Real Mexican food

If you live in Nashville, go directly to Nolensville Road. Bypass the Taco Bell and Chuy’s (God, i just hate Chuy’s) and go instead to the places where actual Mexican people eat. You will be so happy. If you live somewhere else, hit up Yelp for authentic Mexican food in your area. I promise it’s there.

So I have two to recommend today, both old Nashville classics of the sort that you’d know about if you just chatted up the Mexican laborer in front of you at the convenience store.

The first one is La Hacienda. The original, not that chain of the same name that’s popped up around town. It’s better known to it’s clientele as simply La Ha. Here’s a clue about an authentic Mexican restaurant. If there’s not tripe or tongue on the menu, it’s not the real deal. Doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Just make sure it’s there.

Chorizo and Eggs

King Daddy and I spent one Sunday afternoon luxuriating in their chorizo and eggs. Chorizo is a fiery red Mexican sausage that you take out of the casing and fry until you can’t stand to wait any longer. Serving it with eggs in warm tortillas is the classic breakfast. After you eat, go next door to La Ha’s market and buy some chorizo. Get some Mexican melting cheese while you’re at it.

I’ll admit that my next recommendation is one that you might have to warm up to but it’s worth a little initial discomfort – Carniceria Y Taqueria Don Juan.

It’s not pretty like La Ha. It’s a freestanding building the size of a nickle that is, let’s just say, humble. You will encounter many customers there for whom English is not their first language and maybe not their language at all. Can you say taco? That’s all you need to know.

Tacos Don Juan

Don Juan’s tacos are the real deal Mexican – choice of meat on corn tortillas with white onion, cilantro and a lime wedge. Oh and a side of wicked good spicy creamy chile sauce. When you drive by the place on Nolensville Road you’ll think to yourself, “I’m not going there!” Go there. They have a drive-through window. Pretend you’re at Taco Bell only a million times better and only $1.25 a taco. The authenticity is free.

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