On one side of the border, one gringo is determined to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. But on the other side, another gringo is building a bridge between the two countries instead.
The latter is Dan DeFossey, who for the past six years has run the Pinche Gringo BBQ restaurant in the Mexico City neighborhood of Narvarte with his business partner Roberto Luna – el pinche Mexicano.
“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 the newspaper El Economista at the restaurant’s newer second location, the Pinche Gringo BBQ Warehouse in the neighborhood of Anáhuac.
“. . . 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,” he added.
One way that DeFossey has helped strengthen his business while responding to the increasingly strict immigration policies of the United States government is by hiring Mexicans who have been deported.
“That’s our government. I feel responsible for it,” DeFossey, a New Yorker, told The Los Angeles Times last year. “You ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’”
In addition to serving succulent Texas-style barbecue and traditional American sides year-round, El Pinche Gringo also hosts Fourth of July, Super Bowl and United States election parties, among other events. Live music and comedy in English also keep diners entertained.
“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. When you leave, you return to Mexico, my country for the last 10 years,” DeFossey said.
The concept has proved popular, with long lines of hungry diners often waiting to get a seat at one of the two locations.
El Pinche Gringo goes through a tonne of meat on a typical weekend and serves countless pints of beer, including the Mexican craft variety.
DeFossey said in his job he can act as a kind of cultural ambassador for the United States and show Mexicans that many gringos are intent on developing good relations with their neighbors, not the other way around.
However, he added, “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.”
Source: El Economista (sp)