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Mexican Food Doesn’t Get The Respect It Deserves, Says Chef Javier Plascencia

Tijuana-born Javier Plascencia knows how to run a Mexican restaurant: His family runs 13 successful businesses in Mexico alone.

Were having a partyyyy!! #jazamango #todossantos #playalobos

A photo posted by Javier Plascencia (@javierplascencia) on


However, in 2015, when Plascencia opened Bracero in San Diego, Calif., he was surprised to find U.S. customers giving him the cold shoulder.

In a recent interview with Vice’s Javier Cabral, Plascencia says he wasn’t entirely prepared to clash with U.S. expectations of Mexican food.


A respected chef in Mexico, Plascencia specializes in modern Mexican cuisine. He uses modern techniques to create unique dishes that highlight traditional Mexican flavors.

In the U.S., Mexican food has a reputation for being quick and cheap, an expectation that carries over to modern Mexican cuisine, which is often more expensive. “We get a lot of requests for chips, salsa, and burritos,” Plascencia told Vice. “I do not serve these items. [Americans] also expect big, big, big portions and are not willing to pay $5 for a taco.” These are among the several reasons many potential patrons bristle at the style of Mexican cuisine Plascencia is trying to introduce to a U.S. audience.

Plascencia believes that many people undervalue the amount of time and work that goes into creating many Mexican dishes.

CREDIT: javierplascencia / Instagram

“You probably won’t be able to tell by the looks of the tiny cup full of salsa on your table at Bracero, but you would not believe how much time and labor goes into making just that one alone,” Plascencia said.

Plascencia also says Mexican-Americans have a much different idea of what “traditional” Mexican flavors are:


“A lot of American-born cooks who work for me haven’t tasted the real flavors of simple, traditional, Mexican-style braised dishes or even a homemade mole, so it is really difficult to train them to accurately recreate proper Mexican flavors.” In spite of these culinary hurdles, Plascencia’s two U.S.-based restaurants have achieved critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.

Plascencia says he’s noticed that younger patrons are more willing to try modern Mexican cuisine.

CREDIT: javierplascencia / Instagram

For someone who came to the U.S. to escape Tijuana’s kidnapping and crime epidemic, Plascencia is laser focused to broadening our perception of how we can experience Mexican food. Make sure to check out the full interview at Vice, which is packed with more insight from Plascencia.

[H/T] VICE: Why It’s So Hard to Open a Modern Mexican Restaurant in the US


READ: A List Of Latin American Cuisine That Isn’t For The Weak Stomach

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This French Bulldog Disappeared From His California Home and Was Found Weeks Later in Tijuana

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This French Bulldog Disappeared From His California Home and Was Found Weeks Later in Tijuana

Phot via ABCLiz/Twitter

Looks like French bulldogs just can’t stay out of the headlines! Following Lady Gaga’s harrowing dog-napping ordeal, another dramatic dog fiasco has recently made the news.

Recently, a Bay Area woman was reunited with her French bulldog, Brody, after he had been found 600 miles away…in Tijuana, Mexico.

According to Brody’s owner, Debbie Campbell, she had been frantically searching for her emotional support dog for weeks after he “wandered away” from her front yard on February 3rd.

Immediately after Brody’s disappearance, Campbell and her family launched an intense search party. They posted flyers around town and posted on social media to find her beloved Brody, but no luck. Just when the Campbells thought they would never see Brody again, they received a mysterious message from Mexico.

A man named Benjamin Gonzalez contacted the family on Facebook and told them he had bought Brody a few weeks prior, on the streets of Tijuana.

By an odd twist of fate, Gonzalez had previously lived in the Bay Area himself before being deported to Mexico two years prior. Since he had lived in the Bay Area since he was a baby, his entire family still lived there.

When Gonzalez showed his new dog to his American family, they recognized Brody from social media posts and told him that Brody looked like a local missing dog. They told him to contact Debbie Campbell.

When Gonzalez contacted her, Campbell asked him to send her a picture of Brody’s tattoo for proof. “And the minute he did I knew it was my dog,” Campbell told KGO reporters.

Gonzalez said he can relate to the dog’s situation. Gonzalez told reporters that it made sense that Brody was far from home, because the dog seemed depressed.

“I’m deported myself, and you know I’m out here by myself, so we could relate,” Gonzalez said. “He doesn’t have family here…I don’t have family here, I’m out here by myself, so you know I was like, man, if I can return him I’m going to do the right thing.”

Within 24 hours, Debbie Campbell was reunited with Brody. She was overjoyed to be with her emotional support dog again. Campbell recounted the emotional situation through tears: “When he video called us to show us the dog, that took my breath away,” Campbell said KGO. “It’s a blessing that that man called, because otherwise there’s no way we could have gotten him back.”

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, thieves have been targeting French bulldogs more and more recently due to their popularity.

A police spokesperson referred to them as a French bulldogs are considered “a high-value ticket item.” Dog-nappers can make $1,500 to $6,000 reselling the pups on the black market.

“Frenchies are ‘in’ right now,” San Francisco SPCA president Dr. Jennifer told the Chronicle. “If I had a Frenchie, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight right now.”

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San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

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San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

Update: Amber Lynn Gilles is Internet famous for trying to shame a Starbucks barista on Facebook for telling her to wear a mask. Now she is becoming Internet famous for claims she is the victim and deserves half of the money raised on GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe page for Lenin Gutierrez is now over $100,000 and Gilles claims she deserves half.

Credit: GoFundMe

Gutierrez is now $100,000 richer after his friend Matt Cowan set up the GoFundMe to make the bad experience better. The original goal for the GoFundMe page was $1,000 but the amount keeps on growing as people share the love with Gutierrez.

According to the GoFundMe, Cowan set up for Gutierrez to meet with a financial advisor to help him invest the money. Gutierrez has said that he wants to use the money to pursue his dream of being a dancer. Even more, the young mans shared in a video that he wants to use the money to help others chase their dreams in dance as well.

“We crossed the $100,000 mark,” reads the GoFundMe page. “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Lenin is overjoyed and at a loss of words at the kindness that has been shown to him by everyone worldwide.”

After the fundraiser made a lot of money, Gilles has decided to sue for half of the money she feels she deserves. However, she needs people to send her money so she can hire an attorney to take on the case. The fundraiser was started on July 2, 2020, and has raised $460 of the $5,000 goal in two weeks.

“I have been attacked by liberals, the organizations who form many Facebook hate groups, I am silenced on media platforms and censored,” Gilles claims on her GoFundMe page. “I have been slandered and defamed on a GoFundMe raiser, he used my photo and personal information without my permission.”

Gilles claims that she has a medical condition and showed a note from a chiropractor saying she has a breathing condition.

Original: Karens are everywhere and one Starbuck barista in San Diego encountered one in the wild without a face mask. Lenin Gutierrez asked a customer if she had a mask when he saw her without one. She said no and refused to put on one. She then went to social media to call him out.

A white woman in San Diego was very upset that a Starbucks barista told her to wear a mask.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Face masks have become a very controversial issue. The most important tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has become a politicized issue. Conservatives have denounced the facial coverings claiming they infringe on their rights and are unconstitutional. A Vinn diagram of people protesting the lockdown and not wanting to wear masks would show a lot of overlap.

She included a photo of Lenin Gutierrez, the man who stood up to her.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a mandate ordering al Californians to wear facial coverings when they are in public. Private businesses, like Starbucks, are allowed to refuse service to anyone that employees deem necessary. During a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and infected more than 2.6 million, facial coverings are crucial.

Gutierrez is the one coming out ahead when a GoFundMe was set up to show him support.

Credit: GoFundMe

So far, more than $49,000 have been raised to help Gutierrez. The money is being donated by people who are thanking him for stand up to the woman who thinks she is too good to wear a mask. If you want to donate, you can click here.

Gutierrez took to Facebook to thank everyone who donated to him.

I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.

Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The barista was so moved by the donations. The young man shared that he was working at Starbucks to make the money to pursue his dreams of dancing. According to his Facebook, he likes Folklorico, the native dance of Mexico. There is no doubt that $49,000 will definitely help him pursuing is dreams of diving deeper into dancing.

Don’t forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has not slowed down in the U.S. Instead, the number of infections continues to rise in the U.S. with more than 40,000 falling ill on Thursday. Facial coverings are the best tool we have to slow the spread. Be smart. Be safe. Listen to the scientists. We can make it through this together.

READ: People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

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