Buenos Días Amables Lectores,
When we was vagrant yoots, El Jeronimo de Crow refused to allow anyone to eat taco food in his car. That was a smart move on his part but it meant that when we snaffled up Taco Bell tacos, the chowing down was mostly done while sitting on a faux adobe slumpstone wall outside the fast fooder.
Unlike modern America, authentic Mexican food was pretty much confined to kitchens and eateries in the barrios of So Cal. We were fine with Taco Bell and suffered under no illusions of authenticity. We were hungry and it was tasty. My theory is that all fast food was considerably better back when. Except maybe Jack in the Box, which was often referred to as Chit in the Box.
In the early 1950's, my pop ran a Goodyear tire store in Berdoo near the original Mickie Dees on E Street where he often ate lunch. That was when the McDonald brothers ground their own meat fresh daily, one reason why fast food was better. Dad also frequented the Mitla Cafe on Route 66 as did another guy named Glen Bell, who was fascinated with the tacos. Bell's original Taco Bell tacos were riffed off of the hard shell tacos that have been served at the Mitla Cafe in Berdoo since 1937.
Though Mitla's serves up platters of authentic Mexican food, I'm not sure if the hard shell tacos could be considered authentic or if they were merely an early incarnation of Cal-Mex food. But they've been serving them for 78 years and that seems pretty authentic to moi.
Whole story here.
Taco Bell building, unknown
Mitla's Cafe circa late 1950's appears courtesy of Mitla Cafe
Happy Cinco de Mayo.