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Do you like to explore new ethnic foods?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 5, 2007

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Photo of Patrick Lang

“Yeah, I do whenever I get the chance. I like Thai food a lot. Indian can be OK depending on where you get it. Chinese is pretty common, but it can be pretty good as well. And Mexican, very excellent.”

Photo of Karl Stratman

“Yeah, definitely. I eat all kinds of food. All over the world. Different cultures. Different cuisines. It’s nice to get an understanding of cultures through food.”

Photo of Ernesto Lucero

“Yeah, yeah, sure. I’ll try anything as long as it’s not dangerous.”

Photo of Brenda Hoskins

“Yes. … As big as I am, I’m a lover of food.”

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Comments

bjbrown 6 years, 7 months ago

How about a baby harp seal roast on Mass Street?

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Gootsie 6 years, 7 months ago

Hannibal, you never let us down.

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MacHeath 6 years, 7 months ago

well, authenic Chinese food is available... I got a big surprise when I went to a local Chinese resturant with some Tiawanese friends. The restruant was the one at the Virgina Inn, that has since closed, and reopened, so I dont know if its the same now. At that time, they had a Chinese menu. They all orderd from that menu...I had the buffet. Big mistake. Next time I had what they had, and it was nothing like any American-Chinese food I had ever seen. It was a fried chicken thing, served with rice, some sort of beans, and a tea soaked egg. Very different, and very tasty. My friends were younger folks, and told me this was there favorite dish back home. Don't ask me what is was, the menu was in Chinese. I was at their mercy.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 7 months ago

H_L, That sooooo cracked me up! :D

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Unix_Admin 6 years, 7 months ago

Believe it or not, the place in Eudora with mexican/chinese is very very good.

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 7 months ago

Here are some "ethnic" dishes from Third World craph...........uh, nations:

From China: A "manly" dish:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/5371500.stm

From Korea; A real dog of a dish with a little pu++y on the side!:

http://www.dogbiz.com/dont-eat-dog-meat.htm

And our African Brethern really have them eating out of a hand:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/09/photogalleries/bushmeat_2/photo2.html

And then there are always the more delicate dishes of Africa:

http://www.vivamalta.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=277&Itemid=31

Yes, I really want to try out more "ethnic" dishes, don't you?

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 7 months ago

H_L knocks it out of the park.

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ms_canada 6 years, 7 months ago

pywacket - I will join you any time for some of that English fare. I am actually making Bubble and Sqweek for our supper tonight. I have the cabbage already fried with the onion. Also just love Bangers and Mash and have them frequently. I use an apple and chicken sausage and wonde if an true English man would object to that . My all time fav though, is East Indian cause I truly loooooooove curry. There are many wonderful dishes made by cooks in other countries and if we can sample them here we are most fortunate. I think too many people miss out on lots of good fare because they are afraid to try them. I am lucky that my hubby feels the same way as me. So, yes we do explore as many ethnic restaurants as we can find.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 7 months ago

Okay, H_L, that was definitely worth the wait. I laughed out loud.

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H_Lecter 6 years, 7 months ago

You already know what I'm thinking! I LOVE ethnic food. I certainly appreciate diversity. In fact, I had a little Mexican last night.

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Pywacket 6 years, 7 months ago

Sue~ I'd be the last person in the world to open a restaurant. (As god is my witness, I will never work holidays and weekends again..) But I'd gladly patronize one such as you envision. Gootsie, you say there's an Irish place in town? I had no idea. Of course, if it's a chain hotel restaurant, it might lack the cachet it would have if it were some private owner's personal baby.. Anybody been there?

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yankeelady 6 years, 7 months ago

For Mexican/Tex Mex I'll take Ixtapa anytime. Maybe we could get a Macaroni grill in--that would be awesome.

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Gootsie 6 years, 7 months ago

How is the Irish place in the Holiday Inn?

Hannibal, where are you? Come out, come out, wherever you are....

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 7 months ago

Py, open up a pub that has really good ale and the patrons just might not care (after slamming back a few cold ones) that they are eating spotted dick or any other such thing. Nah! They'd still care. Nevermind. Better stick to the tea and crumpets.
p.s. I love scones...however you pronounce it! (You say tomato...Quail says potatoe!) Let's call the whole thing off.

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Pywacket 6 years, 7 months ago

Jonas~ How do you know I don't LIKE getting banninated?...

TOB~ It seemed time for good ol' dick to raise his spotted head again. Don't forget the custard sauce.

Snap~ That's what we do with the leftovers! You have to get a little head first--of cabbage, that is--mix it up with the mash & the meat, and dang, if it doesn't go down smooth.

This talk is making me wonder why there isn't a good pub with delightful pub food in Lawrence.

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acg 6 years, 7 months ago

chicken feet? toads? What's wrong with you people? We aren't barbarians, we're americans. We have beef, on bun, with cheese and bacon. There's no need to eat all of that weird stuff.

I am also anxiously awaiting Dr. Lecter's response. Hannibal, where you at, man? We're talking about eating ethnic...er...foods and since this is your bailiwick, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, the last time spotted dick came up (hoo haa!), the OTS was awash in, "This comment has been removed by site staff."

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

Pwywacket: "midwesterners refuse to explore toad in the hole"

Hey, this is a family website! Talk like that could get you banninated.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 7 months ago

Anyone know of a place that serves good Lutefisk around here?

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 7 months ago

Are there "new" ethnic foods coming out? I can't wait! I've tried just about everything locally there is to offer and have become bored with it. Maybe the new stuff will keep me occupied for a bit.

Went to a Chinese restaurant in KC somewhere (I've blissfully forgotten the name and location). Figured it was pretty authenic because the hubby and I were the only ethnically "different" people in there. We were served stuff that looked like whale blubber swimming in bowls of soy sauce to start. Once we got to the heavily gelatinous chicken feet, we called it quits. Even the hubby (who will eat anything) had the gag reflex kicking in. I guess this wasn't much different from my aunt who used to fry up the "scratchers" for her hubby who liked to knaw on them...but, I wouldn't eat those, either.

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Azure_Attitude 6 years, 7 months ago

Ja, Oui, Da, Si!!! I'll try just about anything unless it smells . . . well, that's not really true. I have had more than my fair share of stinky sheeses and whatnot. So, unless it looks gross . . . well, that;s not really true either. Calamari doesn't look too appealling but it's mighty good. OK, I'll stick with my original statement. I will try just about anything.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, TOB, I think he was swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And I, too, concur with the Mexicans cooking American Chinese food. That is the case at the Chinese restaurant here. And one of my acquaintances once complained that no matter how he ordered something at the local Chinese restaurant, it always came spicy.

Oh, and no, I'm not one to try a lot of new ethnic foods. Maybe every once in a while, but in general, I'm happy with foods I know I love.

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Pywacket 6 years, 7 months ago

Oui. I'm with you, zettapixel, on the Indian... can't stand curry.

Mexican is probably my favorite. Most authentic Mexican we have found in the area is Corona Garden in Olathe, at the Santa Fe exit. It's right next to a Perkins--little hole-in-the-wall , all-you-can-eat buffet. We are often the only English speakers there, which is always a good sign. Their pork melts in your mouth--the guacamole is fresh and lightly seasoned--the tamales, enchiladas, and chiles rellenos consistently delicious. Try the menudo!

BTW, is there any Caribbean in Lawrence or do we still have to go to KC for that?

I also like to foist my ethnicity on others, but you'd be surprised at how many snooty midwesterners refuse to explore (ahem) toad in the hole, steak & kidney pie, bangers & mash, spotted dick, or even scones (rhymes with "Fonz," not "pones"!!!!!!) with clotted cream. Their loss... Even my cruel kids mock the flaming Christmas pudding. (Although they love their Yorkshire with the rare roast beef!)

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logicsound04 6 years, 7 months ago

zettapixel is absolutely right regarding Lawrence Italian restaurants. I think there are only three to chooose from in the first place (Paisano's, Bambino's, Teller's), and none are spectacular. I'm a little surprised that Lawrence has never had an Olive Garden move in, with the relative lack of competition.

As for other styles of food, here are my recommendations:

Mexican: Tortas Jaliscos Chinese: Royal Peking Thai: Thai-Siam Japanese: No idea

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coolmom 6 years, 7 months ago

i like to try new things in the food arena. it was in london i believe that indian food was so prevalent and there was some i liked, some of the english stuff wasnt to my taste but berlin had some good things and the coffee was excellent. the hubby really liked mexican in baja but i didnt think it was anything special and have discovered that i like my food americanized and will always take a grilled steak or chicken over any other food.

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SloMo 6 years, 7 months ago

I recommend Campus Hideaway's (Korean) rice bowls - lots of food and flavor for a most reasonable price.

For a splurge, Cafe Beautiful.

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

O-Bob: No, no, Mr. Jonas is my father.

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zettapixel 6 years, 7 months ago

jonas: Good point on the Chinese food around here being cooked by Mexican cooks! LOL As for Paisano's, I like the food, but it seems my girlfriend gets sick every time we've eaten there, so I had to go with Bambino's.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 7 months ago

Hi Karl! Friendly chap. First ever wave for the OTS question.

Another oddly worded question.

Most Mexican food in this town is hardly Mexican and barely the bastardized American version, Tex Mex. Not that all the food joints that portray themselves as Mexican are bad, just not Mexican. I suppose I should get over this. Leftover Texan in me.

Folks that dig the Chinese, say the same thing about Chinese food. I present you, Mr. Jonas.

I'm also with Zettapixel... why are there no decent Italian joints in town? It seems at the least, Lawrence has the diverse population to support at the very least an Italian deli/cafe.

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

oldenuff: Haha! Maybe he'll find an Ethnic Fjord.

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

zettapixel: Since, err, most American Chinese outside of Chinatown seems to be cooked, by my observation at least, by Mexicans, then I'm not so sure why they shouldn't just be combined.

As for Sushi, if you want good Sushi, the Wa kicks Kokoro's butt, though you don't get Teppanyaki cooking, and it's gone a little downhill since the old chef left. If you really want the best, in terms of food and atmosphere, you should go to Cafe Beautiful, assuming it's still there, and you have the money to afford it. It's expensive, but totally worth it, perhaps for a special occasion. I suppose if you want Teppanyaki the only place its available is Kokoro's, but I prefer just to go to Gojo's in Westport. Five course meal that is absolutely gluttonously delicious, for as low as $15.

Italian: Have, you been to Paisano's? Did you not like it as much?

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 7 months ago

"Sorry, but "explore" in this usage just seems of reek of sanctimoniousness. Could just be me."

When I think "explore" in this context, I imagine some kid picking through his food saying "what's in this?"

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

ohjayhawk: No, not an accurate reflection, except that you still have rice. If course, you generally don't eat your rice and food together if you're Chinese, like we do here.

There are some similarities, of course. The basic idea, chunks of various meats fried in different varieties of sauces and batter, is more or less the same, but beyond that basic aspect, it's not really that similar. The sauces are different, and a lot of the meat is just cooked as opposed to batter dipped and fried in sauce. You also would generally have full vegetable sides with the meal, as opposed to everything just mixed in together like they usually do here. It's also worth noting that, as I imagine you could guess, there is not one particular style of "Chinese" food in China, like it ends up being other places, but several fairly distinct styles of cuisine. I've heard that Cantonese is sort of what we think of as Chinese food, but haven't been, to my knowledge, in a specifically Cantonese restaurant to say. My personal favorite is Sichuan (Schechwan is the old way of writing it I think). If you like spicy foods you should try to find a Sichuan restaurant somewhere.

I think you can find authentic Chinese restaurants here in the states, but not at the quick takeout places (Kind of like, there's authentic Mexican, and then there's Taco Bell and On The Border Mexican). It was a personal tragedy of sorts when I discovered, though, that my two favorites (really all I eat if I go takeout Chinese) General Tso's chicken and Crab Rangoon, are both American inventions completely. I had the idea that they might, but I still had hope. Anyway, found a lot of good things to eat. Didn't eat dog, though I saw it on the menu once. Shudder.

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zettapixel 6 years, 7 months ago

Since we're on the topic of ethnic food, here's my guide to ethnic cuisine in Lawrence...

Mexican - Go to Cielito Lindo located at 815 New Hampshire. I'm originally from South Texas so I'm pretty familiar with food of the Tex-Mex / Mexican variety. Cielito Lindo is about as good as it gets here in Lawrence. I recommend the Fajitas Jalisco (beef, chicken, and shrimp fajitas) and the white cheese dip.

Chinese - Visit Peking Taste located at 2210 Iowa. Or better yet, have them deliver to you! The combo lomein, happy family, and crab rangoons are particularly tasty!

Mexican / Chinese - This is the holy grail of ethnic cuisine! The restaurant that dares serve up Mexican AND Chinese food! Well here in the Lawrence area, there's only one place that will serve you chips and salsa as an appetizer and whip up an amazing moo shoo tofu! This wonderful restaurant is the Jasmin restaurant in Eudora, KS. It's located at 719 Main St. in Eudora and features some of the best Mexican and Chinese food you'll find anywhere. I recommend the taco salad, moo shoo tofu, egg rolls, and the best crab rangoons you'll ever have!

Japanese - Though a bit pricey, Kokoro (601 Kasold), is the place to go when you need your sushi or hibachi fix. The ever popular California roll is great along with the teriyaki steak and chicken.

Italian - This is a bit tougher as there really aren't any GOOD Italian restaurants in Lawrence. I would have to say Bambino's (1801 Mass St.) would be my choice if I had to pick from any of them. Their lunch time buffet is decent and the price is definitely right.

French - Why are there no French restaurants in Lawrence?!

Indian - Too much curry!

Well that about covers it from my perspective. Until next time Lawrence, this is Ray at ZettaPixel Photography signing off! ;)

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 7 months ago

Can't wait for Dr. Lecter's response.....

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ohjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I have to say I am more likely now to try new foods than I was before I got married. My wife likes a wide variety of tastes and I am able to taste something she may order without fear of ordering something and not liking it.

jonas - I have a question for you based on this question. I've always heard that "Chinese" food sold in the myriad of restaurants here in the states is not an accurate reflection of "true" Chinese food. What's your take on that having just come back from China?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 7 months ago

Jonas, Maybe the word "food" was a typo in the question. What if the question is... Do you like to explore new ethnic fiords?.

Besides use of the word "explore", do you have any issues with the word "new" used with the word "ethnic"?
Who is not ethnic even if you just call yourself an American? Recently I took a plane flight with my spousal unit. The person sitting next to her said "Your husband looks ethnic, what nationality is he?
My spousal units reply... "American".

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blue73harley 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, providing I have a good compass, sextant and map.

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

You know, though, more than usual, this group of four respondents, judging by their picture alone, of course, would make an interesting group of superheroes.

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jonas 6 years, 7 months ago

Only when Rick Moranis hits me with his shrink ray, and I accidentally land in a plate of Indian curry or Pad Thai. Or something like that. The other times, I do actually like to TRY, or maybe EXPERIENCE ethnic foods and culture.

Sorry, but "explore" in this usage just seems of reek of sanctimoniousness. Could just be me.

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Bone777 6 years, 7 months ago

Only if it is prepared by a female with a tatoo...

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