Have you ever walked into a Mexican restaurant only to find it staffed entirely by Chinese people? For those of you outside the New York area, I’m sure the answer is no. Last week I wrote a piece about this subject for bushwickbk.com and thought it might be interesting to share with a wider audience.
In 1991, motivated by the market saturation of Chinese restaurants, a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Zheng opened his first Fresco Tortillas on the eastside of Manhattan. His model was quickly copied and spread. These places are very cool because they are cheap, the tortillas are made fresh in house and compared to other fast food, they’re really nutritious.
At my local Fresh Taco I can get a black bean burrito with sour cream, guacamole, rice and cheese for $3.50. Like most Chinese take-out places, the menu is organized into a numeric system like A17 the Chicken Broccoli with melted cheese taco special.
Some critics of my original article, wondered why I would what to eat “fake” Mexican when I could have the real thing. To begin, there aren’t many places where you can get “the real thing” for $3.50. And I like odd fusion food, there’s something to learn eating one culture’s interpretation of another’s cuisine.
I’ve started to hear rumors that these places are popping up all over to the east coast. Have any of you seen them? What do you think?