Cocinas económicas are everywhere, and even the gringos who prefer Costco to the local mercados have a much earthier attitude when it comes to the informal kitchens that turn out homey lunches for cheap. Two of the ruins we’ve toured with real estate agents were operating as temporary cocinas, with big pots sitting on little burners and a lady puttering about the kitchen. They’re so basic, you might get the impression they’re running on the down low, but there they are in the light of day with a clear sign on the sidewalk so I assume they’re licensed, or somehow running with the city’s approval. Other cocinas look more permanent, with Coca Cola awnings and such.
Cocinas económicas seem to have earned the respect of locals and gringos alike. Some reach mythical status, like classic New Jersey diners, probably not as great as people say, but not a bad deal either. For me, the merits of the food are almost beside the point. This system provides income for the proprietors and affordable, wholesome food for the public. And the money stays in the neighborhood rather than going to some corporate headquarters.
That makes too much sense for us NOB. Although in the city I live in, where the Mexican population has doubled in the last 10 years, they probably are in operation, on the double down low.