I've just moved to the Kitsap Peninsula(Bremerton, WA) from Nashville, TN. In Nashville, I could depend on Mexican food- always cheap and always good. I never found a bad place as long as I stayed away from chains.
I've been to 4-5 places in OR and WA now, and they have been uniformly awful. I'm not looking for a taqueria, I want a sit down place. The plates at all these places are the size of a football field, and it's all cheese. They all feature shredded cheddar on their beans and a tomato based sauce on everything that gives me an MSG gut-ache.
Clearly my mexican food radar is now as confused by this move as my gay-dar. How do I tell a good place from a bad one here?
The kind i'm used to has the following distinguishing features:
not much cheese
NEVER NEVER yellow cheese
pico de gallo with every meal
guacamole made solely from avocado and water
fresh cilantro- lots
no chili powder, no cumin
totally awesome cheese dip made from queso blanco, table cream, and jalapeno.
Aztec art on the walls
no crushed ice in cocktails
I don't know if it's more "authentic" or not, I just know it's better than the slop I've had here.
Is there a term for this type of cuisine so I can just go find it? I can only hope that maybe I'm used to a different regional cuisine than I am finding here!