When one ethnicity does another...

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NYNM
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When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 2:05 PM
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We have these strange hybrids in NY:

Hispanics open pizza places

Greeks serve Italian food (or vice versa) I mean a "pizza and gyros" menu.

Japanese serve Hawaiian (well that is not such a leap, but we have hardly any Hawaiian in NYC).

And the strangest: Tex Mex places run by Asians (tacos, quesidillas, burritos)(there are many of these in NYC - cheap take out)

Usually the crossover isn't that good.

Is it similar for you?

wanderingjew
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 2:08 PM
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What about all the WASPS that run Pizza Joints outside of the more ethnic metropolitan areas of the Northeast (in other words the majority of the country) sure some of them "proclaim" to be Italian, but then you find out there last names are actually Smith, Brown and Johnson???

NebGuy
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 3:03 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

What about all the WASPS that run Pizza Joints outside of the more ethnic metropolitan areas of the Northeast (in other words the majority of the country) sure some of them "proclaim" to be Italian, but then you find out there last names are actually Smith, Brown and Johnson???

Hey, my cousin Vinny Johnson wants to have a woid wit chu....

ann peeples
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 3:09 PM
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WJ, your side of the country is ripe for natives from other lands-But maybe their ancestory is different from their last name??Like Grandma was from Italy and taught her kids/grandkids how to cook authentically?

brittneal
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 3:17 PM
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Denver in the late 70's-early 80's was ripe for Irish/Mecican fare!
Jose O'Sheas for example.
Columbus has a number Petes for Hot dog/chili dogs- Like its Cinci bretheren-all Greek owned, with the Greek spiced aomatic chili.
britt

TerrierMom
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 4:16 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

What about all the WASPS that run Pizza Joints outside of the more ethnic metropolitan areas of the Northeast (in other words the majority of the country) sure some of them "proclaim" to be Italian, but then you find out there last names are actually Smith, Brown and Johnson???


It comes of our tendency of intermarrying with Italians. Especially if we are Irish. Ms./Miss Gina Esposito marries Mr.Robert Brown. They decide to open a restaurant, because Gina's homecooking that she learned at her Nonnie's knees (Nonnie's fingers always smelled of garlic) will knock your socks off. Badda-bing, Italian or Pizza restaurant owned by people named Brown

rongmtek
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:15 PM
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OK- here's one I'll bet nobody else has seen.
In the mid-70's, I worked as a musician in Oakland, CA. I had a jazz trio, and one of our regular gigs was in a Jewish deli that had been bought and was run by the Moonies.
Although the vibe was occasionally pretty weird, I must admit the food was damn good. (They paid us 10 bucks each and a sandwich per night.)
Ron

the ancient mariner
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:22 PM
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Once frequented an Irish pub that was owned by two
Jewish Brothers.

wanderingjew
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:22 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by TerrierMom

quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

What about all the WASPS that run Pizza Joints outside of the more ethnic metropolitan areas of the Northeast (in other words the majority of the country) sure some of them "proclaim" to be Italian, but then you find out there last names are actually Smith, Brown and Johnson???


It comes of our tendency of intermarrying with Italians. Especially if we are Irish. Ms./Miss Gina Esposito marries Mr.Robert Brown. They decide to open a restaurant, because Gina's homecooking that she learned at her Nonnie's knees (Nonnie's fingers always smelled of garlic) will knock your socks off. Badda-bing, Italian or Pizza restaurant owned by people named Brown



Back in my old neck of the woods (NYC and vicinity) Jews and Italians are notorious for intermarrying- hence you end up having...
Gina Goldstein!

Michael Hoffman
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:44 PM
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Does a Chinese Buffet that puts out lasagna and corned beef and cabbage count?

qwerty79
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:53 PM
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Most of the pizza places here, in the Daytona beach area are Greek owned. We go to one quite a bit, not for pizza but for gyros. There is also a kosher Israeli (SP?) pizza place which I haven't tried yet, but they were at a fair here recently and it looked just like NY pizza I grew up with. I'll have to give it a try.

NYNM- There is a Mexican place in New Hyde Park on the Queens border that is run by Asians. It was fantastic! Great quesidillas! When my Grandmother was in LIJ for quite some time, we would go there quite a bit. It was a few years ago but it was right around the corner from the hospital.

Tedbear
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:55 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Does a Chinese Buffet that puts out lasagna and corned beef and cabbage count?



And, I'm sure that Mr. Hoffman agrees with me that the lasagna and the corned beef on that buffet are likely to be of the same quality as the Chinese food on the buffet--namely, lousy.

Tedbear
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 5:59 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by NYNM

We have these strange hybrids in NY:

Hispanics open pizza places

Greeks serve Italian food (or vice versa) I mean a "pizza and gyros" menu.

Japanese serve Hawaiian (well that is not such a leap, but we have hardly any Hawaiian in NYC).

And the strangest: Tex Mex places run by Asians (tacos, quesidillas, burritos)(there are many of these in NYC - cheap take out)

Usually the crossover isn't that good.

Is it similar for you?



In New Jersey, I have found that most of the "Japanese" restaurants are actually owned and operated by Chinese people. I found this out while dining with my former S.O., who used to take delight in translating the Chinese conversations overheard in these pseudo-Japanese joints.

Also, a very large percentage of the Pizzerias that have opened in NJ over the past couple of decades are actually owned and operated by Egyptians, and in a few cases, by Albanians. So much for authenticity.

zataar
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 6:39 PM
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In the early '70s I encountered more than one Chinese American/Mexican diner in the Southwest and California. The most impressive diner was in Barstow, CA. There were Chinese cooks making tacos, chow mein, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, fried rice and egg foo yung, using giant woks. I could see right into the kitchen from the counter. It was great to watch. The food was very good.

On the other hand, we wandered in to a sub basement sort of place in NYC that had an Italian
menu, cooked by Chinese and Southeast Asians and run by Eastern Europeans of some sort. It was not in any way good, in fact it was the worst food we had in New York. Lapse of judgment, there.

mayor al
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 6:56 PM
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Last year we bought some Czech Sausage and Kolache from a place near Temple Texas run by a guy named Lopez??

divefl
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 8:39 PM
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DC had a big Irish guy open an asian restaurant. It no longer exists. One and done.

Davydd
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 9:36 PM
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I worked for Chuck Martin's Pizza in 1961. Maybe that wasn't a stretch. Dean Martin was Italian.

I did eat in O'Grady's Irish pub in Cusco, Peru. There was not an Irishman in sight and they did not have Guinness on tap.

Michael Hoffman
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:02 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Tedbear

quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Does a Chinese Buffet that puts out lasagna and corned beef and cabbage count?



And, I'm sure that Mr. Hoffman agrees with me that the lasagna and the corned beef on that buffet are likely to be of the same quality as the Chinese food on the buffet--namely, lousy.

I would agree, but of coure I'll never know as I don't do buffets.

Greyghost
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:22 PM
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In my book it always becomes something different. I tend to go for authentic original recipes. To me it is a matter of preserving historic food ways. If we lose the base, we lose the history and if we lose the history, we have lost our past, if we lose our past our future is uncertain. The only thing certain after that is we will be fed corporate food pretending to be ethnic. If that happens we have lost it all.

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:23 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by the ancient mariner
Once frequented an Irish pub that was owned by two Jewish Brothers.


Dearfolk,
That's not as far-fetched as one might initially think! There is a significant (and very old!) community of Jews in Dublin, Ireland (and, I assume, in other Emerald Isle cities as well).
The Jewish Dublin accent is about half "Sure an' begorrah" and about half "Oy vey!" Having heard an Irish Jewish gent on Atlanta radio, that's as close as I can attempt.
I bet their corned beef sandwich was delicious!
Unpunningly, Ort. Carlton in Growing Green Athens, Georgia.
P. S. My friend Jeremy (who is Jewish and looks like he needs to be holding a shillelaugh and four-leaf clovers) swears that a large number of leprechauns are Jewish. I've forgotten his logic (he needs to remind me of this one), but I remember his argument as holding water.

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:30 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen
Last year we bought some Czech Sausage and Kolache from a place near Temple Texas run by a guy named Lopez??


Mr. Mayor; Dearfolk,
I don't doubt it at all. One of the best accordion players in San Antonio back in the 1960's was a guy named Fred Zimmerle. He looked Mexican, but had the Bavarian square head! He was the end-product of a turn-of-the-century intermarriage in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico between a Bavarian engineer in a factory there and a Mexican woman (which lasted for 52 years, Fred offered). Fred's actual name was Friedrich, by the way, and he didn't speak a word of German! That engineer was his grandfather.
His playing can be heard on an ARHOOLIE LP (maybe issued now on CD) named "Viva El West Side."
Conjuntoically, Ort. Carlton in Ole Athens, Georgia.

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:37 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Davydd
Dean Martin was Italian.


DavyD; Dearfolk,
Dean Martin's real name was Dino Crochetti (sp.?), and he hailed from Steubenville, Ohio... still has family there, too.
By the way, Steubenville also gave us two other musical entities: The Stereos (one chart single['I Really Love You'] on CUB Records circa 1960, plus a slew of local hits) AND Wild Cherry ("Play That Funky Music, White Boy"). My favorite Wild Cherry single is "1-2-3 Kind Of Love" -- it was a monster hit on the Carolinas' Beach Music circuit.
Drifting On And Off Topic, As If Sweeping Headalong Down The Ohio On A Housetop In A Flood, Ort. Carlton in Recovering From Flooding Yesterday (But No Tornado Here!) Athens, Georgia.

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Sun, 03/16/08 10:38 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman
quote:
Originally posted by Tedbear
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman
I would agree, but of coure I'll never know as I don't do buffets.


Michael,
Not even Jimmy?
Aparrotly, Ort. Carlton in Laid Back Athens, Georgia.

Scorereader
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 8:04 AM
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Here in DC, on Cap Hill, there's Thai Roma Restaurant - they serve thai and italian food.

and almost all of the pizza delivery places are run by people with ethnic ties to the middle east or india.

MiamiDon
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 8:43 AM
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In Miami, we of course have Cuban pizza shops.

Here is 3 Guys from Miami's take on them:

http://3guysfrommiami.com/pizza.html

NYNM
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 1:59 PM
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Today I passed a small Indian place, specializing in lassi. The write-up in the window praided the chef: Heather Carlucci-Rodriquez...

susanll
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 2:06 PM
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In Memphis, the Pig and Whistle barbecue restaurant is owned by a Jewish family.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 2:13 PM
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Wasn't it Tony Bourdain who pointed out that, at upscale restaurants, whether they be Italian or French or Scandinavian or Cajun or whatever else you can think of, your food will most likely be prepared by natives of Mexico and Central America?

We have no problem with that. The subject of "authenticity" is tricky. Authentic to what tradition? Even an Ecuadorian cook preparing food for Ecuadorians in Queens, NY may have to compromise because some ingredients aren't available, and others are of different quality than what they're used to back home. Or maybe the cook just isn't very good. Or maybe the local Ecuadorian population has developed a fondness for some Egyptian spices that they've tasted in the neighborhood two blocks away and now their local, "authentic" food has touches of Egyptian cooking. Evolution in food never stops...

SoulOnFire
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 3:58 PM
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I just ordered a mexican platter from a Chinese place. They are only one of three places that deliver around here. The other two places are Italian with almost identecial menus. When you are stuck in a food void, I guess anything will do.

My theory is that places incorporate different cuisines because they have cooks of different ethnic backgrounds who can actually make the food.

1bbqboy
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 4:32 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

Does a Chinese Buffet that puts out lasagna and corned beef and cabbage count?

Only in oHIo.

tiki
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 7:02 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by rongmtek

OK- here's one I'll bet nobody else has seen.
In the mid-70's, I worked as a musician in Oakland, CA. I had a jazz trio, and one of our regular gigs was in a Jewish deli that had been bought and was run by the Moonies.
Although the vibe was occasionally pretty weird, I must admit the food was damn good. (They paid us 10 bucks each and a sandwich per night.)
Ron


What did you guys call yourselves back then---i may have seen yopu! I hired a lot of musicians and went out to see it all the time--i managed a bar in Berkely back then---the Odessy on San Pablo at University--and i did sound in a few other places.---and as for the topic----My cousins --the Titus's sell Great Pizza---and spagetti too---of course thier Moms name was the same as my moms---Santoro!!---never judge by its cover---or an ethnicity---especially here in the USA--by its name!

I also have a great crossover for you---wife is an anthropolgist by training and we spent a little over a year doing here PHD fieldwork--in Jamaica---on our anniversary we decided to go out some where for dinner and nfound a Chinese restaraunt in Savana LaMar--great place--run by third generation Chinese Jamaicans---the food was interesting--it was chinese in style---but denfinatly Jamaican Chinese!!!

DLnWPBrown
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 7:37 PM
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Ok, back in the early 90's I worked at Norfolk International running an airplane cleaning company.
I lived over in Va. Beach and down the road from me was a chinese-Soul Food place, the name escapes right now though. Older couple, husband black, the wife Chinese. I kid you not when I tell you a combo meal might have sweet & sour pork ribs, stir fried collards, and fried rice with crispy fried fat back.

Wife and I went through last year on a trip and the place was closed down. But I have to admit to a 20 something who was tight on cash, the food was pretty good. Oh yeah, just remembered getting pork egg foo young with smothered pork chops. Damn I miss that place now.


Dennis in Cary

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Mon, 03/17/08 10:45 PM
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Dearfolk,
That last post is reminscent of the chop suey places -- there called Noodle Parlors -- that dot the ghetto streets of St. Louis.
There is some interesting bleedover like that in Atlanta: Asians cooking soul food along with eggrolls out on Cascade Avenue. Someone tells me that the best eggrolls in town come from such a joint; they also have kim chi (sp.?) on their menu, and it's popular.
What'll they think of next -- sweet & sour livermush?
A Blooming Idiot This Time Of Year, Ort. Carlton in Dogwoods Everywhere Athens, Georgia.

NYPIzzaNut
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Tue, 03/18/08 10:39 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Tedbear

quote:
Originally posted by NYNM

We have these strange hybrids in NY:

Hispanics open pizza places

Greeks serve Italian food (or vice versa) I mean a "pizza and gyros" menu.

Japanese serve Hawaiian (well that is not such a leap, but we have hardly any Hawaiian in NYC).

And the strangest: Tex Mex places run by Asians (tacos, quesidillas, burritos)(there are many of these in NYC - cheap take out)

Usually the crossover isn't that good.

Is it similar for you?



In New Jersey, I have found that most of the "Japanese" restaurants are actually owned and operated by Chinese people. I found this out while dining with my former S.O., who used to take delight in translating the Chinese conversations overheard in these pseudo-Japanese joints.

Also, a very large percentage of the Pizzerias that have opened in NJ over the past couple of decades are actually owned and operated by Egyptians, and in a few cases, by Albanians. So much for authenticity.

You cannot tell a book by its cover.

I live in Southwestern Ohio - in the boonies - 60 miles from Cincinnati and 90 miles from Dayton. Extremely fine NY style pizza can be found at a handful of pizzerias in Cinci and near Dayton - one of the best is a pizzeria run by Albanians, a mom/pop/daughter/son family, in Kettering - Troni's Pizzeria and Restaurant at 1314 East Dorothy Lane. They have been there four years and fully converted a bakery/Italian deli/cafe run by an Italian family. They make about the best NY style pizza to be found in Greater Dayton:
http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/leadbelly/entries/2007/02/07/tronis_pizza_sa.html

In Cincinnati the very best bagels and bialys in the style and tradition of metro NY Kosher bagels may be found at Marx Bagels in Kenwood - a Northern suburb of Cincinnati. They are a Kosher bagel store/factory and deli and they are owned and operated by a Catholic family:
http://www.cincinnati.com/dining/marx/

Ort. Carlton.
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Thu, 03/20/08 1:25 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by susanll
In Memphis, the Pig and Whistle barbecue restaurant is owned by a Jewish family.


Susanll; Dearfolk,
In Anniston, Alabama, an excellent BBQ place on Quintard Avenue south of downtown is owned and operated by the Weinberg family. They see nothing whatsoever odd about it.
The most amazing such situation I ever encountered, though, was a BBQ place in White Bluff, Tenessee run by a Syrian (or was it Lebanese?) family. I think they were Christians, but they may have indeed been Moslem... I remember the man telling me that he didn't have to eat it to be able to sell it in good conscience.
Ramblingly (But Not Tonight, Except Here), Ort. Carlton in Superb Athens, Georgia.

chef marty
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Thu, 03/20/08 2:45 AM
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Before I moved to D C in '85, I used to enjoy the dozen or so Cuban/Chinese restaurants in NYC. (Big Chinese labor population brought to Cuba the last few centuries- some moved to NY and took both cuisines with them.) Not fusion, but two separate sides of the menu. Also there were a few upscale French-Japanese places starting then; some with better ideas than others.

In this week's City Paper food section there was an article about our ubiquitous Mexican/Salvadoran restaurants. A contention is that many of the Salvadoran refugees who came here to escape the violence were quite poor and didn't really know anything of own their country's food culture other than eating what they raised locally on their subsistance farms, so they adopted the cuisines from the restaurants here in which they got jobs and added the pupusas that they knew.

A happy trend that I see in a few metropolitan areas is Indian restaurants serving Chinese food the way it is prepared in India. It gets a little confusing here, but chili chicken (Indian style) has become one of my favorite dishes.

We read the ongoing complaints from Japan about the lack of authenticity by so many Korean restaurants serving sushi. Traditional Greek run diners in the Northeast have served some of the best "American" comfort food for 100 years. Inner-city Chinese takeout places serve as much pizza, fried chicken, and hero sandwiches as anything else on their menus. To get along in many upscale restaurant kitchens you need to be able to speak at least three of four languages and swear in a dozen. For decades we refered to the food at many
fine dining establishments as "Continental"; usually a blend of French and Italian, but now a good question often may be, "Which continent?" What will we think of next, naming ground beef patties and sausages after cities in Germany and claiming them as America's national foods?

We are no longer a melting pot, but a stock pot that has been simmered and stirred to the extent that it is impossible to tell where some foods originated and of what some cuisines are composed. I try to sample it all and enjoy every minute of it!!!!!!

Happy eating, Chef Marty

PS. If you are in D C Easter Sunday, Join with the folks from The D C Dining Society For a banquet of $200 worth of foods and wines for the member price of $50 + t&t. Contact chefmartydc@aol.com for details, menu, and wine list.

NYNM
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RE: When one ethnicity does another... - Thu, 03/20/08 8:28 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by chef marty

Before I moved to D C in '85, I used to enjoy the dozen or so Cuban/Chinese restaurants in NYC. (Big Chinese labor population brought to Cuba the last few centuries- some moved to NY and took both cuisines with them.) Not fusion, but two separate sides of the menu. Also there were a few upscale French-Japanese places starting then; some with better ideas than others.

In this week's City Paper food section there was an article about our ubiquitous Mexican/Salvadoran restaurants. A contention is that many of the Salvadoran refugees who came here to escape the violence were quite poor and didn't really know anything of own their country's food culture other than eating what they raised locally on their subsistance farms, so they adopted the cuisines from the restaurants here in which they got jobs and added the pupusas that they knew.

A happy trend that I see in a few metropolitan areas is Indian restaurants serving Chinese food the way it is prepared in India. It gets a little confusing here, but chili chicken (Indian style) has become one of my favorite dishes.

We read the ongoing complaints from Japan about the lack of authenticity by so many Korean restaurants serving sushi. Traditional Greek run diners in the Northeast have served some of the best "American" comfort food for 100 years. Inner-city Chinese takeout places serve as much pizza, fried chicken, and hero sandwiches as anything else on their menus. To get along in many upscale restaurant kitchens you need to be able to speak at least three of four languages and swear in a dozen. For decades we refered to the food at many
fine dining establishments as "Continental"; usually a blend of French and Italian, but now a good question often may be, "Which continent?" What will we think of next, naming ground beef patties and sausages after cities in Germany and claiming them as America's national foods?

We are no longer a melting pot, but a stock pot that has been simmered and stirred to the extent that it is impossible to tell where some foods originated and of what some cuisines are composed. I try to sample it all and enjoy every minute of it!!!!!!

Happy eating, Chef Marty

PS. If you are in D C Easter Sunday, Join with the folks from The D C Dining Society For a banquet of $200 worth of foods and wines for the member price of $50 + t&t. Contact chefmartydc@aol.com for details, menu, and wine list.



Interesting comments! The thing about Cuban-Chinese is that I understand that there are Chinese in Cuba itself who have restaraunts serving both Chinese (their culture) and Cuban (local culture) and then migrated to US (maybe just NY). Even tho they are hybrids, I count them as "authentic" because it it actually the migration to NY that is new.

I don't know if there are many (any) left in NY since so many good ethnic places have been pushed out and closed down by "fabulous" new places like, shall I say, Pinkberry. But the Cuban Chinses used to serve good, cheap food, like rice, beans and chicken, huge portion, $3.