The other day, I visited my friend in Philly. It was late but we were hungry so as we walked around Center City we looked for open establishments to eat at. It was then that we walked past this store. This restaurant in Philadephia, Pennsylvania has quite the interesting name. The sign is so colorfully lit in Mexico’s national colors that it’s hard to walk past without looking up. It’s a good move for any business that wants to attract the attention of possible customers. However, the name…isn’t quite right. The grand picture of this begins to be even more problematic as the iconism is a bushy Yosemite Sam type with a sombrero just as grand.
My friend even told me how they refuse to eat there because the owner of this restaurant isn’t even of Mexican or Hispanic descent. Upon further research, I found that the owner is actually Florian Furxhiu, an Albanian immigrant to the States. He has received flack for the name but insists on playing up to the catchphrase, ‘so authentic, it’s illegal’. Again, this points to a larger scheme of authentic food being from people not welcomed or even that that foreign-ness what makes the food so good. To quote from my interview with Ruth; “[T]hey can accept our food but not our people.” Of course, the usual arguments stand. This restaurant does have a 4.5-star rating and raving reviews on Yelp. I really wish the store was open at the time so I could see what type of people are working in the back, who is presented to us, how is the food served, and of course, are these tacos actually good enough to ignore the disrespectful name…?