Near our home is a newish Mexican restaurant that bills itself as a “modern Mexican delicatessen.”
Like many Mexican restaurants, it is decorated as if it were a 19th century Mexican ranch home. It has dark wood beams, stone and brick walls (they’re painted-on, like trompe l’oeil) and the shelves are lined with knickknacks resembling pre-Columbian icons and statues.
When you order chips and salsa at this modern Mexican deli, the chips come in a plastic basket woven to resemble wicker and the salsa in a plastic cup styled like a black rock molcajete. In sum, the interior is designed to create a feeling of a pre-modern life even if the ingredients are not.
Would a restaurant that bills itself as a “modern American delicatessen” be decorated with a wagon wheel and bales of hay?
Would a bright, airy decor, light materials and/or photos of contemporary Mexicans and their homes make the food taste less authentically Mexican?
When is Mexico?