Jay: You write:
I have spent many, many hours of my life studying Mexican menus, agonizing over what to order. (Mexican is one of my two or three favorite cuisines.) And the truth is: It all comes out pretty much the same, doesn’t it?
Having grown up in South Texas, I wager that I have spent even more time than you perusing menus at Mexican restaurants, which outnumbered the Starbucks and McDonald’s (combined) in my particular Gulf Coast shrimp town. Mexican food was a staple. To me, a house without tortilla chips and salsa is not a home.
But about the monotony of Mexican cuisine, you are spot on. Standup comedian Jim Gaffigan has an entertaining bit on exactly that point. The relevant joke starts at 1:50:
That said, it is still ¡comida muy sabrosa!