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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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jonas 10 years, 9 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.

jonas 10 years, 9 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.

Bone777 10 years, 9 months ago

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

ohjayhawk 10 years, 9 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?

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

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

zettapixel 10 years, 9 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! ;)

jonas 10 years, 9 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.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 9 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?"

jonas 10 years, 9 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?

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

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

zettapixel 10 years, 9 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.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

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

SloMo 10 years, 9 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.

coolmom 10 years, 9 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.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 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.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 9 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.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 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.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

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

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

acg 10 years, 9 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 and since this is your bailiwick, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 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.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 9 months ago

How is the Irish place in the Holiday Inn?

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

yankeelady 10 years, 9 months ago

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

H_Lecter 10 years, 9 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.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

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

ms_canada 10 years, 9 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.

Unix_Admin 10 years, 9 months ago

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

bjbrown 10 years, 9 months ago

How about a baby harp seal roast on Mass Street?

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