every Mexican has a distinguished palate.
    #11
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 15335
    • Joined: 2002/08/20 22:32:00
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 10:34:00 (permalink)
    BT
    Not every truckload of Sonora-plate visitors have the money to buy "Genuine TEX-MEX" (or other MEX) meals at the prices charged to the NorteAmericano's in many Mexican restaurants.
    Most of my Students in SoCal, who qualified as genuine Illegals, were happy as little Fence-Climbers to get a sackful of Jack-In-The-Box tacos at 2 for 99cents rather than buy a Mango-Bean Burrito ata restaurant at $3.99 for ONE.
    Here in Indiana I see some of the influx of new immigrants doing the WalMart runs just like us 'Crackers' do...Only they are buying tons of Top Ramen....and any other high volume-low price foodstuffs. I don't think they want to convert to an Asian Ethnic group...I think they are hungry and don't have much money to spend on food.
    This discussion has a real "Let them eat Cake" ring to it, I think.
    #12
    Leania_1stone
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 208
    • Joined: 2003/12/27 02:01:00
    • Location: Searcy, AR
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 12:21:37 (permalink)
    I don't really have any info on the difference between all the cuisuines but I did want to chime in that I love mexican food especially since I've been pregnant and I will NEVER go to Taco Bell we have some wonderful family owned places here in Searcy that have top quality mexican food made by the entire family it's so authentic and delish!! :) And I agree margarita is totally the right drink BUT I live in a dry county so iced tea it is!
    #13
    BT
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3589
    • Joined: 2004/07/03 13:19:00
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 14:34:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    BT
    Not every truckload of Sonora-plate visitors have the money to buy "Genuine TEX-MEX" (or other MEX) meals at the prices charged to the NorteAmericano's in many Mexican restaurants.
    Most of my Students in SoCal, who qualified as genuine Illegals, were happy as little Fence-Climbers to get a sackful of Jack-In-The-Box tacos at 2 for 99cents rather than buy a Mango-Bean Burrito ata restaurant at $3.99 for ONE.
    Here in Indiana I see some of the influx of new immigrants doing the WalMart runs just like us 'Crackers' do...Only they are buying tons of Top Ramen....and any other high volume-low price foodstuffs. I don't think they want to convert to an Asian Ethnic group...I think they are hungry and don't have much money to spend on food.
    This discussion has a real "Let them eat Cake" ring to it, I think.


    No "let them eat cake" intended.

    Right across the street from the aformentioned Taco Bell is a place called Rigoberto's that is locally owned and serves pretty authentic Mexican street food, including tacos, at prices competitive with Taco Bell (when will TB offer tacos made with brains and tripe?). IMHO, it's about 1000% better and I eat there often 'cause I'm retired and pinch pennies as tightly as the average family from south of the border.

    Maybe you don't recall that closer to the border than Indiana, we have lots of taquerias and other sources of fairly authentic Mexican chow at rock bottom prices--some of them are pushcarts or trailers parked at the roadside and offer no sit-down eating (and no mango-bean anything). Taco Bell is a choice based on liking their food, not eating cheaply.

    As far as Wal-Mart goes, there is a Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Nogales (and another in the south end of Tucson) that exists mainly to serve the market of Sonoran folks coming north to shop. And they do a HUGE business. One can stand in the checkout lines for hours.
    #14
    yampladukfoo
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 18
    • Joined: 2004/06/10 00:52:00
    • Location: Cambridge, MA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 16:03:01 (permalink)
    Here in Austin, I have both Tex-Mex and Mex-Mex (I think they call them "Interior Mex" here) fast-food taquerias within a short walk of my place (saying a lot, since Austin is no walking city, especially not my neighbourhood). And I would take the Tex-Mex (Taco Cabana) over any of the Interior Mex places. I like the saltier (and often spicier!) meat, the prevalence of cheese, the crispy shells, and having lettuce and tomato in the tacos rather than just onions and cilantro. Prices are comparable, though Taco Cabana is probably slightly pricier. The only thing I really like at the Interior Mex places is that their sauces are much hotter; other than that, I actually find their food blander and less tasty. Much of the meat often seems like it doesn't even have any seasoning on it, and the hot sauces tend to be pure heat without much flavour. I like Interior Mex places for upscale meals (mole and the like), but for the fast-food level, I prefer Tex. I am of course talking about real Tex-Mex, which Taco Bell isn't; but I agree that Taco Bell's prices are astoundingly low, often even lower than the Interior Mex places. Though as far as price goes, I have to say every one of these places seems magnificently, wonderfully cheap after living in yuppified-to-death Cambridge, Mass!
    #15
    1bbqboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4653
    • Joined: 2000/11/20 16:52:00
    • Location: Rogue Valley
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/11 20:05:06 (permalink)
    Ask 'em for other salsas. most have 3 or 4 they won't bring out for the gringos, unless you know the secret handshake...
    #16
    EdSails
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4138
    • Joined: 2003/05/09 18:39:00
    • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/12 13:50:16 (permalink)
    Mayor-----
    That Mango-Bean Burrito sounds delicious!
    #17
    olphart
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 289
    • Joined: 2003/12/29 18:41:00
    • Location: Bastrop, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/13 19:18:04 (permalink)
    This answer is a bit dated, so I don’t know if it still applies.

    I was in San Diego back in ’68 for some Navy schools. I had a hankering for Mexican food, so I set out with a few guys to find a good place.

    Back then in Houston, a large Mexican plate cost about $2. For that you got guacamole, chili con queso, taco and tostada on the salad plate, and an enchilada, tamale, rice and beans on the hot plate.

    The first restaurant we hit offered rice and beans plus a taco and enchilada for $2. I thought that was outrageous, so I insisted we leave (we were in my car). The second place was the same price for the same items, so we left there, too.

    The guys told me we were eating at the next place no matter what. The third place was the same story, but we stayed, and I ordered the standard plate for the standard $2. On one plate was an enchilada along with the rice and beans, and on the other plate was the taco.

    The taco covered the entire plate. The enchilada was about 2” thick and as long as the place was wide. The entire meal was almost too much to eat, and for me, that’s saying a lot! The taste of the CalMex and TexMex of the time were comparable. The proportions were not.

    Is it still that way?
    #18
    EdSails
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4138
    • Joined: 2003/05/09 18:39:00
    • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/13 20:27:36 (permalink)
    At most of the little places here in SoCal that I frequent-----the burritos are usually too big to finish at once. One the rare occasions when I do get a combo plate, I know it's good for at least two meals-------and more if I take the chips and pickled veggies (yum!) with me.
    #19
    BT
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3589
    • Joined: 2004/07/03 13:19:00
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/14 02:14:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by olphart

    This answer is a bit dated, so I don’t know if it still applies.

    I was in San Diego back in ’68 for some Navy schools. I had a hankering for Mexican food, so I set out with a few guys to find a good place.

    Back then in Houston, a large Mexican plate cost about $2. For that you got guacamole, chili con queso, taco and tostada on the salad plate, and an enchilada, tamale, rice and beans on the hot plate.

    The first restaurant we hit offered rice and beans plus a taco and enchilada for $2. I thought that was outrageous, so I insisted we leave (we were in my car). The second place was the same price for the same items, so we left there, too.

    The guys told me we were eating at the next place no matter what. The third place was the same story, but we stayed, and I ordered the standard plate for the standard $2. On one plate was an enchilada along with the rice and beans, and on the other plate was the taco.

    The taco covered the entire plate. The enchilada was about 2” thick and as long as the place was wide. The entire meal was almost too much to eat, and for me, that’s saying a lot! The taste of the CalMex and TexMex of the time were comparable. The proportions were not.

    Is it still that way?



    As you discovered, there's at least 2 sizes of tortillas. The standard size (approximately 6") is what you were apparently used to. Then there are the HUGE ones typically used for the "mission-style" burrito--and apparently also for the enchilladas you encountered. I have to say that I haven't seen them used for much EXCEPT burritos in northern California. I had tacos for lunch yesterday--they were made with standard 6" tortillas like you were familiar with. They were also made the way that I've read is most authentically Mexican--TWO soft (not deep fried) corn tortillas lying flat on the plate and covered with the filling (in my case, carnitas and tomatillo salsa to which I added some jalapeno in escabeche from the available supply) so that you could pick them up and roll them in your hand for eating.
    #20
    drjgorman
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Joined: 2004/07/30 13:35:00
    • Location: Lomita, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/30 13:37:52 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Marsh

    In my mind, there is a big difference in TexMex and CalMex. TexMex has yellow cheese, pinto beans(refried or ala charra), fried corn tortillas, like chips, tacos, chalupas(or as some call them tostadas), and nachos. CalMex has white cheese, white beans, and flour tortillas like burritos and quesadillas. Black beans and white rice are for Caribbean people, like Cubans. CalMex is not as seasoned as TexMex, but both has Spanish Rice, but In Texas we have sopa fideo. In Texas, we expect free chips and hot sauce with our dinner. We have red enchiladas cheese or beef and we have tamales. Dinner end with sopapillas, jamoncillio, or leche quemada pralines. Iced tea is the requisite beverage with any Texas meal. San Diego fish tacos and the San Francisco mission style burritos has not yet made it big here. Besides the New Mexico green chile stacked enchiladas and the Tucson Chimmichongas, what other variations of "Mexican" are there?
    #21
    drjgorman
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Joined: 2004/07/30 13:35:00
    • Location: Lomita, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/07/30 13:49:40 (permalink)
    I know this is a little late, but I just discovered this site.

    In looking at the comparisons between TexMex and CalMex cuisine, I noticed some things that make me believe that the writer has not eaten much Mexican food, in California. I have lived here for 64 years, and have eaten Mexican food, all my life. I have yet to see white beans in a Mexican meal. We use both white and yellow cheese, although I admit the cheese used most often, just below the border, is white. Fish tacos come from Mexico (Baja.) Corn tortillas are used for tacos, enchiladas, and just for bread. Flour tortillas are used all over Mexico, by people who just like them better (my son-inlaw is from Monterey, and his family uses them all the time.) Flour tortillas are also used for burritos, in California. We also get free chips and salsa with our meals.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Marsh

    In my mind, there is a big difference in TexMex and CalMex. TexMex has yellow cheese, pinto beans(refried or ala charra), fried corn tortillas, like chips, tacos, chalupas(or as some call them tostadas), and nachos. CalMex has white cheese, white beans, and flour tortillas like burritos and quesadillas. Black beans and white rice are for Caribbean people, like Cubans. CalMex is not as seasoned as TexMex, but both has Spanish Rice, but In Texas we have sopa fideo. In Texas, we expect free chips and hot sauce with our dinner. We have red enchiladas cheese or beef and we have tamales. Dinner end with sopapillas, jamoncillio, or leche quemada pralines. Iced tea is the requisite beverage with any Texas meal. San Diego fish tacos and the San Francisco mission style burritos has not yet made it big here. Besides the New Mexico green chile stacked enchiladas and the Tucson Chimmichongas, what other variations of "Mexican" are there?
    #22
    Farfromhome
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 108
    • Joined: 2004/08/11 23:41:00
    • Location: Mckinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/08/12 00:24:07 (permalink)
    Hi everyone. I found this site by doing a web search for Tex Mex recipes. I spent most of my life in Texas, and have lived in Southern California for 2 years now and I have to say that the cuisines are different, but especially when it comes to Mexican Food.

    Don't get me wrong the Mexican food you find in California is good, but its not the same. I've yet to see any white bean dishes in the Mexican restaurants, however most of the restaurants I've been to serve black beans instead of pinto beans, they've never heard of chile con queso, and the sauces are just different. The first Mexican restaurant I went to in california I ordered a plate that had a tamale, a cheese enchilada and a taco on it. I also asked for chili con queso, thinking it must be something thats off the menu (which isn't unusual in Texas, I think it may be a law there that mexican restaurants have to serve it. The waiter brought out a plate with some shredded monterey jack cheese and some green chilies on it! The tamale was huge - and super doughy. The taco had this stringy shredded meat in it and the gravy on the enchilada was sweet not spicy. Also the cheese in the enchilada was different. It was white and just had no real texture to it. I learned the difference between tamales is in the masa. in the southern part of Texas ingredients like baking powder are not added to the masa and in California (at least the restaurants I've been to) they add a lot of baking powder to the masa so it makes it poofier for lack of a better word. Another difference someone else mentioned is the size of the items. The taco was HUGE - the tortilla they had stuffed this meat in was the size you'd make a super sized burrito in however it was a corn tortilla. The tamale was at least 3 times the size of the ones I was used to in Texas and the enchilada was also substantially bigger. Fajitas however are about the same in both states! I've yet to see any Cali-mex restaurants selling sopapillas or pecan pralines. Also in Texas most of the mexican food (in my experience at least) was cooked with Gebherdt chili powder, and its sometimes hard to find in California and greatly overpriced when you do find it. I've taken to begging relatives to send me cases of if for holidays and birthdays
    #23
    BT
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3589
    • Joined: 2004/07/03 13:19:00
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2004/08/12 02:22:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Farfromhome

    The first Mexican restaurant I went to in california I ordered a plate that had a tamale, a cheese enchilada and a taco on it. The tamale was huge - and super doughy. The taco had this stringy shredded meat in it and the gravy on the enchilada was sweet not spicy. Also the cheese in the enchilada was different. It was white and just had no real texture to it. I learned the difference between tamales is in the masa. in the southern part of Texas ingredients like baking powder are not added to the masa and in California (at least the restaurants I've been to) they add a lot of baking powder to the masa so it makes it poofier for lack of a better word. Another difference someone else mentioned is the size of the items. The taco was HUGE - the tortilla they had stuffed this meat in was the size you'd make a super sized burrito in however it was a corn tortilla. The tamale was at least 3 times the size of the ones I was used to in Texas and the enchilada was also substantially bigger. Fajitas however are about the same in both states! I've yet to see any Cali-mex restaurants selling sopapillas or pecan pralines. Also in Texas most of the mexican food (in my experience at least) was cooked with Gebherdt chili powder, and its sometimes hard to find in California and greatly overpriced when you do find it. I've taken to begging relatives to send me cases of if for holidays and birthdays


    I don't know where you guys are eating and getting these super-sized tortillas and things. I've lived in CA for 22 years and I haven't seen this phenomenon. The very large tortillas are used for burritos, but that's pretty much it anywhere I've eaten. They do sell larger ones, as well as the regular size, in markets, but I haven't seen the used in restaurants.

    The "stringy shredded meat" you refer to is skirt steak (or sometimes flank steak) and may be unusual in Tex-Mex but not in Mex-Mex. It's just stewed with chiles and spices until it falls apart into the shreds you identified. Actually, in southern Arizona and Sonora (Mex), they often use dried beef (carne seca) cooked similarly. What they DON'T use in better quality Mexican places in either state (CA or AZ) is GROUND beef.

    The "textureless white cheese" was probably queso fresco:

    Queso fresco: A spongy white cheese, used to crumble over botanas - snacks - as well as on enchiladas and taquitos, this type of cheese was introduced to Mexico from Burgos, Spain. It is usually made with a combination of cow's milk and goat's milk. A very mild feta is an acceptable substitute for the grainy and mildly acidic queso fresco .

    or, if it was truly "textureless", it may have been queso blanco:

    Queso blanco: This creamy, white cheese is made from skimmed cow's milk, and has been described as being a cross between cottage cheese and mozzarella. It is traditionally coagulated with lemon juice, giving it a fresh, distinctive lemon flavor, although nowadays it is often commercially made with rennet. It softens when heated, but doesn't melt, and is a good choice for stuffing enchiladas.

    Again, I have never seen puffy, risen tamales in California or anywhere else. Strange cooking down there in LaLa Land these days (I live in NoCal but have eaten plenty of Mexican food in Orange County and San Diego without experiencing these phenomena).
    #24
    lone nut
    Hamburger
    • Total Posts : 69
    • Joined: 2004/10/24 06:30:00
    • Location: Los Angeles, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2005/10/13 04:14:28 (permalink)
    Oh you bet there are differences between C-M and T-M. I defy you to show me a real, beefy flavored sauce on an enchilada in Ca. Ain't gonna happen. It's all watery tomato sauce, with a pinch of some underpowered spice, or you get sweet, bland green tomatillo sauce. And there's no avoiding the rice and beans, it's on every plate. The meal I have in Dallas is: Two tacos, a very beefy enchilada, with a sort of chili gravy, and a "soft cheese taco". Few outside Dallas know what this is. It's an unfried corn tortilla, wrapped perhaps around some bits of roasted mild green pepper, then ladled with a very mild, almost milky cheese sauce, very simple. The dairy helps kill the heat from the salsa, so you can eat more! Lots of buttered corn tortillas with healthy amounts of salsa poured on. No rice, no beans, no sour cream, no avocado. And of course, both a margarita and an iced tea. I actually fly from LA to Dallas about once a year to get this meal about 3 times in 2 days. At Ojeda's, on Maple.
    #25
    Scott -- DFW
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 34
    • Joined: 2005/01/10 13:57:00
    • Location: Dallas, TX
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2005/10/19 23:26:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren

    Few outside Dallas know what this is. It's an unfried corn tortilla, wrapped perhaps around some bits of roasted mild green pepper, then ladled with a very mild, almost milky cheese sauce, very simple.... At Ojeda's, on Maple.


    The farthest item on the combo plate above is what you're describing: the cheese enchilada at Ojeda's on Maple. It's a rolled up tortilla (from a bag) bathed in a Velveeta-equivalent "processed cheese product." I know some people love this, and more power to them. It's definitely not for me. (For more pictures from Ojeda's, see this link: http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=37.)

    Scott
    #26
    dctourist
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 325
    • Joined: 2004/07/23 16:21:00
    • Location: Washington, DC
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2005/10/21 16:53:52 (permalink)
    In DC the most common variation is Salvadoran-Mex. The Mexican items on the menu are not particularly distinctive, in my experience; however, they are on the bland side. The giveaway is pupusas. Pupusas are good in and of themselves. Why do they need to be hidden on a Mexican menu?
    #27
    enginecapt
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3486
    • Joined: 2004/06/04 05:01:00
    • Location: Fontana, CA
    • Status: offline
    RE: TexMex vs. CalMex 2005/10/22 18:11:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by salindgren
    It's all watery tomato sauce, with a pinch of some underpowered spice, or you get sweet, bland green tomatillo sauce. And there's no avoiding the rice and beans, it's on every plate.
    Here's how I avoid it: order a la carte. I can get rice and beans here at the house. Come to Fontana or San Juan Capistrano. I'll send you to some places that will dispell the watery tomato sauce, underpowered spice, and bland green tomatillo sauce.
    #28
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1