HOUSTON — What’s the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food?

The New York Times dished insight from several local restaurants. Another served KHOU 11 News a quiz.

At Paparrucho’s manager Alfredo Ribadeneyra served a platter including steak, shrimp and chicken fajitas, one red and green gravy covered burrito and a plate of beef tacos on corn tortillas.

Which is an authentic Mexican dish? Before you answer, Ribadeneyra, who grew up in Puebla, Mexico, offered tips.

“There are people that want to try and say what is this,” he said.

Tex-Mex dishes tend to be giant, piled high, often covered in cheese or gravy, Ribadeneyra said. He added that authentic Mexican dishes focus on tradition, fresh ingredients and include street food, things easy to eat on the go.

Still, his restaurant serves plenty of Tex-Mex offerings, even burgers because customers enjoy them.

“I already adopted Tex-Mex food and I like it,” he said. “I can do enchilada with the gravy because if you eat that in Mexico they’re going to slap you in your face like what are you going.”

So if you labeled the fajitas and burrito Tex-Mex plates, you are correct.

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