US food abroad

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desertdog
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 00:59:35 (permalink)
There was this little place in Burgau, Germany, (Gerberstueble) where the owner was determined to make a great American Style Cheeseburger. Frequenting his place over the 10 yrs I was there, I became his "official" tester.

He came up with many variations, his "Western" burger, for example, had corn on it topped with melted cheese and bacon. Actually was pretty good! By the time I finally left Germany, he had 5 or 6 different Burgers on his permanent menu. He also made some outstanding Garlic Fries...my Wife always knew when I had been to the Gerberstueble!

DD

PS, last time I was back someone had opened a Mexican Restaurant in Guenzburg (where I lived). A buddy of mine and I decided to give it a try, we knew we were in trouble when the Special of the day was a "BORRITO." We decided just to have some chips and salsa (spicy ketchup?) and a Margarita....this Tequila was absolutley undrinkable...we asked for their best, a brand I had never heard of, it was awful! By the way, if you are brave enough to do a shot of tequila, silver will get you salt and lemon, gold will get you.......cinnamon and an Orange slice!

But, having said that...man can they make a mean Schnitzel and Beer!

#31
Twinwillow
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 01:48:54 (permalink)
There are many good American style burger restaurants in London. I have been to a few good ones near Harrods and in the Chelsea area.
We always got a laugh watching the "Brits" eat their burgers. Rather than pick up a burger with their hands like us, they will separate the bun and the meat and fixuns on the plate and proceed to cut a small piece of meat and then cut a piece of bun and dip it all in ketchup and eat it with a fork.
I never saw them eat pizza with their hands either.




#32
desertdog
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 09:37:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow

There are many good American style burger restaurants in London. I have been to a few good ones near Harrods and in the Chelsea area.
We always got a laugh watching the "Brits" eat their burgers. Rather than pick up a burger with their hands like us, they will separate the bun and the meat and fixuns on the plate and proceed to cut a small piece of meat and then cut a piece of bun and dip it all in ketchup and eat it with a fork.
I never saw them eat pizza with their hands either.




Germans are the same way. They even eat their french fries with a fork. You are considered a neanderthal if you dare eat pizza with your hands!



#33
Robearjr
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 10:15:39 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

Welcome or not most of the "American" food you'll find outside of America is sold by chains. I've had McDonald's hamburgers around the world and they were pretty much the same. That was a couple decades ago, though, and I keep reading that these days they are putting local stuff on their menus.

Probably the first tacos I ever had were in Okinawa. There was a place there that catered mostly to off-duty marines that sold them in huge numbers (it was fascinating watching the guy deep fry the tortillas using chopsticks). In fact, that's one place to look if you ever do crave "back home" food overseas--near a US military base.

I was surprised to find in Thailand a Swenson's Ice cream shop.

Here's the SF version

They apparently have a far east subsidiary HQ'd in Singapore.

Otherwise, it's hard to think of too much (maybe big honking steaks) that's identified as "American". We are a nation of immigrants. Most of our food is an adaptation of something from the "old country" and often the "old country" version is better.


There are many foods that could be identified as American. Pretty much anything with turkey, corn and bison

I would also put in the American category things like BBQ. Yes, many cultures have some form of BBQ, but America has several forms that are unique to America.

Even when it comes to steak, I think America is more than just big steaks. For instance, I don't think Chicken Fried Steak was brought from some place else.
#34
BT
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 12:19:05 (permalink)
^^^Corn isn't uniquely American (think polenta) although eating on the cob may be. I've never eaten bison and don't want to--nor have most Americans I suspect, even though one of my favorite roadfood places, Tommy's Joynt, serves bison stew. Turkey also isn't uniquely American. I'm not sure how much they eat it in Europe, but turkey with mole is a standard in Mexico. I thought about chicken fried steak, but they bread and fry every other kind of meat in Europe so I doubt they'd find beef unusual.

Yeah, you could probably open a BBQ joint with pulled pork and corn on the cob and call it "American food". But I suspect we are like the British--without the sort of reputation as a source of tasty chow that would draw in the majority of locals. Ever seen a restaurant here serving "English" food (pseudo English "pubs" don't count).
#35
BT
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 12:23:21 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow

There are many good American style burger restaurants in London.





But does Wimpy really count? I've always thought of them as competition to American burger joints, not one of the "boys".
#36
matilda
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 12:32:49 (permalink)
What about "fusion?" LOL.
#37
Ashphalt
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 12:42:47 (permalink)
"Yeah, you could probably open a BBQ joint with pulled pork and corn on the cob and call it "American food". But I suspect we are like the British--without the sort of reputation as a source of tasty chow that would draw in the majority of locals. Ever seen a restaurant here serving "English" food (pseudo English "pubs" don't count)."

Ah, so American cuisine suffers from bad P.R. Maybe the influence of America's favorite Scottish restaurant?

I think I've mentioned it elsewhere, but even in Boston the Irish and English pubs (other than the outpost of the Elephant & Castle chain) serve very little native fare. Maybe a shepards pie, fish & chips (which you can get made just as poorly anywhere in town) and an Irish breakfast for weekend brunch. It's mostly burgers, reubens and club sandwiches. A few years ago they were all specializing in fajitas. Now it's Pan-Asian. And the emigres and tourists from the Old Sod love it.
#38
Davydd
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 15:22:06 (permalink)
Chicken fried steaks and breaded pork tenderloins are nothing but variations of Wiener Schnitzel.
#39
Twinwillow
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/22 16:20:24 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

Chicken fried steaks and breaded pork tenderloins are nothing but variations of Wiener Schnitzel.


True, but those very German dishes are not made with pan creamed gravy.
Now, that's American!
#40
BT
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 02:02:56 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

Chicken fried steaks and breaded pork tenderloins are nothing but variations of Wiener Schnitzel.


Actually, the Germans also love pork "schnitzel". And so do the Japanese (Ton Katsu). It's only beef I haven't seen anyone overseas bread and fry, but I bet they do it.
#41
Twinwillow
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 03:16:39 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

Chicken fried steaks and breaded pork tenderloins are nothing but variations of Wiener Schnitzel.


Actually, the Germans also love pork "schnitzel". And so do the Japanese (Ton Katsu). It's only beef I haven't seen anyone overseas bread and fry, but I bet they do it.


I believe the meat of choice is, veal.
#42
Twinwillow
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 03:19:50 (permalink)
If you see it on the menu as, ala "Holstein", then it comes with a soft boiled egg on top.
#43
desertdog
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 10:14:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow

quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

Chicken fried steaks and breaded pork tenderloins are nothing but variations of Wiener Schnitzel.


Actually, the Germans also love pork "schnitzel". And so do the Japanese (Ton Katsu). It's only beef I haven't seen anyone overseas bread and fry, but I bet they do it.


I believe the meat of choice is, veal.



You'll find both on the menus in Germany. The Pork Schnitzel is usually on there as a less expensive alternative to the Veal.

#44
Davydd
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 10:59:11 (permalink)
Hmm, do I detect gravy on that Waldgeist in Hofheim schnitzel?


#45
Twinwillow
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/23 11:12:30 (permalink)
Looks like a German version of pizza. Regardless-I'd eat that!
#46
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/24 12:43:54 (permalink)
We lived on Okinawa from 1960 to 1962 or 63.
We ate american food on base,but ate local food at various places.
It didn't bother us a bit.If we wanted american momma or daddy would cook it at home,or if out on base, we'd eat it there.
My dad was TDY to England and Germany back in the late 1950s.
I don't know what if any american food was available off base then.Being german and speaking the language, the food was something he was familiar with,eating it at home as a kid.
He spoke more about places he saw and relatives he visited with in Garmisch than the food.Though he did mention a place called the Rosenhaus or Rosentauher(rosetower) I think in either Frankfort or Dusseldorf,can't recall what city right now.
If I ever get to Europe some day,I want to eat what the locals eat
I can get McDonald's at home.There are so many food choices over there.
#47
cyrano
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/24 22:42:27 (permalink)
30+ years ago, I was working offshore in the North Sea and spent a lot of time in London...where the first Hard Rock Cafe had just opened. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. There was some of the rock and roll memorabilia shtick, but mostly it was about American diner/hamburger joint food, and it was quite good. There were already McDonald's most everywhere, and only the diehard English hadn't chosen it over the dreaded Wimpy (any of those left? I hope not). These days, I would only go to a Hard Rock under force majeure, but back in the day, when we were all younger, it was a welcome reminder of home.

Around that time, I blundered into a Greek restaurant in London that listed pina coladas on their drink list. Foolishly, I ordered one, which was undrinkable-- they substituted gin for the rum.

The other reminder of home was when I persuaded Fortnum & Mason, the very high-toned purveyor of foodstuffs to the toffs, to carry Wolf Brand Chili for me and the other American pipeliners. Cost us about $4 a can in 1974, and worth every penny.

Then when I lived in England again in the mid-90s, this time in Lancashire, I had utterly maxed out on mushy peas, soggy Yorkshire pudding, and fatty/gristly roast beef, when one day, driving on a motorway on the outskirts of Manchester, I saw a beacon of hope-- TGI Friday's. They'd just opened, and I believe it was the first one in the UK and they didn't really have the concept down yet (or at least the waitrons didn't-- but God love 'em, they tried to be chatty and have flair), but they had the margarita mix from the States in stock and the bartender could read directions, and their quesadilla was a dead ringer for its US counterpart. And they didn't charge for refills on coke.

But I also found that both Safeway and Tesco carried a lot of American-type foods-- weiners and hot dog buns, chocolate chip cookies (sometimes the American brands, even...although I always passed them up for my ultimate weakness, Fox Ginger Crunch Cremes), even canned black eyed peas. And around that time, American beer had just started to "invade" England...which was nothing thrilling for me, vastly preferring Heineken or Harp lager, until one day a mate in a pub insisted on buying me a Coors...which was surprisingly good, and surprisingly like Heineken. No surprise, really, since Heineken was brewing it under license in Holland.
#48
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/24 23:13:27 (permalink)
I was in England when the very first TGIF Friday's opened back in the early 80's. It was located in Birmingham (England). I remember my ex and I were taken there by business associates. The food was actually pretty good, But, it took forever to get the food out of the kitchen to the (filled to capacity) crowd of diners.
#49
BT
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 03:31:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow
I believe the meat of choice is, veal.


For Weiner Schnitzel, not for Schweineschnitzel (which is pork)--but both are common.
#50
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 11:30:22 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by cyrano

30+ years ago, I was working offshore in the North Sea and spent a lot of time in London...where the first Hard Rock Cafe had just opened. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. There was some of the rock and roll memorabilia shtick, but mostly it was about American diner/hamburger joint food, and it was quite good. There were already McDonald's most everywhere, and only the diehard English hadn't chosen it over the dreaded Wimpy (any of those left? I hope not). These days, I would only go to a Hard Rock under force majeure, but back in the day, when we were all younger, it was a welcome reminder of home.

#51
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 11:34:01 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by NYNM

quote:
Originally posted by cyrano

30+ years ago, I was working offshore in the North Sea and spent a lot of time in London...where the first Hard Rock Cafe had just opened.



Ooops - I think I have to have a reply here somewhere:

Ah...interesting stuff.

It reminds me of when many years ago I worked in marketing research for (Kraft) General Foods. I had to make some calls to the General Foods office in France. (they were all over the world of course). Well, GF France hardly spoke English and were pretty, shall I say, "distant" on the phone. It is amazing that French people would actually work for a US food company!!!They certainly weren't going to speak English tho, even to US execs.
#52
desertdog
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 12:29:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow
I believe the meat of choice is, veal.


For Weiner Schnitzel, not for Schweineschnitzel (which is pork)--but both are common.


I'm going to have to correct you, BT. A Wienerschnitzel is a piece of meat prepared Viennese (Vienna, or Wien in German) style, that is dipped in egg, milk and seasoned bread crumbs, then pan fried.

This is traditionally done with Veal, but as meat prices go up, pork has become more commonplace. A schweineschnitzel is just that, a pork cutlett, just like Kalbschnitzel is a veal cutlett, that can be prepared in a number of different ways, not necessarily Viennese Style.

But the meat, be it pork or veal, prepared "nach Wiener art" is considered a Wienerschnitzel, at least in Southern German (Bavarian) restaurants.

Regardless, it is one of my absolute favorites, and order it often while I'm back in der Vaterland!



DD


#53
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 13:17:38 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by desertdog

quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow
I believe the meat of choice is, veal.


For Weiner Schnitzel, not for Schweineschnitzel (which is pork)--but both are common.


I'm going to have to correct you, BT. A Wienerschnitzel is a piece of meat prepared Viennese (Vienna, or Wien in German) style, that is dipped in egg, milk and seasoned bread crumbs, then pan fried.

This is traditionally done with Veal, but as meat prices go up, pork has become more commonplace. A schweineschnitzel is just that, a pork cutlett, just like Kalbschnitzel is a veal cutlett, that can be prepared in a number of different ways, not necessarily Viennese Style.

But the meat, be it pork or veal, prepared "nach Wiener art" is considered a Wienerschnitzel, at least in Southern German (Bavarian) restaurants.

Regardless, it is one of my absolute favorites, and order it often while I'm back in der Vaterland!



DD





Ja!

Well said.
#54
The Mikado
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 13:34:33 (permalink)
Very interesting discussion. But if I get back to Germany, I would never order anything but the veal. I get enough pork versions in the US.

NOW...even though the comment was made not to refer to chains, they were my ONLY experience with "American" food in Europe. In Geneva, I went straight to a fondue joint, but a few of the girls couldn't handle the wine taste and wanted to go to...McDonald's. I wanted to beat them.

Nevertheless, I went along, because we didn't think they should go out alone. I did try a chocolate milkshake. Nothing like it tastes here...then again, I was in chocoheaven.

Soooooooo, when I went to Lyon later in the trip, I experimented with THEIR McDonald's chocolate shake. Another taste entirely. So even the chains have variations.

But my rule of thumb is never to eat "American" in Europe and never to eat at a chain when I'm out of my hometown. My brother falls prey to idiots who want to hit up the Shoney's in Dallas or wherever. I would not, do not, tolerate that, Sam I Am.

Here is one odd exception: I stayed at a B&B in Munich, where the owners were an American (Virginia) lady and her Austrian husband. She asked what kind of breakfast I wanted, but decided I should settle on "both." So it was scrambled eggs, and cold cuts, and cheeses, and bacon, and coffee, and...

Best Euro-American breakfast I've ever had. Perhaps the only.
#55
spicoli
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 13:42:05 (permalink)
Pretty much the only non-chain American restaurant I've found in Paris is one on Rue de Lappe in Bastille that offers "Tex-Mex" cuisine I decided not to partake. I've heard rumors that they do Ribs, US-style (like I've seen in American restaurants in Australia).

One funny item that I found on the menu of the Parisian dorm I was in about 10 years back as a student was something called, "salade californienne" or "Californian Salad". It consisted of Rice, tuna and corn. People often asked me if that's what we ate back in San Francisco. Uh, yeah....

As for pizza in France, I just had some a few days ago (just got back to the US last night). "La pizza campagnarde" consisted of salami, ham, smoked bacon chunks (lardons), onions, and a fried egg on top. A TASTE EXPLOSION.
#56
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/07/25 15:09:14 (permalink)
I remember a small newpaper article on the wall of (Famous) Ray's pizza in NYC. Apparently a number of NYC students were studying in London and got an urge for US pizza (Ray's) so they took up a collection, called Rays, and then sent a studnet on one of the (then) low fare airlines to pick up the pizzas. I believe they were still warm when they arrived in UK. That's sure missing US food!
#57
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/08/08 12:09:53 (permalink)
I just picked up a cookbook on remainder ($1.99) at Border's:

USA Cookbook (or similar title)(it's part of aseries on Foods of the World,another goodie is South American Food).

It is from England,and it is rather funny (not trying to be) listing "typical" American foods - with ingredients in "English" (ie, UK) such as: courreges,biscuits, etc. Some suggestions of "typical" US recipes (noting we do have more than Junk Food): chilli (2 ll's), lemon (meringue) pie, fried chicken (of course), and more I don't remember but will post when I get the book out again.

Check it out - certainly worth $1.99.
#58
Ashphalt
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RE: US food abroad 2007/08/08 12:25:59 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by NYNM

I just picked up a cookbook on remainder ($1.99) at Border's:

USA Cookbook (or similar title)(it's part of aseries on Foods of the World,another goodie is South American Food).

It is from England,and it is rather funny (not trying to be) listing "typical" American foods - with ingredients in "English" (ie, UK) such as: courreges,biscuits, etc. Some suggestions of "typical" US recipes (noting we do have more than Junk Food): chilli (2 ll's), lemon (meringue) pie, fried chicken (of course), and more I don't remember but will post when I get the book out again.

Check it out - certainly worth $1.99.


Sounds like fun, it reminds me of a postcard I saw once at the Staten Island Mall. Typical postcard design with the banner, "Greetings From U.S.A." supered over a map with blow-ups of, I think, the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Grand Canyon and such. That's one comprehensive tour!
#59
NYNM
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RE: US food abroad 2007/08/08 15:03:55 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Ashphalt

quote:
Originally posted by NYNM

I just picked up a cookbook on remainder ($1.99) at Border's:

USA Cookbook (or similar title)(it's part of aseries on Foods of the World,another goodie is South American Food).

It is from England,and it is rather funny (not trying to be) listing "typical" American foods - with ingredients in "English" (ie, UK) such as: courreges,biscuits, etc. Some suggestions of "typical" US recipes (noting we do have more than Junk Food): chilli (2 ll's), lemon (meringue) pie, fried chicken (of course), and more I don't remember but will post when I get the book out again.

Check it out - certainly worth $1.99.


Sounds like fun, it reminds me of a postcard I saw once at the Staten Island Mall. Typical postcard design with the banner, "Greetings From U.S.A." supered over a map with blow-ups of, I think, the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Grand Canyon and such. That's one comprehensive tour!


Yes, if it's Tuesday, it must be USA!!

(and what kind of tourists go to the Staten Island Mall, may I ask???)
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