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Nov 19, 2010 12:06 PM

Shorter name for this type of restaurant?

My question is about these Mexican places that appear to be managed by Asians, given that at least one of the staff is Asian, the place has large pictures of selected menu items not unlike at a Chinese place, and the printed menu bears noticeable similarities to those of Chinese places.

I used to encounter a bunch of these in NY/NJ, and just in the last week or so one opened near my folks' hometown in PA.

Is there a shorter, hopefully-not-derogatory name for a place like this?

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  1. I don't understand what you mean by "selected menu items no unlike at a Chinese place." Are these typical Mexican dishes? And how's the printed menu "bears noticeable similarities to those of Chinese places"?

    BTW there are lots of Chinese and other Asians living in Mexico and consider themselves Mexicans.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PeterL

      Contextual error. You've been in Chinese places where the featured items are pictorially represented over the counter? And, in enough cases, in the menu? That's what these Mexican places do. I wish I could attach pictures to back up my observations.

      And, there's a [really tiny] inscription in the lower left corner of the menu brochure, which refers to a company that printed the menu. This inscription has both Chinese and English lettering, and the phone number is in NYC.

    2. How about Juandong cuisine? Or SichJuan? Or Flex Mex? I hope you still get the Chinese Zodiac on the placemats, perhaps with some Mexican adaptations like El Nino de Atocha and Santa Muerte.

      1. Are you sure it's Mexican food? Because I was thinking they could be chifas joints...

        Or it's just enterprising Asians who looked at their neighborhood demographics and are catering to the locals and what type of cheap food they might want.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yfunk3

          I ran into acouple of these places on the east coast years ago, chifas or chifado, something like that. Cuban, carribian influenced chinese food.

        2. There have been a lot of simple take out taco places owned by Chinese in NY. I'm sure the story started in Mexico, with Chinese shopkeepers selling what folks wanted to eat, and moved up here. These are tacquerias plain and simple that happen to be run by Chinese families.On the other hand, there is an older NY tradition of Cuban-Chinese (comida criolla y cinesa) restaurants with large, split menus; this tradition goes back to Cuba, of course, where Chinese immigrants brought over as agricultural workers eventually came to run small businesses, including eateries.