The arrogance over the claim of authenticity would be impressive if it weren't so stupefying. Because to claim a place is authentic, one must also claim a certain kind of authority: "I know more than the owners, chef, cooks, servers, and other guests of this restaurant, and only I can make the authenticity assessment that will validate its existence. Also, you should totally read my blog."
Minerva Orduño Rincón notes in her excellent piece for the Phoenix New Times, "The Authenticity Trap of Mexican Food in America:"
"In the armchair anthropologist game, Americans are the undisputed champs. The sheer conviction and depth of expertise in Mexican cuisine that these critics demonstrate is nothing short of impressive and intimidating. I was born and raised in Mexico and have lived in the United States for most of my adult life. I’ve worked in kitchens for many years, serving Mexican, American, and other kinds of food, but I would hardly call myself an authority on the authenticity of Mexican cooking, despite having been raised with it and devoting much of my culinary career to it."
Rincón is, by her own description, both ethnically and culturally Mexican AND a long-time cook, yet she makes no claim to knowing what indisputably "authentic" Mexican cooking is -- in fact, she questions if there really is such a thing, as the "self-appointed authorities wield the stamp of authenticity fearlessly when it comes to a restaurant’s handmade tortillas, cheap prices, colorful ambiance, and quaintness of the family who owns it, [though] little is said about the food's taste."