So, you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of Mexican cuisine. After all, you've visited all the local chain restaurants that claim to serve up Mexican inspired dishes. News flash, the selection at most of these places can't be any farther from authentic traditional Mexican cuisine. If you're planning to make your first visit to an authentic traditional Mexican restaurant, a quick lesson in Mexican food culture will prove to be helpful.
You might be shocked when you visit for lunch and find that you have a huge plate of food. In Mexican culture, the workday generally ceases during the middle of the day. While in the US a traditional lunch break is an hour, in Mexican culture, lunch is considerably longer. Consequently, lunch is generally the largest meal of the day.
The idea of a larger lunch isn't just filling, but this time of the day is often a time for people to connect with family and friends to socialize. If you visit a restaurant and get a lunch portion that looks more like a dinner portion, understand why.
If you are visiting an authentic restaurant that follows a traditional schedule when it comes to menu selection and availability, don't expect an early dinner. When compared to culture in the US, many people consider Mexican eating habits to be somewhat delayed.
On average, most places in the US begin serving dinner around five o'clock in the evening. However, traditional Mexican cuisine doesn't call for dinner until several hours later. The fact that most Mexicans enjoy a large lunch is part of the reason for this pattern. However, in exchange for a later dinner, the portions are generally considerably smaller.
In many traditional American restaurants there are a number of formalities. These unspoken rules have an effect on everything from what you order to the way you interact with your server. In US culture you are expected to be on your best behavior when dining out.
Authentic Mexican restaurants are quite different. This doesn't exactly mean you should be rude; however, in many of these restaurants, the idea is that everyone is family and you are basically eating at home. Mexican restaurants are more laid-back. Don't worry about formalities, just sit back, relax and enjoy your meal.
Familiarizing yourself with Mexican food culture will ensure that you enjoy the food and have a more pleasant experience overall. (For more information on traditional mexican food, contact an establishment such as La Cabana Restaurant)