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Old 04-15-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
I will admit to having written a response to your previous post and then deleting it because I felt that my language was unnecessarily harsh, so I apologize for that.

That said, I don't think it seems overly analytic to say that this area's culinary offerings are "imbalanced" as you did. I think this area may seem imbalanced from the perspective of someone from the Northeast, but the same could be true of the Northeast as viewed by someone from another part of the country. Just like people who consider themselves locals have internalized the idea that this area is "normal" and everything else is a variation on NoVA, I think you may have done the same with regard to Metro NYC.

that would be fair, except I didnt move here from NYC. I moved here from baltimore - earlier I had lived in Boston and Chicago. I would say that from the perspective of all those cities NoVa looks imbalanced, and in pretty much the same way.

I have also lived in Jacksonville, Fl, which was quite different from NY/boston/chicago/baltimore of course, but was also quite different from NoVa in a way more charecteristic of small southern (and midwestern?) metros.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I don't know that even that's true anymore. Prof. Cowen (he of the NoVA Ethnic Dining Guide fame) thinks that the best mom-and-pop ethnic joints have been migrating to western Fairfax and Loudoun (Centreville, Herndon and Sterling) and I agree with him wholeheartedly. For example, I don't even go to Annandale for Korean food anymore. I go to Centreville. Same thing with Thai, Indian, Burmese, Sichuan Chinese, Peruvian, etc. One exception I found is Vietnamese. You still cannot get elsewhere (farther west) the kind of Vietnamese food you find at Eden Center.
Makes sense - plus exactly what's considered the "outer suburbs" is shifting. With folks commuting to DC and Tysons from places like Aldie and Gainesville, Herndon and Sterling aren't necessarily even "outer suburbs" any more. And there are some great places there.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
that would be fair, except I didnt move here from NYC. I moved here from baltimore - earlier I had lived in Boston and Chicago. I would say that from the perspective of all those cities NoVa looks imbalanced, and in pretty much the same way.

I have also lived in Jacksonville, Fl, which was quite different from NY/boston/chicago/baltimore of course, but was also quite different from NoVa in a way more charecteristic of small southern (and midwestern?) metros.
With the exception of Jacksonville, those are all cities that had a lot of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe approximately one hundred years ago. DC did not, which is why we are still missing restaurants operated by the descendants of those immigrants a hundred years later. The same is true for pretty much every city not in the Northeast or Midwest, except possibly for San Francisco's Italian-American heritage.

DC isn't imbalanced by the standards of American cities that didn't grow much between 1880 and 1930. I'm sure in fifty years the Midwest's dining scene will seem imbalanced, minus Chicago, since it will have been the one part of the country that experienced little to no Latino and Asian immigration (assuming the economy there doesn't pick up).
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
With the exception of Jacksonville, those are all cities that had a lot of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe approximately one hundred years ago. DC did not, which is why we are still missing restaurants operated by the descendants of those immigrants a hundred years later. The same is true for pretty much every city not in the Northeast or Midwest, except possibly for San Francisco's Italian-American heritage.
as i said, i understand that. But most other US cities (including jacksonville, for example, at least if it hasnt changed too much since I lived there) do have lots of "non immigrant" mom and pops - diners, bbq joints, fried chicken places, etc, etc - depending on the regional cuisine. (and before anyone points it out, i know there are lots of diners and similar run by greek americans).

I am sure there are other metro areas with a similar profile to NoVa - mostly chains and new immigrant restaurants - Im guessing Houston maybe? (There are lots of metro areas with larger numbers of hispanics, and fewer asians than here, so those are dissimilar to here, but not in the way I discussed)

San Diego, BTW has a little Italy. Im not sure about LA, but I know it has lots jewish delis, and I suspect a pretty broad range of other "old immigrant" places, simply cause lots of folks headed there from the NE in the 1930s and 1940s.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
as i said, i understand that. But most other US cities (including jacksonville, for example, at least if it hasnt changed too much since I lived there) do have lots of "non immigrant" mom and pops - diners, bbq joints, fried chicken places, etc, etc - depending on the regional cuisine. (and before anyone points it out, i know there are lots of diners and similar run by greek americans).

I am sure there are other metro areas with a similar profile to NoVa - mostly chains and new immigrant restaurants - Im guessing Houston maybe? (There are lots of metro areas with larger numbers of hispanics, and fewer asians than here, so those are dissimilar to here, but not in the way I discussed)

San Diego, BTW has a little Italy. Im not sure about LA, but I know it has lots jewish delis, and I suspect a pretty broad range of other "old immigrant" places, simply cause lots of folks headed there from the NE in the 1930s and 1940s.
At the end of the day, a region's restaurants reflect its population and its economics. DC is no different than any other place in this regard, as Stephen81 has amply pointed out.

The Jacksonville area has a substantial larger lower and middle-income population than NoVa, so you get a lot of chicken and BBQ joints there. You could probably find them on Georgia Avenue in DC if you miss them. In general, the South is not well-known for the types of diners that you find in NJ or PA; if it was, Denny's and Waffle House franchises wouldn't do so well there.

There are also parts of the Jacksonville area that have boomed in the past few decades, and those areas are full of Olive Garden-type places - far more so than most parts of NoVa.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,647,840 times
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
There are also parts of the Jacksonville area that have boomed in the past few decades, and it's total Olive Garden territory - far more so than most parts of NoVa.
Oh it was VERY chain dominated even way back in the 1980s. I was simply pointing out that the particular mix of non-chain restaurants was rather different. And no, personally, I am not hankering after fried chicken places - I was just trying to indicate that the "surprise" factor for new comers on this issue is not limited to folks coming from large northeastern metros.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,647,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
At the end of the day, a region's restaurants reflect its population and its economics. DC is no different than any other place in this regard, as Stephen81 has amply pointed out.
thats certainly true, and without checking the posts, I think I had agreed with that BEFORE stephen81 pointed it out.

Rather the regional restaurants reflect that greater DC, and NoVa in particular, is something of an outlier in its population and economics. I suppose one could say that should be obvious to a new comer - but it seems pretty common that most people havent bargiained on all the implications for daily life (including cuisine) of the regions outlier status.

I would note that the appearance of having even fewer non chains than we actually do, has a lot to do with the way the region is physically built - thats also something that sometimes takes newcomers aback - and is perhaps (though not necessarily) something we may be more inclined to want to change.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
for the types of diners that you find in NJ or PA; if it was, Denny's and Waffle House franchises wouldn't do so well there.
somehow I was thinking of the midwest as more the "home of the diner" but thats not really based on personal experience.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:58 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 2,000,874 times
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Originally Posted by normie View Post
I wonder if fish sourced from the moonies comes wrapped in the Washington Times?
Well, the fish don't care. Heck, I consider them a bizzarre cult, but that doesn't stop me from eating their fish or carrying a Moonie gun sometimes... the same way I eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen 81 View Post
That said, I don't think it seems overly analytic to say that this area's culinary offerings are "imbalanced" as you did. I think this area may seem imbalanced from the perspective of someone from the Northeast, but the same could be true of the Northeast as viewed by someone from another part of the country. Just like people who consider themselves locals have internalized the idea that this area is "normal" and everything else is a variation on NoVA, I think you may have done the same with regard to Metro NYC.
I would make the same point. Italian, Polish and Jewish food make sense as "regular" ethnic food only if you grew up in those NE and Midwest cities where the immigration patterns reflect that. Like I said, pizzas and Reuben sandwiches in Seattle are borderline criminal to this once-New Yorker. Seriously, if you put Tony's or Sal's of NoVA in Seattle, they would instantly become the greatest pizza joints in town, ever. And of course, handful of mega cities like NYC and LA will always have just about everything. NoVA is really a region, not a metropolis.

To a kid growing up here (any -- insert ethnicity -- kid), "regular" ethnic joints are Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Peruvian, Persian, etc. When I go to Moby Dick's, 95% of clientele is non-Persian. I can see this kid go to NYC or Chicago for the first time and exclaim "What's with all the Polish restaurants?" or "Do New Yorkers only eat pizzas and deli sandwiches?"

Just look at the kids in school. There's your ethnic food choices right there.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:08 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 2,000,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Oh it was VERY chain dominated even way back in the 1980s. I was simply pointing out that the particular mix of non-chain restaurants was rather different. And no, personally, I am not hankering after fried chicken places - I was just trying to indicate that the "surprise" factor for new comers on this issue is not limited to folks coming from large northeastern metros.
Fried chicken, did you say? Enough said.
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