How to decipher a Mexican Menu

2014 Food September 2014

By Manzanillo Sun from the September 2014 Edition

In the Sun, we have reviewed many restaurants over the years. After dining out in so many of the diverse restaurants around town it occurred to me that in many instances what is mentioned on the menu, is not really understood by a new diner.

Hopefully I can remember some of the pitfalls, but I can certainly explain the commonest phrases or words.

In most of the restaurants they offer a choice of how the main entrée is to be cooked, particularly fish or chicken.

natural                                            plain
frito                                                deep fried

salteado                                         sautéed

poche, escalfado                          poached
en mantequilla                               in butter
en ajo                                             in garlic

a la mojo                                         in butter and garlic
estilo diablo                                    devilled – hot peppers

estilo Veracruzana                         Veracruz style, In a tomato, peppers,
onion salsa – may be hot

al gusto                                           “as you like it”


How you like it cooked

empanizada                                    breaded
arrachera                                       grilled flank steak usually used in fajitas

carne asada                                   grilled meat

raro                                                 rare
medio raro                                       medium rare

bien hecho                                     well done
fajitas in Mexico,                             the tortilla is rolled and eaten separately

florentina                                         with spinach

Huevos                                              Eggs

duro                                                    hard boiled
revuelto                                              scrambled

poche                                                  poached
sonrisa                                                sunnyside up

frito                                                      fried

con                                                       with

sin                                                         without

Download the full edition or view it online