There’s one detail nearly everyone who loves Mexican food has in common: They all agree there’s a definite difference between real and fake Mexican food. But first, what is Tex-Mex? It’s defined as having Mexican and southern American characteristics of the border regions of Texas and Mexico. On the contrary, Mexican food originates from Mexico.

If you don’t think you’ve had Tex-Mex, you’re probably wrong. Most Mexican food that claims it is authentic simply isn’t. Mexican food north of the border is usually Tex-Mex. Whenever you go to an authentic Mexican food restaurant, you will likely be served with entrees ranging from delicious quesadillas to ground beef enchiladas; yes, these are Tex-Mex foods.

The popularity of Mexican food began to grow in the 1940s, and soon, Tex-Mex was offered in nearly every city in Texas and the rest of the United States. Basically, Mexican food with an American twist is how you can think of Tex-Mex, and it’s available at nearly every Mexican restaurant in which you choose to eat. So, what’s the difference?


Tex-Mex uses ingredients that authentic Mexican food does not. Here are some examples:

  • Beef
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Wheat flour
  • Black beans
  • Canned vegetables (tomatoes)
  • Cumin

Believe it or not, these ingredients are rarely used in authentic Mexican dishes. Mexico is all about their fresh foods and veggies. To break down the difference even further, “Tex-Mex is a distillation of Northern Mexican and Texan rancher cuisines into one bready, cheesy bundle,” as said by

Examples of Tex-Mex

If you want to stay away from Tex-Mex and only let your palate enjoy the true taste of Authentic Mexican food, you have one of two choices: Visit El Charrito in Monterey or stay away from the following foods;


Ok, so nachos are delicious, but one thing you have to be cognisant of is that just because the name sounds Mexican, doesn’t mean it is. Nachos were first invented in Mexico; however, it’s a completely different dish in American.

Chili Con Carne

A quintessential Tex-Mex dish is the Chili Con Carne. This tomatoey stew of delicious beans and cubed beef is a gringo-style plate of food. It’s actually not Mexican; it originated in Texas.

Enjoy an Authentic Dish from an Authentic Mexican Restaurant

Tex-Mex can be hard to avoid here in Monterey, that is unless you visit El Charrito: The leading authentic Mexican restaurant in town. Stop by online today to check out our menu, or stop by for lunch! Either way, it’s to be known that our food is nothing short of traditional, authentic Mexican food.
If you have any dietary restrictions, feel free to let us know. At our restaurant, we want everyone to enjoy their favorite dish. Take a look at our menu online here and place your order for pick up. If you’d like to taste our food in-house, we welcome you. Additionally, we are proud to now offer catering. If you’re in need of a caterer, keep our chefs in mind. For more information, call us!