A Judge to Decide What Is Mexican Food. What?

Feb 4, 2022 | Allen A. Ritchie

Mexican Food


This case is just too much fun. Yes, a judge must decide if history and tradition make a Mexican meal or if the ingredients make it Mexican. The result could cost someone thousands of dollars.

 So, if you were the judge, how would you rule?

 Here are a few more facts. This case concerns a Nevada shopping center lease. To limit competition, the lease basically states only one Mexican restaurant is permitted. If this clause is violated, the rent will be cut in half. Now another restaurant in the shopping center has begun offering food with traditional Mexican ingredients. So, the first restaurant started paying half the rent.

 Attorneys are filing papers and holding press conferences. Expert witnesses covering food history and food preparation are being consulted. One food writer has tasted the dishes at both places and said that the food was not worth fighting over. This comment on food quality has not stopped the legal motions and counterclaims.

 Here is just one argument the judge will have to decide. What is a taco salad? In Mexico, it traditionally has a corn tortilla shell. If you serve the same ingredients in a plastic bowl, is it non-Mexican?

 The judge is expected to rule in August.

 This case is not the first time the court has had to decide the definition of food. In Massachusetts, a court had to determine if a burrito was a sandwich when a similar lease fight broke out. After careful consideration, the court said the public would not be confused, and a burrito was a burrito, and a sandwich was a sandwich.

 By the way, the Colorado landlord says he doesn’t care how the judge rules just as long as someone pays the rent.

 If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident, railroad accident, wrongful death claim, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. 

 Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile. We are live Saturday night at 6 during the Olympics and will take your calls. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we are doing.

 Allen Ritchie

Mobile Personal Injury Attorney