Americans have loved Mexican cuisine for more than a century. In the 1920s, restaurants started selling rolled tacos called taquitos. Once you’ve tasted authentic Mexican food like Vuelve A La Vida, or Molcajete Casero, it will be hard not to eat at the Mexican restaurant near you every day. It’s no wonder 233.28 million Americans used Mexican food and ingredients in 2017 according to the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS).
There are many Mexican restaurants in Miami and other cosmopolitan cities that serve your favorite Mexican dishes. Hence, selecting the best Mexican restaurant from the many available can be difficult. However, these qualities will help you identify a great Mexican restaurant.
1. A Rich Menu of Classic Mexican Cuisines
Just because a restaurant makes tacos doesn’t mean it qualifies as an authentic Mexican restaurant. While a good taco is a great indication of quality, you’ll want to scan a restaurant’s menu more closely. Check out the list of other dishes on their menu. A great restaurant will have various Mexican food such as Enchiladas, Shrimp Ceviche Tostada, Fresh Fish Ceviche, Classic Tortilla Soup, Chopped Mexican Salad, Ceviche Blanco, and many more.
A restaurant that serves multiple Mexican dishes that you cannot exhaust is most likely an authentic restaurant. You’ll find great food options for breakfast, snacks, seafood, vegetarian, salads, and soups in such a restaurant. Hence, you can try different cuisines and settle on the Mexican dish that speaks to your tongue. When you find a Mexican restaurant with a rich menu for each occasion, you can rest assured it’s an authentic Mexican restaurant.
2. Fresh and Colorful Dishes
Authentic Mexican food is served fresh with lots of greens, pepper, and other traditional spices. The top Mexican restaurants in Coral Gables and other top cities go out of their way to source spices from Mexico to guarantee authenticity. These are spices such as achiote, allspice, epazote, Mexican bay leaf, and Mexican oregano native to Mexico and other Latin American countries. If you have tried a flavored taco in an authentic Mexican restaurant, then you know there’s no substitute for Mexican seasoning and spices.
That’s why the best Mexican restaurants ensure that they use original Mexican spices in all their dishes. Also, you’ll find a lot of fruit and vegetables in Mexican cuisines. They include mangoes, fresh lime, watermelon, tomatillos, and cherry tomatoes. These vegetables and fruits color Mexican dishes and add a unique flavor, especially when prepared by a creative chef who’s an expert in Mexican cuisines.
3. Lots of Salads and Cornmeal
Salads are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That’s why you’ll always find different salad choices on the menu of a top Mexican restaurant. These include cactus salad, chopped Mexican salad, Kale Caesar Salad, and Ensalada Callejera del D.F. Your favorite Mexican dish may be served by a dish of salad or a salsa. However, Mexican salsas are spicier and made from chopped tomatoes, pepper, and onions. Alternatively, your Mexican food can also be served with guacamole. Other restaurants may have guacamole as a salad dressing or as a garnish for other sauces depending on how you like it.
Another factor that identifies authentic Mexican food is the type of tortillas served. Mexican tortillas are unique since they’re made of cornflour instead of wheat flour. Authentic Mexican restaurants will not substitute cornmeal with wheat flour unless a customer asks for it. That’s why Mexican food is a favorite for most people on a gluten-free diet.
An authentic Mexican restaurant will have the above-discussed qualities. Given that there are more than 60,000 Mexican restaurants in the United States, knowing how to spot a great restaurant is a handy skill that will keep you and your friends satisfied. Luckily, if you’re in Florida, you’ll find the best Mexican restaurants in Miami without much hassle.