TexMex what is it?

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sizz
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2006/06/15 12:26:21 (permalink)

TexMex what is it?

TexMex what is it?
No kidding I'd really like to know what you think TexMex is. Is TexMex actually different from any Gringo Mexican food served all over this country?
what's the diff ???
how would I know I was eating TexMex ???
#1

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    Bushie
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/15 12:57:17 (permalink)
    It's different than what you get out there, but it's hard for me to define it for you. I always think of it as generally "heavier", using plenty of beef chili sauce and cheddar cheese. A typical tex-mex meal that first comes to mind is ground beef enchiladas (as opposed to shredded beef) covered with chili con carne and grated mild cheddar, with refried beans and mexican rice.

    However, it's a lot more than that.

    Here's a blurb I found that might shed a little light. The book by Robb Walsh that is mentioned is an excellent one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex-Mex_cuisine

    By the way, it also talks about Diana Kennedy noting the uniqueness of tex-mex. It fails to mention that she did that because she DESPISED tex-mex!!
    #2
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/15 13:00:43 (permalink)
    Fp, I am not so knowledgable about what "gringo Mexican food served all over this country" is. I worked at El Chico 40+ years ago. It, along with El Fenix were somewhere near the start of TexMex. It was chili con carne served with lots of things. I wish I had kept a menue, shoot!! It was way different than regular Mexican food.
    Joe
    #3
    doggydaddy
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/15 13:37:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fpczyz

    TexMex what is it No kidding I'd really like to know what you think TexMex is. Is TexMex actually different from any Gringo Mexican food served all over this country?
    what's the diff ???
    how would I know I was eating TexMex ???


    Here is a close idea of what it is. Wikipedia has all the answers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex-Mex_cuisine. If that isn't enough, try Google....

    It seems that their description is pretty close to the mark and I would say that the menu items will include chicken fajitas, enchiladas and the like. But come to think of it, yeah many times, in lesser hands it is like the gringo food that we eat. I would say that a smoked brisket with a corn salsa is good Tex Mex. Serve that with jalapeno cornbread and ranch beans. Not baked or refried....

    TEXAS: THE BEAUTIFUL COOKBOOK has a good selection of recipes.

    mark
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    WVHillbilly
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/15 13:39:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fpczyz

    TexMex what is it?
    No kidding I'd really like to know what you think TexMex is. Is TexMex actually different from any Gringo Mexican food served all over this country?
    what's the diff ???
    how would I know I was eating TexMex ???


    In the late 70s and early 80s I spent a lot of time in southern Texass. I developed a love of Mexican food during that period and sought out every hole-in-the-wall Mom and Pop Mexican place I could find. In the mid 80s began spending a lot of time in So. Cal. I did the same thing and didn't really note any big differences in the food. It was a little more picante in CA and maybe they liked their burritos more while in Texas, tostada types of things were more popular, or maybe it was just what I was into at the time.
    In the 90s I began traveling to Mexico. I've certainly found a much more diverse menu down there, but the standard lunch faire is very similar.
    So, what is Tex-Mex? Damned if I know. I never heard the word until a few years ago.
    #5
    zataar
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/20 08:48:26 (permalink)
    For an interesting story about another aspect of Tex-Mex food, listen to this old NPR story featuring the Chili Queens of San Antonio.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4107830
    #6
    sauceman
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/20 09:09:56 (permalink)
    I highly recommend Robb Walsh's book on the subject. It does contain recipes, but it's mainly about the culture and traditions surrounding Tex-Mex cookery.
    #7
    BT
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/22 04:35:24 (permalink)
    There isn't a lot of difference from the "Gringo Mexican food served all over this country" except, perhaps, that in the hands of a good cook in the southwest where it originated the quality and taste will be better than is common elsewhere. But there's no real difference because what's now served all over the country is, essentially, an imitation or adaptation of what used to be available only closer to the border. I grew up in the northeast. I do not recall there being ANY Mexican restaurants in the DC suburbs in the 50's and 60's, nor any in Baltimore where I went to shcool in the mid 60's. I first tasted "Gringo Mexican food", and thought it something exotic, in Tampa, Florida in about 1972. By that point in history, I guess it had spread that far from its native roots. Now it has spread everywhere as you pointed out. But I think it migrated from the American Southwest, not actually from Mexico, so it is really Tex-Mex.
    #8
    Niagara
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/06/22 09:47:21 (permalink)
    If you're ever in Houston, go to Lopez Mexican Restaurant, in far southwest Houston, eat there, and then you'll know what Tex-Mex food is. It's been there for over 25 years (We used to eat there when my Wife was pregnant, and our Daughter just turned 25 this month).
    #9
    beachykeen
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/07/02 13:48:12 (permalink)
    Tex-Mex aaahh how I miss it. I lived in Austin, TX for 20 years. Now I live in FL and have yet to find any decent Mex or TX-MX food. I consider TX-MX to be: Mexican food with an American twist. I agree with the poster who said that it is "heavier" than real Mex.
    TX-MX uses a lot of cheese - but REAL Tex-Mex uses queso quesadilla cheese; Asedero, and/or any blend of REAL Mexican-style cheeses - definitly NOT American cheese. The best Mexican Restaurants I know of offer the "real thing" AND "Tex-Mex".
    Think about it - if someone were to ask you about American Food, what would you confine yourself to:
    Corned Beef and Cabbage or Clam Chowder from New England?
    BBQ from the South?
    Spiedies from Upstate Southern-Tier NY?
    You just can't classify an entire country's food.
    Mexico has huge coastlines; I am sure that they eat a lot of seafood.
    The interior is going to probably be more corn, bean, and beef/chicken based.
    Anyway - My suggestions (haven't been to Austin in 3 years - may not be accurate)
    Chuy's on Barton Springs Rd. - Now a small chain, but this is the original. Velvet Elvis paintings in one room, Old hubcaps from classic cars hanging from the ceiling in the other room - people stick their "Dots" on them with messages (too lengthy to go into here) Must Have: Green Chili Stew. Chuy's gets Hatch(New Mexico) Green Chilis every Fall and roasts them by the roadside in these wire barrels that they turn over an open flame.
    "ChuyChangas" (Chimichangas) Are the best I have ever had - Meat, cheese, Mexican rice, and of course chilis in a flour tortilla and deep-fried. I ADORE their Green Chili Stew and have tried replicate it - nada. Their Happy Hour boasts drink specials (Margs&Mex beer)
    and has a replica of a 50's Cadillac(?) trunk sticking out of the wall filled with containers of taco meat, beans, salsa, jalapeno-ranch dip, tortilla chips, Chili Con Queso (yes, I know, Velveeta and Rotel - so there is room for American cheese!!) etc....Historic place, this is the exact location where the Bush Twins got busted....Sorry such a long post. I've got more restaurants in Austin that I will post if anyone is interested

    #10
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/07/02 21:33:18 (permalink)
    Wow, nice post Beach, and welcome to roadfood! And yes, I am also in quest of making a great green chili stew!
    joe
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    xannie_01
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/07/02 21:47:33 (permalink)
    grinzzz...after living in albuquerque for 3 years i can say with all honesty i make a kick ass green chile stew!
    it's so good natives think their mother made it!
    e-mail, me papajoe and i will make you famous throughout all of east texas.
    #12
    oltheimmer
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    RE: TexMex what is it? 2006/07/02 23:25:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Niagara

    If you're ever in Houston, go to Lopez Mexican Restaurant, in far southwest Houston, eat there, and then you'll know what Tex-Mex food is. It's been there for over 25 years (We used to eat there when my Wife was pregnant, and our Daughter just turned 25 this month).
    You may have eaten alongside a former co-worker of mine who told me he's been there every Tuesday nite for 25 years .

    http://lopezmexicanrestaurant.com/index.html

    Lopez's new facility (5 or 6 years ago) is a very nice, spacious place; it's like eating in a private hacienda, a big improvement over the original facility.

    A hallmark of Lopez is the very friendly service. Read the 'About' on the website. It's on a lot of people's lists of best Tex-Mex in Houston and even best places to take visitors to show them the best of Houston. I go either there or to Molina's on Buffalo Speedway for Tex-Mex but I really prefer a local taqueria that is more Mex-Mex.

    Here's another vote for Robb Walsh's Tex Mex book but if that's more than you want to know check out Lopez' menu - that's a classic Tex-Mex menu.

    Lopez is on Wilcrest just north of US 59 South about 12 miles outside Loop 610 and only about a mile outside Beltway 8.
    #13
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