Mi Tierra, a still very popular, once authentic Tex-Mex restaurant in downtown San Antonio used to be the place traditional Mexican families went after mass on Sunday, the restaurant a young cholo might take his chola on a special occasion (the test was negative), the late-night hangout for former alter boys who now preferred sequence dresses and heavy makeup to putting out candles and blowing priests.

Now Mi Tierra is a tourist trap with bad food and OK Mexican pastries, a magnet for cotton-headed Okies, tight-lipped Yankees and the occasional black family. Any Mexican dining there is either a tourist or had a drunk for a mother.

Call it the gentrification of popular Mexican restaurants, the gringofication of Mexican food or the Less Pica Effect. When word gets out that an old standby is the new thing, it’s time to find a new old standby.

So I am sad to announce that Los Barrios has been lost to Gringofication. And the graffiti was on the liquor store wall for everyone and his abuela to see last year when Los Barrios opened up a new restaurant, Hacienda de Los Barrios, in the Northwest part of town–where white people are moving in droves, with their money and in their SUVs.

Instead of serving caldo every day at this new Los Barrios outpost, caldo is served only on Sunday. My mom is a caldo fanatic and so instead of going to the new Los Barrios, we continued to go to the old, less convenient location on Blanco Road.

Then it was my dad’s turn to be disappointed. He ordered an old Tex-Mex standby, beef quesadillas. They were bland, a capital crime in Mexican restaurants punishable by blows from the end of a day-old churro until the offending cook is either unconscious or dead.

I thought I was fine as long as the frozen margaritas kept coming. But then the bastards came for my beloved chilaquiles. Spicy became the new mild and mild became the “Where the fuck is the pica?”

I gave Los Barrios one last try on Sunday but it looks like my parents and I are going to have to find a new Mexican restaurant to frequent when I’m in town.

Asi es.