--Let me start by saying that it gives me joy that I was able to spell conundrum without firefox underlining it in red. You know it's the little things.---
And I've found some interesting qualities among Mexican restaurants. In Mississippi, there is no shortage of Mexican restaurants. Most of them are separated by only minute details - the heat and freshness of the salsa, etc. But in other parts of the country, this is simply isn't so.
In the months we stayed in New Orleans, we managed to only find one decent Mexican place, and it was so far out we probably couldn't find it again if we tried.
The fact is there are only two kinds of Mexican restaurants: those run by Mexicans (or Latinos) and those who are run by non-Mexicans.
It's the latter you'll want to avoid because I can almost assure you that you'll find across the board higher prices and slower service, and inevitably, less authentic food.
Maybe it's because we have a toddler, and maybe it's because I'm unreasonably frugal at times, but quick service and lower prices rank pretty high on the important list in our family.
Granted, the family-run Mexican locations may not be the trendiest place in town to eat, but if you're willing to sacrifice being 'seen', then you'll probably enjoy the local establishment much more.
I will say that Chipotle restaurants, while not run by Mexicans at all, have delicious food (and are pretty quick and well priced)...and if you've got to eat at a chain, that's the one I'd pick.
So there you have it. If there aren't any Mexicans in sight when you walk in the door, you might want to just leave.