Cultural Combo

Posted on November 17th, 2013

When I first started thinking about my research trip for an article dedicated to the history of Tex-Mex cuisine, my instincts took me straight to the border—the Rio Grande Valley, in particular. Surely this region was overflowing with epic historical sagas of intertwining cultures and the resulting traditional dishes now featured on Tex-Mex menus across the country. Not so much.

But that wasn’t necessarily bad. Turns out, most of the time-honored combo plates we know and love originated in San Antonio. Although these cheesy, beefy, greasy items are Alamo City natives, the Valley is responsible for refining and perfecting traditional Mexican foods and variations, such as fajitas, chile rellenos, and carnitas.
Throughout the Valley, these types of authentic dishes await in unassuming locales, such as McAllen’s El Posito and Rex Café, Rio Grande City’s Caro’s, and Brownsville’s The Vermillion. Since travelers aren’t making border runs these days, this is as close as they’ll probably get to experiencing genuine Mexican comida.

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