Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Mexican food is a longstanding favorite in America. But some dishes labeled “Mexican” are not as authentic as they purport to be. Rather, there are many “Mexican-American” dishes that are not commonly found, or not found at all, south of the border. If these meals do appear at Mexican restaurants, it may be to cater to tourists who have come to expect these “Tex Mex” favorites. So how can you know for sure if a Mexican restaurant is genuine?
Traditional Mexican food is so much more than tacos and good salsa (although those things are definitely important). It’s a rich, vibrant cultural heritage, with recipes that have been passed down through generations for hundreds of years. From the planting and harvesting of corn, chile peppers, and other native ingredients, to the manual grinding of tortillas, Mexican food is just as much about the preparation as it is the ingredients. It’s also a way of preserving indigenous traditions, customs, and culture.
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Mexican cuisine is a “comprehensive cultural model comprising farming, ritual practices, age-old skills, culinary techniques and ancestral community customs and manners.” So how can American restaurants adequately reflect that definition?
Many popular dishes marketed as Mexican are in fact Mexican style, also known as “Tex Mex.” Tex Mex is loosely adapted from Mexican cuisine, and was invented by some of the first settlers in Texas. The biggest way that Tex Mex differs from traditional Mexican cuisine is in the ingredients, but also the culinary practices. While Tex Mex is a valid tradition in its own right, it’s not to be confused with historical Mexican foods and traditions.
Food items such as hard-shell tacos and enchiladas, burritos, nachos, queso dip, and chili con carne all fall under the Tex Mex category and can be found in restaurants near the southern border. In many cases, Mexican restaurants will offer these dishes as a way to reach a wider market of customers.
Authentic Mexican foods come from Mayan, Spanish, and Aztec cultures – often a blend of all three. A traditional Mexican dish will use fresh and healthy ingredients as opposed to store-bought foods kept in jars – particularly chiles and tomatoes. Traditional Mexican spices include epazote and coriander, as opposed to dry oregano or cumin that is typically found in Tex Mex. Mexican cuisine also uses soft tacos over crispy ones, white cheese instead of yellow, cooked corn or corn cobs instead of sweet corn, and from-scratch frijoles instead of refried beans.
We are proud to say that Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill is one of the most popular authentic Mexican and Tex Mex restaurants in Fort Lauderdale!
Our specialties include:
Craving classic authentic Mexican? Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill has you covered! With dishes like chicken mole, chilaquiles, chile rellenos, and a wide variety of Mexican street tacos, your tastebuds will feel like you’re dining at an outdoor food market in Mexico City!
Tex-Mex favorites? We specialize in those too! With our killer queso dip, large selection of burritos, quesadillas, and chimichangas, it’s impossible to not find something you’d like to sink your teeth into! Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill also specializes in many tasty seafood options, like our famous Seafood Crepe Pacifica! Trust us when we say, you need to try this!
Did we mention margaritas? What Mexican restaurant is complete without that? We carry over 75 types of tequila in our bar. So, why not wash down your tacos and queso with one of our delicious specialty drinks? We recommend our namesake, the “Tequila Sunrise Margarita” for starters.
At our family-oriented establishment, every day has its own special, as well as a happy hour. From 3pm to 7pm every day, enjoy deals on margaritas, beers, wines, and fishbowls to share with your favorite people. While most people tend to dread Mondays, they’re a favorite around here because of our all-day happy hour. And, of course, there’s the famous Taco Tuesday, starting at just $8.99!
For brunch lovers, stop by from 11am to 5pm and take advantage of our drink specials, including Screwdrivers, Bloody Marys, Tequila Sunrises, and more. Whether you’re a local or a vacationer, we’re sure to have something you love. We also offer catering for your special events.
To stay up to date with all our specials and events, follow Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill on Facebook!