Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Mexican Restaurants
Restaurant interiors and the styles/atmospheres they convey are sometimes incompatible with the food they serve. There are some types of food that should not be served as haute cuisine. Mexican is a perfect example. We recently tried out a new restaurant in Newburyport, MA called Agave. The food was excellent and perhaps some of the best Mexican I have had. But the interior decor clashed with what I was eating. For the most part, what we call "Mexican" food is by and large peasant food - beans, rice, tortillas, meats, cheese, etc. No matter how you dress it up or how stylish the plate is; how fancy the silverware is; how minimalist the artwork on the wall is, a taco is still a taco and a burrito is still a burrito. Mexican food should not be served in restaurants that look like SoHo art galleries. Mexican food is festive food. It is messy food and stuff you dig into. Not stuff that you should be too concerned with how often you use your napkin or knife and fork with. Fancy restaurants and Mexican just don't go together. You want to be in a cantina type atmosphere. Some place that looks like the inside of the Alamo - not the Louvre.


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