Meso Maya is Better Than Authentic. It's Good.

Categories: Whimsy

Chille rellano meso.jpg
Sara Kerens
Authentic chile relleno? Nope. And you should be happy about that.
Does authenticity matter? What the hell is authenticity, anyway? Look it up in a dictionary and words like "real" and "genuine" stab at a definition. Framed this way, authentic seems a prefect descriptor for a Topps baseball card or a Rolex watch. Put the word authentic next to a taco and suddenly things get squirrely. Authentic according to whom?

Marketers love the term. Pizza Hut is authentic, didn't you hear? Taco Bell even took a stab at cantina style tacos for an authentic taste. (They tasted authentically terrible.)

"Quality" and "craftsmanship" are words that are harder to fudge. They don't imply things should be one way or the other, or this brand or that. Instead they say that things should be built, assembled or made with the best materials available, in a consistent manner over time. Could be carpentry, could be plumbing, could be a steaming basket of warm, handmade corn tortillas.

Besides, authenticity stands as a barrier to innovation. Sure, there's historical value in tending to tradition, but if that was every chef's sole focus we'd never eat anything new. Pizza Napoletana, whose authenticity is (somewhat) closely guarded by the VPN, was once a novel idea. Some crazy baker got bored with naked bread; now the topped rounds are the stuff of legend. And many renditions taste great whether they are authentic or not.

Nico Sanchez has taken some heat at Meso Maya, the subject of this week's review. Despite the positive picture painted by Leslie Brenner at the Morning News, D's Nancy Nichols criticized the Preston Hollow restaurant for claiming to serve authentic Mexican food and trotting out Tex-Mex classics.

To which I say: Who cares? I care that his beans are salty one day and bland the next, and I'm bothered when a menu promises warm, melted cheese and a waiter brings me a gloppy dish. But I'm less interested in whether a plate aligns perfectly with preconceived notions of some culinary ethnic lexicon than I am with the answer to a different, simpler question: Does this food taste good? If the answer is yes -- as it is more often than not at Meso Maya -- then authenticity be damned, it's time to eat.

My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Street tacos in Dallas will never taste the same as street tacos in Mexico City, eff authentic, just make it taste good everytime and Ill come back.  the scenery has a lot to do with it too, somehow a corona or dos xx tastes better on a beach in mexico than they do at a bar in arlington.  just saying

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Kerg’s Here,     Just wanted to wish you all a merry x-mas!  The new Kerg’s 4.0 is sweet, loving, and like his right wing leaning, Christian friends-likes to bake pies, drink coffee and engage in prayer circles.  The model is well within the guidelines of The Joe Tone standard, and is fully equipped with songs, like:“Jesus loves me”“Our God is an awesome God”An added bonus of the Kerg’s 4.0 is that it is translucent, biodegradable, and uses half the energy of Kerg’s 3.0…….it is also diatomaceous, retractable, and even gives whimsical, gentle thoughts while at company gatherings.  It still employees a “leave no trace” ethic. Note: The swiggin’ Budlight feature, while eatin’ chicken parmesan sandwiches has been disabled!  As has the FOODDICK option.

Love You All.-New Kerg.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Authenticity has to do with context, not just recipe. That's why a hot dog tastes different standing outside Grand Central Station than in your kitchen, or a crab cake at Faidley's tastes different than one in a place in DC. Hannah (big mazto balls) Raskin tried to explore this in an article about the fact that Dallas has no indigenous cuisine. So by definition, everything we eat here is an interpretation of something that is indigenous somewhere else. The owners of MM should be commended for working hard to prepare certain dishes and hand crafting tortillas. This is what makes the difference when someone is "interpreting" a specific cuisine. They try to infuse it with as much of the spirit of the original to make up for the difference in context. If along the way they make good food, all the better!

MattL1
MattL1

I agree with this sentiment.  Quality and consistency (not to mention tastiness) should never take a back seat to authenticity.  Or anything, really...

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Kerg’s Here,     Just wanted to wish you all a merry x-mas!  The new Kerg’s 4.0 is sweet, loving, and like his right wing leaning, Christian friends-likes to bake pies, drink coffee and engage in prayer circles.  The model is well within the guidelines of The Joe Tone standard, and is fully equipped with songs, like:“Jesus loves me”“Our God is an awesome God”An added bonus of the Kerg’s 4.0 is that it is translucent, biodegradable, and uses half the energy of Kerg’s 3.0…….it is also diatomaceous, retractable, and even gives whimsical, gentle thoughts while at company gatherings.  It still employees a “leave no trace” ethic. Note: The swiggin’ Budlight feature, while eatin’ chicken parmesan sandwiches has been disabled!  As has the FOODDICK option.

Love You All.-New Kerg.

jon from tjs
jon from tjs

the avocado margaritas are awesome.  authentic or no, they are delicious

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Kerg’s Here,

     Just wanted to say I LOVE the story, and wanted to wish you all a merry x-mas!  The newKerg’s 4.0 is sweet, loving, and like his right wing leaning, Christianfriends-likes to bake pies, drink coffee and engage in prayer circles.  The model is well within the guidelines ofThe Joe Tone standard, and is fully equipped with songs, like:

“Jesus loves me”

“Our God is an awesome God”

 

 

An added bonus of the Kerg’s 4.0 is that it is translucent,biodegradable, and uses half the energy of Kerg’s 3.0…….it is alsodiatomaceous, retractable, and even gives whimsical, gentle thoughts while atcompany gatherings.  It still employees a“leave no trace” ethic. 

Note: The swiggin’ Budlight feature, while eatin’ chickenparmesan sandwiches has been disabled! As has the FOODDICK option.

Love You All.

-New Kerg.

randy from sachse
randy from sachse

Authentic Mexican food?  Please.  The authentic Mexicans I know eat rice and beans, maybe a little chicken on Sundays.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Mexico City's smog does add delicate flavoring as well.

therrick
therrick

Well it also probably has to do with in one case you are probably on vacation, The other it is the end of the day of your beaten down work day.

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

This is a great point. The "authentic" Mexican food I grew up with is markedly different than the Mexican food someone from Southern California or the Yucatan is familiar with. I say authentic be damned. Make some good food and people will want to eat it. Be it Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mex-Mex, or Tex-Tex (chicken fried steak?).

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Egads, that's sad if we can't do better than that. Is chili Texan through-and-through or technically Tex-Mex too?

Knowing us calf fries is Texan.

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

Maybe. What is something uniquely Texan? Frito Pie?

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...