When people find out I’m from New Orleans, they always want to take me to Creole or Cajun restaurants to show off their town’s culinary skills. It drives me crazy. It’s not going to be as good as I can get at home where they have the talent, the ingredients, and the history – it’s in their blood. They created it. Here’s a tip: I don’t want Creole food in Oklahoma. I want steak.
Each region of the country has something food-wise that it is known for: Crabs? Maryland! Pizza? Chicago! Mexican? Austin! Los Angeles! San Antonio! Fine dining? San Francisco! New York! Dim Sum? Los Angeles! San Francisco! Indian? New York! Baked Beans? Boston! Get the idea?
One thing we have where I live now in Southern California is a huge ethnic population hailing from Asia, which means we have some fantastic Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese restaurants. I love exploring the restaurants and grocery stores – they are the closest I can get to these exotic places by just driving.
I think that people and their cities should soar with their food strengths. If your Italian friend comes to town, take them to the best restaurant — not the best Italian restaurant. Trust me on this. It’s going to better there. Even if they are from the not-so-good food part of Italy.
I work with someone from India. There is an Indian restaurant near me I like a lot. I took him to lunch last week and we went to the healthy café down the street. He loved it, and I didn’t have to compete with a tradition that is hundreds of years old and wonder how he liked it.
When your guests come to town, recommend a restaurant that shows off your town or city to its best. You live in Dillon, TX? (Okay, I have been watching Friday Night Lights obsessively). I am thinking they do a mean BBQ.