Remember back in the day when Mexican chain restaurants started getting popular?
I’ll never forget in the 80’s our local mall had opened up a Chi-Chi’s Restaurant and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
The idea of getting free baskets of tortilla chips with salsa as soon as I sat at a table was incredible to me.
The popularity of Mexican restaurants in America hasn’t faded ever since.
They seem to be everywhere you look now.
Many of these restaurants cater to American tastes.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve often wondered if there are any Mexican restaurants in America that truly offer authentic Mexican fare.
Authentic Mexican Food: 5 Ways to Know a Restaurant is Truly Mexican
Terri and I have found our new favorite Mexican restaurant in Frederick, Maryland: Café Bueno.
We stopped by for lunch one day and flat out asked the waitress to tell us 5 reasons Café Bueno is authentically Mexican.
The place was crazy busy and our waitress was slammed, but she told me she’d have my answer by the time we finished our meals.
Now that’s service!
So before I get to the list, let me tell you a little bit about Café Bueno.
Café Bueno is located on N. East Street in a little strip plaza with a 7-11.
I’ve probably passed it by multiple times in my travels, never noticing it before.
I had heard so many great things about Café Bueno through social media for a long time and never knew where it was.
Now I know.
Café Bueno is a small, unassuming restaurant, where oftentimes there is a line of people almost out the door, either waiting to be seated or waiting to pick up their take-out orders.
Café Bueno prides itself on being authentically Mexican. In their own words: “Cafe Bueno serves authentic Mexican food, and yes, we are the real deal! Don’t miss trying our hand-breaded fish tacos, topped with radishes, cabbage, and served with cilantro salsa on the side, or our tacos al pastor, which is a combination of spicy marinated pork and pineapple, served on soft corn tortillas and topped with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime. Our salsa verde and salsa roja hot sauces are freshly made in-house with genuine Mexican ingredients, including tomatillos, jalapenos, guajillo chiles and chile de arbol. Our meats are all hand-cut, marinated to perfection, and served on tacos or on a massive torta sandwich. The infamous torta cubana is a combination of steak, spicy pork, ham, hot dog, egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion, jalapeno, and avocado. We also have daily specials showcasing other authentic Mexican dishes, such as tamales, sopes, huaraches, carne asada, chile rellenos, and many more…”
The seating is casual and comfortable.
The chips and salsa are THE best in town!
They don’t come free, but hey, you get what you pay for, right?
Café Bueno offers daily specials in addition to their regular menu items.
Terri chose that day’s special, which was a pulled chicken chimichanga with Mexican rice and refried beans.
It was delicious!
I opted for my ‘usual’ which was the Mexican style tacos.
Their Mexican style tacos are served on a soft corn tortilla with fresh cilantro, chopped onions, and fresh lime.
Because I love the ‘crunch’, I always choose crispy shells.
As always, they were amazing.
In addition to Café Bueno serving a fabulous selection of authentic Mexican dishes, they offer American style dishes as well.
Their prices are great, the service is stellar, and the food is top notch.
What more can you ask for?
And now the answer to the original question.
What are 5 ways to know that a restaurant is truly Mexican?
Our waitress came back with our tab and ‘the list’!
- The restaurant’s recipes come from the owner’s mother who still lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Every cook at Café Bueno is from Mexico.
- The restaurant purchases authentic produce no matter the price.
- Café Bueno has been # 1 on Yelp for several months.
- Café Bueno constantly revises their recipes to ensure quality and integrity.
Have you been to Café Bueno?
Let us know in the comments.
In the meantime, Provecho!