Saturday, May 24, 2014

Promote local Mexican food, not Chipotle Mex Grill

America acts like its minorities have chingos of spare time to keep correcting the U.S. government, corporations and organizations. This week it's the corporate-officer dregs of Chipotle Restaurant who call their food "Mexican."

Ask A Mexican's Gustavo Arrellano has good updates on the Chipotle/Latino Author fiasco. Put simply, for a series of plastic cups, the list of American authors who contributed 250-word stories, qué chingaus, failed to include any Latino author. Like Gustavo says, a "Mexican" restaurant couldn't find one Mexican-American writer, though they claimed they tried.

The fiasco is all over the Internet, for example on the Huffington Post, Mona Alvarado Frazier's Chipotle's "Thought-less" Idea, and a clearinghouse called Cultivating Invisibility:Chipotle's Missing Mexicans.

I proposed a different strategy to put pressure on Chipotle and facebooked the following:

How to answer Chipotles' exclusion of latino writers--
1. Make up our own story (250 words, max)
2. Use your favorite LOCAL latino restaurant's logo or slogan
3. Identify your city, and share your piece across the country.
4. You can use the LatinoStory4Chipotle tag
I'm working on mine. Even if you're not, spread the word, por favor.

I'm still working on my story and cup that will highlight Mexican-owned Santiago's in Colorado, which is selling burritos and great Mexican food, like to upstage Chipotle. I can't say they treat their staff better than the Rice-Makes-A-Chingón-Burrito Chipotle place, but at least they're local and Mexican owned.

Somebody took me to Chipotle's right after they opened in Denver, and I hated the food, but kept the friend. A burrito with rice! I understood how trendy rice is and that the place was attempting to appeal to the gentry. But that didn't make the food genuine.

Other gente's experience may be different from mine, but the only time when I was growing up that my impoverished family ate rice was when there was nada else to fill it with. Refritos, mashed frijoles is the proper thing to put in a burrito, other than meat that didn't always appear on our table.

Chipotle expects me to celebrate my cultural heritage by eating a rice burrito. What will they think of next? Mashed lima beans or garbanzos instead of beans? (Those were always the last two cans in our cupboard, back then.)

I can't trash other food at Chipotle's because I don't care to taste anything more from the place. That's just me. Whatever you do, if you're thinking about stopping there, you might want to first read about how they treat their workers.

And if you want to REALLY let them know what you think about excluding Latino writers, Facebook or Tweet your own story and cup about your favorite local puertoriqueño, dominicano, mexicano, Tex-Mex or Chicano restaurant. Promoting Chipotle's competition might make them never again forget to put Mexicans (latinos, too) on their literary menu.

Es todo, hoy,
RudyG, ex-tejano connoisseur of la comida mexicana

No comments: