A couple of weeks ago some friends and I went to a new California-Style Mexican place in Greenpoint. It’s a very stylish  establishment and it was packed to the gills with a beautiful young waitstaff and equally attractive customers. The food is serious about its authenticity; there is a lot of queso fresco, pumpkin seeds, and a vast array of Jarritos.

Anyway, the whole thing made want to barf and it wasn’t the food- the food was pretty good (although not as good as a real California burrito place.) It was  the idea of taking something like a Mission burrito joint and blowing into this big tasteful yet “authentic” enterprise. I felt like everyone eating there was patting themselves on the back, talking about how it tasted just like Pancho Villa or something. Then I started feeling bad about myself. Where does this drive to get the most authentic piece of food come from? Why does it bother me that hipsters (including myself) all like to go to the same wannabe authentic restaurants? Why do I fetishize food? I say this as someone who has a blog about salad so I am aware of the irony…

Anyway this whole train of thought got me feeling in a very reactionary food mood and I decided that all I wanted to eat was grilled American cheese sandwiches. They are authentically part of my food culture and memory in a way that doesn’t need to be sold to me. A grilled American cheese sandwich has nothing to prove. It’s just totally delicious.

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