Dr. Adelle Mery
June 21, 2011
Living seven miles from the Mexican border, Mexican food restaurants are abundant, but no two are necessarily the same. La Mexicana and Taco Bell are two restaurants in McAllen, Texas, that stand out in my mind. Even though they both serve tacos, they don’t have anything else in common. They cater to different types of customers, there is a difference in service speed, and the atmosphere of these two places is noticeably different.
These two restaurants do not compete for the same customers. Taco Bell is universally known, therefore, visitors not familiar with McAllen know what to expect. The prices are cheaper so budget-friendly people are targeted. La Mexicana caters to local ...view middle of the document...
The meals are prepared methodically using fresh ingredients, making it as authentic as if it were prepared homemade.
The structural appearance and interior atmosphere of these two eateries are in total contrast. Taco Bell shares its building (and kitchen) with Long John’s Silver. The very small interior is bright; seating is hard and cold, and very noisy with people talking over the loud music that is playing overhead. Numbers are heard over loud speakers calling for the next customer’s meal, and drinks are self-serve. For all you lazy people out there; if you’d like a refill or extra napkins be prepared to get up and get it yourself. La Mexicana is a grand, ornately decorated restaurant. Driving through the intersection of Nolana, and Col. Rowe Blvd, you can’t miss the colossal red building. As you walk through the huge, solid wood double doors you are escorted to a beautiful dining area filled with tables and plush seating. The décor is elaborate and the servers are dressed in black and white formal attire. The meals usually consist of three courses: appetizer, main entrée, and dessert. Live music is provided by Mariachis or a keyboardist. The music sets the mood for long-drawn out meals coupled with margaritas or other alcoholic beverages. After a couple of hours, customers leave pleasantly fulfilled.
In reality, Taco Bell is a fast food restaurant giving its customers an Americanized version of Mexican food. You get your food quickly, and it gives you a remote semblance of how authentic Mexican food is prepared. La Mexicana gives you the true essence of not only the food, but the country itself through its carefully staged ambience and authentically prepared meals.