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Old 05-19-2014, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,729,285 times
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Although it's undeniable, while Houston doesn't really lack high-end restaurants, it definitely does in comparison to Chicago. That's one category Chicago clean sweeps Houston on. So while on topic of variety, that is one type of variety, and that's one point for Chicago.

Food is my favorite thing about Houston, it's a day-to-day thing that I feel can be appreciated 365 days a year, if you're willing to explore variety foods.

Chicago in and of itself is great, the culture around food is strong, even stronger than Houston, in Chicago the chefs work very hard, people pleasers, they'll go out of their way to come and greet you and get your full reviews. My favorite thing about Houston is that it has both the local food scene and international food scene, it's starting to develop it's own "Houston food scene" where it starts combining things. Take this place called Oxheart for example, in Houston, they've combined Cajun American with Vietnamese, resulting in something they call "Vermillion fish". It's something that's happening all over the city as it innovates it's food scene.

Chicago of course has a "Chicago cuisine" already, it has it's own trademark gyro, pizza, hot dogs, such. Houston's always been a crossroads type of city, much of it's existence had zero "Houston" character. It's local food scene was never "Houston", it was always "East Texas", or "Texas", or "Gulf Coast Creole or Cajun", or "Southern Soul food" and the like.

Now it's developing a "Houston cuisine" too.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,953,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
Although it's undeniable, while Houston doesn't really lack high-end restaurants, it definitely does in comparison to Chicago. That's one category Chicago clean sweeps Houston on. So while on topic of variety, that is one type of variety, and that's one point for Chicago.
Yes, all things considered, that is why I give Chicago the edge. Not just in fine dining, but also in cutting edge cuisine in general (i.e. molecular gastronomy or just non-upscale types of places that are pushing the envelope a little bit). As you said, what one city lacks, the other makes up for which makes them fairly even, and Chicago pulls ahead in the intangibles IMO with variety. And really, this thread is not necessarily about how good or bad a cuisine is, it's about variety. It's about "Can I find this kind of food/cuisine no matter how good or bad it is?"/"Which city is most innovative with its food." I think that innovation outside of stuff like molecular gastronomy is hard. Are the restaurants which offer some sort of cuisine all offering the same stuff or is there some uniqueness to them between one handful of restaurants to the next? Also hard because some restaurants have secret menus. From my ex girlfriend (Malaysian one), I know that some Thai places in Chicago have vast secret menus full of stuff you won't find much in the US and I know from my own endeavours that I can secretly get stuff like Kibbeh Nayyeh at multiple middle eastern menus in town even though it's not on the menu. If you bring up Mexican - is it all tex-mex or standard american mexican, or are you going to find goat restaurants, mariscos restaurants, etc. All of these things matter under the surface when you're talking about variety.

I think everyone can agree that NYC is #1. After that it's clearly LA, Chicago, and IMO right behind it is Houston. I do think that these three are very close, but there is an ordering. You could make a case for SF too of course - a lot of different types of food there, though I do think they will get dinged because of size, but it's definintely top 5.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:20 PM
 
112 posts, read 102,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Did you not read anything I wrote? Did you miss the fact when I referenced Chinatown, Little Vietnam, Little India/Pakistan, Koreatown, etc?
Would like to see the populations of these ethnicities
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,953,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuggah View Post
Would like to see the populations of these ethnicities
Do you seriously think there aren't sizable populations for these in a city of 2.7 million people? Chicagoland has the 2nd largest population of Indians after the NYC area for example. I also know there's over 50,000 Chinese people in the city and something like 60,000-75,000 Koreans in the area (12,000 - 15,000 in the city which makes it 5th most of any city proper in the US). I think there's something like 20,000 Vietnamese in the city too.

The Asian percentage by population of Chicago and Houston are very close - Houston has more Vietnamese.

Last edited by marothisu; 05-19-2014 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Downtown LA
1,192 posts, read 1,229,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Okay, then you should disqualify NYC and LA too because it's the same thing in various gentrified/hip neighborhoods there too. What a ridiculous comment.
Wrong, and you completely missed his point. The best ethic food in NYC and LA isn't found in gentrified neighborhoods. Its found in ethnic enclaves. If I want Korean, I'm not going to some half-assed K-BBQ joint on LA's Westside. I'm going to Koreatown where there are several hundred Korean restaurants of every style and variety competing with each other. Korean food is such a big thing in LA that in Seoul there are restaurants that serve "LA style Korean BBQ". You think they serve "Chicago style KBBQ" in Korea?
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:55 PM
 
852 posts, read 820,591 times
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Alright well let's start a mini tourney as far as food variety and quality...

Chicago vs Houston (seems to be in full swing already)

LA vs New York

San Fransisco vs Boston

Dallas vs Pittsburgh

Miami vs Austin

DC vs Philly

Memphis vs New Orleans

Again you vote or just discuss
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:58 PM
 
852 posts, read 820,591 times
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Orrrrr when you hear these city's name what kind of food do you think of...

Chicago...Italian

New York...Italian

Austin...BBQ

San Antonio... Tex-Mex

Houston...Cajun/Seafood

Dallas...fine dining...upper end restraunts

LA...honestly don't know...Asian?

San Francisco.. Seafood?

Seattle...seafood

New Orleans...Cajun

Miami...Hispanic?

Atlanta...??

Boston...

DC....
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,953,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
Wrong, and you completely missed his point. The best ethic food in NYC and LA isn't found in gentrified neighborhoods. Its found in ethnic enclaves. If I want Korean, I'm not going to some half-assed K-BBQ joint on LA's Westside. I'm going to Koreatown where there are several hundred Korean restaurants of every style and variety competing with each other. Korean food is such a big thing in LA that in Seoul there are restaurants that serve "LA style Korean BBQ". You think they serve "Chicago style KBBQ" in Korea?
You completely missed the point and I never said these areas are where you'd find the best ethnic food. I said they exist in them and there's competition for Asian food in many areas of the city, not just in the ethnic neighborhoods. There's a big difference. JFC
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Downtown LA
1,192 posts, read 1,229,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Do you seriously think there aren't sizable populations for these in a city of 2.7 million people? Chicagoland has the 2nd largest population of Indians after the NYC area for example. I also know there's over 50,000 Chinese people in the city and something like 60,000-75,000 Koreans in the area (12,000 - 15,000 in the city which makes it 5th most of any city proper in the US). I think there's something like 20,000 Vietnamese in the city too.

The Asian percentage by population of Chicago and Houston are very close - Houston has more Vietnamese.
12-15k doesn't make it the 5th most of any city proper in the US. Not even close.

List of U.S. cities with significant Korean-American populations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To put things in perspective, there are 108,000 Koreans in Los Angeles proper, and 350,000 Koreans that live in LA County.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,953,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuggah View Post
Would like to see the populations of these ethnicities
Here's more official numbers for only the city. Metro areas for all of these would be more, of course:

Chinese - 43,171
South Asian Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi - 37,580
Filipino - 29,664
Korean - 11,422
Vietnamese - 8930
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