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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Old Pueblo Grill: Tacos, Burritos, Nachos, Oh My!

Old Pueblo Grill is a hip Mexican restaurant located on University Avenue. It is more of a fast food place, where you order up front and then try to find a table. The inside of the restaurant was very cool and it felt like a modern box. There were interesting murals on the walls and colorful stools. However, it was small and because this is a very popular place, it was hard to find a table. Their menu was carefully thought out and intricate--my mouth was watering and my stomach was rumbling just looking at it.


The menu at OPG is very creative and unique!

The restaurant offers a variety of creative tacos (which you can mix and match), burritos, and sandwiches. For example, they have a Korean taco and a Flyin' Hawaiian taco; I don't think I can call this a traditional Mexican restaurant! They also have signatures, which include things like Taquitos and Nachos.


As a vegetarian/pescatarian, I decided to mix and match some of the tacos and have the fried cauliflower taco and the baja fish taco. I also had to try the super nachos! Maybe we had a big order and the restaurant was busy, but the food took a really long time and I was hungry. When the food was finally ready, I dug in to the tacos.

My Tacos--Baja Fish & Fried Cauliflower

Both the fish and the the cauliflower were nicely fried and crunchy. I thought that the dressings on the tacos gave the tacos a nice flavor profile. However, it tasted kind of oily and I didn't appreciate that the tacos were double wrapped with two flour tortillas--maybe it was because they were so big! I don't think that these tacos can compare to real Mexican tacos because they didn't have the same simplicity and they used flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. Sometimes simple is better! However, these tacos were tasty in their own way and I don't get to eat fried cauliflower that often so I was happy about that. I was also pleasantly surprised that each meal comes with its own large portion of chips and salsa! The chips had a nice flavor but a weird aftertaste from oil--this is the kind of food you eat and then you feel like trash after. The nachos were impressive. All the toppings came together to make a flavor bomb in the mouth!

The Nachos!

Many people believe that Spanish is the only language in Mexico, and fail to recognize the vast amount of existing and prospering Indigenous languages there. About 7 million Mexicans speak an Indigenous language, the most common being Nahuatl, Maya, Otomí, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Totonaco, Chol and Mazateco. However, many of Mexico's native languages are critically endangered, with less than 100 speakers left, including Kiliwa and Ayapaneco. Learn more here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/140410-mexico-languages-speaking-cultures-world-zapotec.


This map shows the linguistic diversity of Mexico

I feel like Old Pueblo Grill doesn't represent true Mexican food--so I am going to talk about Spanish varieties in the southwestern US. Old Pueblo Grill had things like Burritos on the menu, which are more common in Tex-Mex than in traditional Mexican food.


Caló or Chicano is a dialect or "slang" of Mexican-Spanish developed in the southwestern parts of the states like Texas. Many Chicanos receive criticism form Mexicans for not speaking "proper Spanish" and English speakers for not speaking English in the US.


Adiós!

Ye Niauh! (Goodbye in Nahuatl)

-The Linguistic Foodie:)

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