Culture

The Mexican Government Tried To Say Pinche Gringo BBQ’s Name Was Too Vulgar, But They Won A Case Letting Them Keep It

Six years ago, United States native Dan DeFossey and Mexican Roberto Luna took a chance when they opened a BBQ restaurant in the Mexico City neighborhood of Narvarte. Their idea was simple in thought, create a food environment where both U.S. food and Mexican culture meet. It was an idea that was rooted in building a bridge between both countries in increasingly divided times. 

“We want to be a cultural center where we offer a variety of activities and a bridge between Mexico and the United States,” DeFossey told Mexican newspaper El Economista back in March. “We want to send a message that there is no wall between us. This place is a letter of friendship between Mexico and my country.”

While the restaurant has seen success and has even opened a second location in Anáhuac, there has also been controversy that until recently put Defossy and Luna in legal trouble. That is mainly due to their restaurant’s name, Pinche Gringo BBQ.

The controversy stemmed from Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law in Mexico that states that “a brand cannot be registered if it is deemed to be contrary to the morals and good manners of society.” In this case the word “Pinche.”

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

The ordeal started about five years ago when Defossy and Luna attempted to register the restaurant’s name but immediately faced legal challenges. This stemmed from the use of the word “pinche”, essentially meaning “damn” but also used as an offensive term, in its business name.

The term was found offensive and not suitable for registering according to Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law (LPI) prohibits the registration of brands whose contents or form are contrary to the morals and good customs of society. The two didn’t agree with the decision and launched a five-year legal battle to register its name. 

Defossy and Luna put forth two factors to defend the use of the name. Both made the argument that “pinche” is also used in some parts of the restaurant industry to describe “kitchen assistant” in formal Spanish. The term is also part of the fabric of the restaurant’s mission in creating  “fraternity and camaraderie between citizens of the United States and Mexico.”

“From a gastronomic point of view, the word pinche refers to a cook . . .” Alejandro Luna de Olivares, the owners’ lawyer,  old the magazine Forbes México.

After a long legal battle, the restaurant was allowed to keep it’s popular name after the courts ruled in their favor.   

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

“. . . The case reached a collegiate district court and our main argument was that the fourth article of the law is against the constitution because IMPI must not be the arbitrator of morals and good manners,” Luz Elena Elías, another lawyer who represented Pinche Gringo restaurant, told the Mexico Daily News. “In the end, the court ruled in our favor,” she said, noting that the court decision sets a precedent for the use of the term “pinche” in a brand going forward. 

Defossy and Luna are happy to put this legal trouble in the rearview mirror and continue to grow their restaurant chain. This also means they can finally make products with the business’s name, which was previously not an option due to the pending legal case. 

“The future is very bright. We have a lot of ideas to grow Pinche Gringo. We have plans to open a luxury restaurant with . . . more gourmet food but with a casual atmosphere,” DeFossey said. “What matters most to us with the concept of El Pinche Gringo is to bring about a change and I think we’re achieving it.”

That change goes beyond just their name but how the business is run from the inside out. That starts with the more than 100 employees whom a large majority are Mexicans who were deported from the U.S. after living the majority of their lives there. This is part of El Pinche Gringo’s philosophy and a testament of what they believe in building bridges not walls. 

“When someone comes into this house [El Pinche Gringo] it’s as if they’ve arrived in Austin, Texas, and for two hours you have the chance to get up close to a little bit of the food and culture of the United States in an environment where social classes or where you come from don’t matter,” DeFossey says. “When you leave, you return to Mexico, my country for the last 10 years.”

READ: He Was Injured In The Hard Rock Hotel Collapse And Gave An Interview To The Media, Now He’s Being Detained By ICE

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This Hilarious Viral Video is Being Called the Latino Version of ‘Get Out’

comedy

This Hilarious Viral Video is Being Called the Latino Version of ‘Get Out’

Screenshot via xgabsterz/Twitter

We’ve all experienced it before–the nervousness of meeting your partner’s parents. And if you’re in an interracial relationship, that nervousness grows exponentially.

That’s why this video of a young Latino man who is hesitant about entering his white girlfriend’s Trump-supporting family’s house has gone viral.

It’s #relatable.

The video starts off with the unnamed boyfriend narrating what’s happening to him as his girlfriend practically drags him into her parent’s home.

In Spanish, he says “I’m going to visit my girlfriend’s parent’s house. The house is very beautiful and she wants me to go inside. But I’m not going to do that because there’s a problem.”

At this point, he pans up to focus on a “Trump” sign prominently displayed on the front lawn.

He turns the camera around to show his own very worried face. The young man’s girlfriend tries to assure him that everything is okay, promising him that her parents are “going to like you”.

The young man tells her to go on without him because he “doesn’t want to die” today. “Maybe tomorrow, yes. But today–no,” he says.

His girlfriend keeps insisting he follow her in until he finally says: “They don’t like me!” before zooming in on the “Trump/Pence” sign one final time. The comedic timing is *chef’s kiss* impeccable.

The video is captioned “This Spanish remake of ‘Get Out’–a witty nod to the 2017 horror film.

As a refresher, “Get Out” centers on a young Black man in an interracial relationship who visits his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend. Soon, he realizes the family is not quite as idyllic as they’re pretending to be. Before long, he realizes his life is in danger.

The movie accurately depicted the real-life horror of racism and white supremacy through a cinematic lens. Phrases like “the sunken place” (the place the main character went when he’s paralyzed by his girlfriend’s mother) became cultural shorthand for: the “place an oppressed person goes when they have become silent or compliant to their own oppression” (thanks Urban Dictionary).

Internet commentators chimed in with their own thoughts and opinions about the super relatable video.

One Reddit user knew exactly how the young man felt. “As a biracial person who dated a girl from a very conservative Republican family, they never let me forget that I was biracial,” he said. “They brought it up almost every day.”

Another knew the struggles of having family members with different views from their own: “I have friends and family members that have been radicalized.. it’s very difficult to have a conversation about anything anymore that doesn’t end with vitriol.”

Another Reddit user had more sympathy for the man’s girlfriend. “I feel bad for the girl honestly,” they said. “We may be able to choose who we befriend, but we can never choose our parents.”

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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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