My other blog, Dining Out in Tokyo, is reserved for good restaurants. That's admirable, but it means that I can't let rip a few choice words when something doesn't meet expectation - or is just rubbish. Therefore, Rude about Food!
A couple of friends recently removed to Tokyo from Michigan have been pushing me to try Mexican food. Living so close to the Canadian border, they are obviously experts on this sort of thing so I swallowed my pride - and a large mouthful of bile - and gave into the madness of the crowd during a recent trip to San Diego. After all, it's only 30 "miles" from Mexico so it's gotta have a higher chance of success than Grand Rapids, doesn't it?
Nonsense! Starting with a Margarita that tasted vaguely of kerosene and kicked harder than a burro, this meal was destined for failure from the moment we walked in the door. While the company was excellent (The Child Bride, The Expat, and Mrs Presidente), the whole episode was a screaming gyre into food insanity and helped me understand why so many real Mexicans are so thin. They don't like the food either!
John says that Mexican doesn't migrate "upscale" - he's right. Spices and peppers that wrestle any real flavours to the floor and then stand on their throats. Corn chips that taste more like the box they came in rather than anything resembling maize. Beans, re-fried, and slapped on a plate in a paste that resembles body wastes from a Chihuahua with gastric. Chicken suffocated to death with bitter, turgid chocolate. Oh please!
The only thing authentic about the whole 2 hours of Purgatory were the waiters. They didn't speak any version of English that I understood, and were able to ignore our table with excellent Latin flair. The food did provide one lasting flavour - acid from the reflux I suffered all evening and the next day.
I've tried Mexican in Tokyo as well at the foodie magnet Midtown. It was only slightly worse than San Diego, and far cooler as we were seated out on the deck in the chill November air. Perhaps the food was supposed to warm us up ... Tried Mexican food in London, where there was little to distinguish from a pub curry and where some-one had worked the miracle of turning wine into water.
No doubt about it - Mexican and cuisine are two words God never intended to be used together. Aghhh! So 2 thumbs down, and death to the revolution!