The most popular cuisine in Utah? Hawaiian.
January 19, 2015 11:34 AM   Subscribe

 
Utah having a lot of Hawaiian food makes plenty of sense when you consider that Mormons have had a historic connection to Polynesians.
posted by graymouser at 11:38 AM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


To be a pedant, this isn't the most popular cuisine in each state, but the most disproportionately popular cuisine in each state, which is pretty different.
posted by peacheater at 11:42 AM on January 19, 2015 [24 favorites]


The South - Southern Cuisine
Hawaii - Hawaiian Cuisine

This is at times not that interesting a map. It would be better if local cuisine like Cheesesteaks were not a part of it.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:43 AM on January 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


if you've had enought of what the mormons have done to the hotdish, you'd go out for hawaiian a lot too.
posted by nadawi at 11:45 AM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Utah having a lot of Hawaiian food makes plenty of sense when you consider that Mormons have had a historic connection to Polynesians."

Contrary to popular belief most Mormon men are not polynesian and in fact have only one wife each.
posted by komara at 11:45 AM on January 19, 2015 [40 favorites]


Mormon poi.
mmmmmmmmmm...
posted by Thorzdad at 11:47 AM on January 19, 2015


Wow. Yelp thinks people in Oregon are eating "foodstands". It just goes to show that having Big Data is not the same thing as understanding it. Personally I find that metal, rubber and glass upset my stomach.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:50 AM on January 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


Some of these are unintentionally hilarious, like:

Ohio
Soup -- 57 percent higher than national average.

Is there a higher echelon of soup cuisine that I've been missing out on? Souplandia? The land of the never-ending cauldron, where ladles always overflow, and grilled cheese sandwiches are the official state accessory?

Hawaii
Hawaiian -- 5028 percent higher than national average.

is this really necessary as a distinction
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:53 AM on January 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


The most popular (disproportionately or no) food in New Mexico is *New* Mexican food, which is a slightly different horse than Mexican food. Sounds like the data sampling technique used would have had difficulties distinguishing between the two.
posted by heurtebise at 11:54 AM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am an Englishman!

Soon, I will return to Iowa. {looks at diagram}

My question is; "buffets" of WHAT?

Victoria sponge cake? Cucumber sandwiches? Fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Beans on toast? Weetabix?

Whatever. So long as there is tea, I'm open-minded so I'm in, whatever it is.

Just make sure there's tea.
posted by Wordshore at 11:56 AM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyone else been to Big Kahuna Burger in SLC?
posted by indubitable at 11:56 AM on January 19, 2015


Just make sure there's tea.

There is a good chance there will be somewhat hot water and a lipton bag.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:57 AM on January 19, 2015 [24 favorites]


The most popular (disproportionately or no) food in New Mexico is *New* Mexican food, which is a slightly different horse than Mexican food.

I have it on good authority that "New" Mexican fast food emphasizes chicken and has a distinct Chilean influence.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:57 AM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Gluten free" is not a cuisine.
posted by caryatid at 11:57 AM on January 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


It just goes to show that having Big Data is not the same thing as understanding it.

Y'all joke, and I know there are lots of jokes to be made about this story, so I'm on your side, but yeah, I don't think Yelp is doing their data much justice here.
posted by rhizome at 11:59 AM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


It just goes to show that having Big Data is not the same thing as understanding it.

Yeah, first of all, this has some pretty obvious taxonomic problems with seemingly arbitrary lumping and splitting decisions ("Taiwanese" stuck out to me as a noticeably different level of specificity than, say, "Southern"). And then there's the additional problem that "Taiwanese" and "steak" and "food stands" are not actually things of the same kind at all.
posted by RogerB at 12:01 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh and Semper Fi, WI.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:01 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Gluten free" is not a cuisine.

Neither is a buffet.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:02 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't decided if the lack of Indian food for any state is disappointing, that nobody's figured out how damn GOOD it is, or if it means that it's become common enough that it doesn't stand out anywhere.
posted by evilangela at 12:02 PM on January 19, 2015


Huffpo on Michigan Coney's.

"Because Eastern Market, That's Why."
posted by clavdivs at 12:04 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ohio: Soup for you.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:06 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am sitting here sobbing because I live in a frigging buffet state.

Peruvian makes sense for Maryland, because I can think of a bunch of Peruvian chicken places in the DC suburbs, but Belgian for DC? What is that?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am from Minnesota and I'm going to a buffet restaurant tonight! Kids are only $0.99 each on Monday night at Q. Cumbers.
posted by Area Man at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Belgian for DC?

Umm, old guys trying to buy the affections of hot young interns with pastries and chocolate?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:12 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


DC: Belgian

I'm not sure if chicken and waffles technically qualifies, Huffpo.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:13 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Percentage of people who hate these maps, by state

1. Wisconsin - 110%
posted by desjardins at 12:14 PM on January 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is there a higher echelon of soup cuisine that I've been missing out on? Souplandia? The land of the never-ending cauldron, where ladles always overflow, and grilled cheese sandwiches are the official state accessory?

It is said that somewhere in rural China is a tiny shop that purveys only one thing: soup. The soup is in a large cast-iron pot, simmering over an open fire, and this soup-- this very same pot of soup-- has been served to passersby for over two hundred years. As the volume goes slowly down, water and ingredients are added to replenish it, but it remains the same soup. Surely this is the finest soup in the world.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:14 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am an Englishman!

Soon, I will return to Iowa. {looks at diagram}

My question is; "buffets" of WHAT?

Victoria sponge cake? Cucumber sandwiches? Fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Beans on toast? Weetabix?

Yes. All that and more.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Huffington Post and Yelp have collaborated

Help?
posted by Fizz at 12:18 PM on January 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


(Coney Island invades Soup)
posted by clavdivs at 12:19 PM on January 19, 2015


It seems that they are first normalizing for state population by taking the percentage within the state, but the final result they are showing represents that given that a restaurant is Taiwanese, the probability of it being in CA is relatively highest, compared to said conditional probability for other cuisines. However, what one generally assumes they are showing, is the opposite: given that a restaurant is in CA, the probability of it being Taiwanese.... So I think this is a bit misleading.

To get the data for the map, Yelp first calculated the percentage of total restaurants each cuisine represented in a given state. Then, it compared each percentage with the cuisine's representation in restaurants nationwide. The resulting map, made by HuffPost, shows the cuisines with a disproportionate level of representation in each state.
posted by bread-eater at 12:19 PM on January 19, 2015


Great idea, shit ass execution with the taxonomic fails.

I am not even sure what "comfort food" is - I always assumed that was unique to each person and family. I'm not sure what traditional American is either - given that steak, hotdogs, pizza, hamburger, and soup each have their own categories ... what's left? Iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing?
posted by kanewai at 12:23 PM on January 19, 2015


Help?

It will do you no good here.
posted by rhizome at 12:26 PM on January 19, 2015


"Victoria sponge cake? Cucumber sandwiches? Fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Beans on toast? Weetabix?"
Sponge cake: Er, no.
Cucumber sandwiches: Well... they have cucumbers.
Fish and chips: Does catfish or walleye count?
Bangers and mash: There will always be sausage
Beans on toast: Disgusting
Weetabix: Yes
Tea: If you are in Iowa City, you will find loose leaf. If you are in my hometown, you will find bags of dust.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2015


DC has a number of truly wonderful Belgian offerings, but the fact that Yelp has tagged in Marvin as Belgian (as well as Le Pain Quotidien) does seem to indicate that Yelp thinks Belgian (waffles) is marker of cuisine, and not of, say, endless carbavore brunches.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2015


West Virginia

Hot dogs -- 146 percent higher than national average.
Pizza -- 75 percent higher than national average.
Buffets -- 55 percent higher than national average.
Fast food -- 54 percent higher than national average.
Chicken wings -- 47 percent higher than national average.


I think these are all encompassed by the cuisine of "Dying Mall Food Court".
posted by 23skidoo at 12:28 PM on January 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


In the lists, I see that Maryland is its own #1 food group.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:28 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like the 1,540% for cajun is a bit skewed.
  1. Unless you are a cajun cooking for your family, you can't get good Cajun food outside of Louisiana. There may be one or two Cajun joints, but it's going to be an outlier in your city.
  2. The whole country knows it. Pretty much, you go to Louisiana, you're going to spend your time gorging yourself on cajun good. It's like you fly to Ohio to get soup.
posted by MrGuilt at 12:29 PM on January 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


In a way this is kind of next-level listicle writing. Click here for a list of regional not-necessarily-specialties.
posted by rhizome at 12:30 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: Peruvian in Maryland and Virginia

For the most part, this means Peruvian chicken joints and not the full array of Peruvian cuisine, although you can often get a few non-Chicken a la brasa entrees like lomo saltado. I was poking around on Yelp (I don't entirely trust using Yelp categories to classify restaurants) and was surprised to discover that several of the nearby pollo a la brasa places are actually categorized as "American (new)". I kind of like that: here's your new America, America--delicious roast chicken and fried yucca. Beats the hell out of old America's soggy burgers, if you ask me.
posted by drlith at 12:30 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Gluten free" is not a cuisine.

Neither is a buffet.


It's more like a state of mind. You know the buffet scene in Fargo? That's normal.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:32 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


i have pulled data from Uber to see how many people on average can fit into a car in each USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

please like, re-pin, and follow!!!!thx
posted by threeants at 12:34 PM on January 19, 2015 [25 favorites]


Geobollocks is the new chartjunk.
posted by RogerB at 12:37 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I.. don't really think that's true of Arizona.
posted by DriftingLotus at 12:39 PM on January 19, 2015


Re: Peruvian in Maryland and Virginia

For the most part, this means Peruvian chicken joints


One of the few things I missed about DC when I lived in Seattle was the amazing pollo a la brasa places the DC area offers in droves. Seattle had one pollo restaurant, but it was pretty sad. Now I'm living in DC, and apparently Seattle has a new Peruvian chicken restaurant that's pretty good, so there's no reason for me not to move back!
posted by lunasol at 12:45 PM on January 19, 2015


And also, Seattle is the only place I've lived in the US where "pho shack" is a standard fast-food option, and it's really genius. $4-6 dollars for a big bowl of noodles and protein, vegetarian options for those who need it, and you're done in 20 minutes. More cities should have pho shacks!
posted by lunasol at 12:47 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


[coney island has lemon rice soup for lunch]

EMC IN THE D FUCKYEAH
posted by disclaimer at 12:47 PM on January 19, 2015


Tex Mex is popular in Texas? Kosher food in New York?

This study has been brought to you from The Institute for the Study of the Incredibly Fucking Obvious at Duuuhhhh! University.
posted by jonmc at 12:51 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Say what you will for the politics of the south, but between Mexican, Tex-Mex, 'Southern' (presumably glorious southern 'home cooking'), and Cajun, the south as a whole wins.

And the mid-west, cuisine-wise, gets the worst in the country. While the methodologies are a bit skewed and simplistic, this bears out my personal experiences.

(holy shit I miss tex-mex in Texas).
posted by el io at 12:53 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Some of these observations are highly suspect, and some of them are obvious to the point of banality (e.g. Hawaii has a lot of Hawaiian food, Alaska has a lot of fish and chips and/or seafood restaurants, the Mountain West has a lot of steak places..) but there are interesting histories behind some of the results.

Parts of Alaska do have a high proportion of Filipino owned-and-operated restaurants. Locally, at least, this goes back to events that took place before Alaska was even a state -- fish cannery owners, facing organizing efforts, brought in workers from the Philippines (who came to be known as "Alaskeros") in an attempt to break the unions (which wasn't a successful long-term strategy, as the Filipino workers soon unionized themselves.)

A significant number of the residents in my town are descended from Alaskeros or family members who came later to join them, which is why in a town of 12,000 people in the islands of SE Alaska you'll find Tagalog language books and movies at the local library, Tagalog programming on the local cable system, 4 or 5 established Filipino restaurants in a town where that's a substantial fraction of the restaurant selection, and traditional dishes like adobo, pancit, and lumpia at every potluck.

posted by Nerd of the North at 12:53 PM on January 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


helo i r stupid computer i now writes a listicle
posted by indubitable at 12:54 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just make sure there's tea.

There is a good chance there will be somewhat hot water and a lipton bag.


{shakes head, sorrowfully}

This is why England had an empire and the Western Colonies (more lately, USA) did not.

I'm still waiting, Obama. STILL WAITING.
posted by Wordshore at 12:55 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


jonmc: Given NYC has under 9% jewish population, kosher food is not a given winner. And Texans are more enthusiastic about their BBQ than they are their TexMex (verbally anyways, they might actually eat more TexMex).
posted by el io at 12:56 PM on January 19, 2015


Until I read the explanation above, it seemed really weird that they have Filipino as Alaska's disproportionately popular food. There's one not-great exclusively Filipino place that I know of in Anchorage, plus a fusiony place or two. But I guess in the smaller towns and the Southeast there must be more?

If I had had to guess ahead of time I would have gone with Thai, which is omnipresent here. Omnipresent and delicious.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:00 PM on January 19, 2015


sry i forgot to post the actual results lol..

1a: 5
1b: 5
2a: 5
2b: 5
3a: 4
3b: 5
4a: 4
4b: 5
5a: 7 (?!?!?!?!? i just can't even)
5b: 5
6a: 5
6b: 4
7a: 5
7b: 5
8a: 3 (looks like cars in central georgia forgot how to car!! lol)
8b: 5
9a: 5
9b: 5
10a: 5
10b: 4
11a: 5
11b: 5
12a: 5
12b: 2 (go home, puerto rico, you're drunk)
13a: 5
13b: 5
posted by threeants at 1:02 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is why England had an empire and the Western Colonies (more lately, USA) did not.

what
posted by Sys Rq at 1:02 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have no problem classifying "food truck," "buffet," and "comfort food" as styles of American cuisine.
posted by muddgirl at 1:03 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was surprised by the ranking of Portugeuse food in MA and RI. I live in MA, near the RI line and I can't think of any Portugeuse restaurants nearby. Yelp shows some in Central Falls, which isn't surprising, but it also brings up a ton of Mexican places near me.
posted by Biblio at 1:11 PM on January 19, 2015


I am an Englishman!

Soon, I will return to Iowa. {looks at diagram}

My question is; "buffets" of WHAT?

Victoria sponge cake? Cucumber sandwiches? Fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Beans on toast? Weetabix?

Whatever. So long as there is tea, I'm open-minded so I'm in, whatever it is.

Just make sure there's tea.


I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but you're going to experience this thing called Pizza Ranch, and you may not survive it.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:14 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Regarding Spanish food in Connecticut: In the 1940s there was an emigration from the greater Valencia region to Ellis Island to New Britain, CT.
posted by davel at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2015


This is why England had an empire and the Western Colonies (more lately, USA) did not.
I'm still waiting, Obama. STILL WAITING.
posted by Wordshore at 3:55 PM on January 19


Come on down to the South, sugar. We've got plenty of tea for you!
posted by magstheaxe at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's math time.

Until I read the explanation above, it seemed really weird that they have Filipino as Alaska's disproportionately popular food. There's one not-great exclusively Filipino place that I know of in Anchorage, plus a fusiony place or two. But I guess in the smaller towns and the Southeast there must be more?

Actually, with this methodology, all that is necessary is that the rest of the country have less.

If I had had to guess ahead of time I would have gone with Thai, which is omnipresent here. Omnipresent and delicious.

Using the same logic, Thai is omnipresent everywhere, so Alaska doesn't stand out.

Given NYC has under 9% jewish population, kosher food is not a given winner.

It's the obvious winner, same logic as above ... 9% is far higher than the national average, so NYC will have a disproportionate number of kosher delis. It doesn't mean that there are more of them than, say, Thai ... it just means that you have more of them than most of us do.
posted by kanewai at 1:16 PM on January 19, 2015


If I had had to guess ahead of time I would have gone with Thai, which is omnipresent here. Omnipresent and delicious.

Aside: I remember when Thai restaurants were comparatively rare and novel, and some of them had extraordinary cuisine, with brilliant, light, sharp flavors completely unlike anything I'd ever tasted before. Then over time a common Thai menu norm emerged, much as it has with Chinese menus, and every Thai restaurant in the US was forced to conform or they'd get angry morons shouting at them. Now every goddamn Thai restaurant is forced to serve the same goddamn sludge -- with the obligatory grease and salt for the American palate -- and I can't find what I actually liked anywhere.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:16 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are fancy sit-down hot dog restaurants a big thing in West Virginia such that it merits special distinction to not be lumped in with "food stand" ?
posted by mingo_clambake at 1:17 PM on January 19, 2015


Is a Foodstand the same as a Ptomaine Wagon? or is it just sort of a Food Court at the Mall?

Never mind. I want someone from Idaho to tell me what a goddam Gastropub is.
posted by mule98J at 1:18 PM on January 19, 2015


The weird thing about the spread of word, "gastropub" in the US is that it was originally a Britishism for "Bar & Grill."
posted by rhizome at 1:22 PM on January 19, 2015


I have it on good authority that "New" Mexican fast food emphasizes chicken and has a distinct Chilean influence.

No...
*source: Native New Mexican
posted by pravit at 1:24 PM on January 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


And also, Seattle is the only place I've lived in the US where "pho shack" is a standard fast-food option, and it's really genius.

It really is. It's decently nutritious and healthy, especially compared to other fast food. Pho also isn't a chain dominated so there's a lot of variety in prices, flavor, and options.

Also, as a Seattleite it's kind of hard to believe, but teriyaki joints as we know them aren't universal. The current fast food form was apparently invented in Seattle, and I think is mostly just a West Coast thing. Elsewhere reviews call it "Japanese street food" or "Americanized Japanese fast food" which is hilarious in that it assumes that teriyaki is anything other than teriyaki (a fast food style with Japanese ancestry served in America mostly by Koreans).

Also, $2.50 Banh Mi from little Saigon. #newsaigondeli5lyfe
posted by tychotesla at 1:28 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I believe in Yelp-ese, a food stand is what the rest of us call a food cart.

Gastropubs sell expensive beer, expensive food, and often a "British" atmosphere.
posted by muddgirl at 1:29 PM on January 19, 2015


North Carolina
Southern -- 229 percent higher than national average.
Cheesesteaks -- 207 percent higher than national average.
Hot dogs -- 80 percent higher than national average.
Chicken wings -- 47 percent higher than national average.
Soul food -- 39 percent higher than national average.


For all the gripes about this map (and they are many and valid), I have to admit, this is pretty accurate (though I am really surprised that cheesesteaks are #2 and not barbecue; I can't think of a single cheesesteak place anywheres around.) It just doesn't cover all of the many and awesome options here (as evidenced by the quick drop in percentage between step 2 and step 3), like the 10 pho places in Greensboro alone (I know, not as many as Seattle, but we're a lot smaller). Or the amazing Ethiopian food I had the other night. Or the several good sushi places. Or the BBQ. Or the diners. Or the Mexican.

Dammit. Now I'm hungry.
posted by joycehealy at 1:48 PM on January 19, 2015


"$2.50 Banh Mi"

Ohmy... How did I have to move to Canada to discover the joy of Banh Mi? Hands down the best cheap food I've encountered in US/Canada. It took me a few years of eating it to realize what it was actually called... I prefer the very descriptive "Vietnamese Sub". When asked what that is I simply tell them imagine Vietnamese food, in a sub sandwich. 3$ mouthful of joy.

You know, with British colonialism we got great food that was brought to the UK. That's okay and all (q: "what's the best British food?" a: "Indian"), but with French colonialism we got glorious fusion food before fusion was a cuisine type.
posted by el io at 1:51 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, this article starts out with this line "When most people think American cuisine, they think pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers."

Those aren't cuisines, those are dishes. When I think American *cuisine* I personally think of Cajun, BBQ, Tex-Mex, and "southern home cooking". (okay, BBQ may not be a cuisine, but it sure is a way of life in Texas). It may be true that people think of those things when you say "American food" (not cuisine, but food)... But my list is what the US should be proud of (IMHO), and the above list should mainly be one of shame (okay, we perfected pizza, but isn't a hot dog merely a crappy sausage?).
posted by el io at 2:01 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, Tex-Mex is so good. Like 90% of my First Meals After Being On Vacation are Tex-Mex, and having good Tex-Mex everywhere is definitely in my top 5 reasons why I would never leave the state along with things like Family and Friends.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:08 PM on January 19, 2015


what

My dear Sys Rq, I think you will find that this and this beats your somewhat timid and diminutive what. You cousins across the waters in the colonies are endearingly sweet, but an empire to rival that of the motherland?

No.

And why, you may ask?

Because this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this all trump this.

Never quibble with an Englishman over the matter of tea. Ever.

Good day to you.
posted by Wordshore at 2:12 PM on January 19, 2015 [17 favorites]


Man, Tex-Mex is so good. Like 90% of my First Meals After Being On Vacation are Tex-Mex, and having good Tex-Mex everywhere is definitely in my top 5 reasons why I would never leave the state along with things like Family and Friends.

I want to sing you my song of pain. It is the song of a man who lives in a Texas city that has a population of 250,000 and yet not a single Tex-Mex restaurant. Not one.

I know, it sounds impossible! But it is true!

(Answer: Laredo. Only 100% pure Mexican cuisine, no co-mingling.)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:15 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just a shout-out for the middle eastern food in southeast Michigan. If you visit here, that is absolutely what you need to eat while you're here. So good.
posted by elizilla at 2:16 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Percentage of people who hate these maps, by state

1. Wisconsin - 110%
2. New York - 895$
3. Everywhere Else - Shrimp^#
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:19 PM on January 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Just a shout at the rest of the food in Michigan - YOU SUCK! [longtime Michigan ex-resident speaking here]

(If you like British food, you'll like Dutch food)
posted by el io at 2:22 PM on January 19, 2015


I was surprised by the ranking of Portugeuse food in MA and RI. I live in MA, near the RI line and I can't think of any Portugeuse restaurants nearby. Yelp shows some in Central Falls, which isn't surprising, but it also brings up a ton of Mexican places near me.

Yeah, but it's pretty rare to find a Portuguese restaurant anywhere else in the country outside of southern New England, so that's why it made this list. I actually sort of suspect that designation includes some Brazilian and Cape Verdean places as well, since those three nationalities tend to get lumped in together sometimes in New England.
posted by lunasol at 2:31 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


9% is far higher than the national average, so NYC will have a disproportionate number of kosher delis.

Looking at the full list for New York, it's clear that the omnipresent obvious winner is really just delis in general. Kosher isn't a cuisine, it's a certification (often of delis). Ditto Halal, which is the next entry on the list. Just plain delis also make an appearance on the top five. The other two entries are "Spanish" (which probably doesn't mean Spanish-from-Spain) and Caribbean, which is really the only thing on the list that is an actual cuisine.

All of the above said, I was pretty shocked when I moved to California and discovered that there weren't delis everywhere. Of course there weren't delis everywhere in Louisiana, either, but Louisiana is practically its own continent when it comes to cuisine, so that didn't seem too weird. (Besides, we have poboy shops, which are... delis). I kind of assumed everyone liked sandwiches and such, all over the place.

I really miss being able to stop into basically anywhere and order whatever sandwich I want, made to order in front of me.
posted by Sara C. at 2:33 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Michigan thoughts -

Middle Eastern -- what elizilla said
Diners -- I can see "diner food" being a type of cuisine.
Hot dogs -- I was confused until I remembered that Coneys were hotdogs.
Pizza -- A pizzeria definitely offers a type of cuisine that is centered around, but more than, just a pie
Soup -- And I'm lost. I don't think I have ever seen a "soup" restaurant. I don't know how this fits with anything else.

And I am surprised that "Greek" and "Welsh pasty shops" aren't on here. Especially the pasties. No one else has them - or if they do they are at boutique and trendy places (I'm looking at you, DC), not working class shacks.
posted by kanewai at 2:39 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I google Yelp Soup Michigan I get a lot of what I call "lunch places" that serve sandwiches, soup, and salads (ie Panera). Another oddity that came up was Tim Hortons, which might explain the prevalence.
posted by muddgirl at 2:47 PM on January 19, 2015


I was surprised by the ranking of Portugeuse food in MA and RI. I live in MA, near the RI line and I can't think of any Portugeuse restaurants nearby. Yelp shows some in Central Falls, which isn't surprising, but it also brings up a ton of Mexican places near me.

I think it's because, outside of MA and RI (and, apparantly, NJ?), one would be hard-pressed to find any Portuguese restaurants in the US at all.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:49 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, now that you mention it, pasty shops should have been hugely disproportionate in Michigan compared to the rest of the country. They must not be widespread enough to constitute a category for Yelp's purposes.

Outside of Southeast Michigan (and really, mostly the Detroit area) Greek restaurants aren't nearly as common across Michigan, though you'll find the occasional gyro joint in other towns. And it seems like their counting may be somewhat diluted in Southeast Michigan by the coney island category..
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:50 PM on January 19, 2015


The hell does "southern" food even mean? That's like "European" as a food category.

And what does "Traditional American" mean on a map for which "southern" is a dominant native representative cuisine for 1/6 of the country? Does it mean southern food isn't traditional American? Is traditional American food whatever's American but not southern? Is casserole the only true traditional American food? If so, what did Americans (excluding southerners) eat before the invention of canned cream of mushroom soup?
posted by ardgedee at 3:00 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Southern food is the best!
posted by oceanjesse at 3:02 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


what did Americans (excluding southerners) eat before the invention of canned cream of mushroom soup?
Mostly boiled stuff, I'm pretty sure.
posted by drlith at 3:04 PM on January 19, 2015


I noted that for Alabama it has "Southern" and "Soul" food both on the list, much of which is just a different term for very similar food depending on the racial makeup of the area, and with the "Soul" food sometimes emphasizing the more throwaway part of the protein source (thus, neck bones, pigs feet, tail, etc).
posted by ndfine at 3:05 PM on January 19, 2015


And what does "Traditional American" mean
Corn?
posted by ndfine at 3:07 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Southern food is like soul food, but with more cheese.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:07 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


As an Illinoisan, I knew that Pakistani people must eat, but I confess to never wondering exactly what they eat. I'm now encouraged that it appears likely that I will be able to find restaurants that serve Pakistani cuisine without traveling far.

Never once have I seen a restaurant advertising its Pakistani food. But, I admit that I don't get out much.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 3:09 PM on January 19, 2015


I did a local search for "Traditional American" and it mostly seems to be a category for: This restaurant has selected "Traditional American" as a category they want to be a part of. Maybe heavy towards the Applebees type chains.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:11 PM on January 19, 2015


traditional american = crisco

southern = lard

---

Never mind. I want someone from Idaho to tell me what a goddam Gastropub is.

it's a bar that serves snails
posted by pyramid termite at 3:14 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, ffs, it's this again.

There's lots of traditional American cuisine. Sweet fruit pies, cornbreak, pumpkin basically anything, fried chicken, crab cakes, barbeque, italian ice, cheese steaks, a variety of chowders, hot dogs, baked beans, crayfish boils, American styles of pizza (which are different enough to warrent their own identity), etc.

Let's not do the hurf durf american culture what an oxymoron thing again. It's asinine.
posted by The Gaffer at 3:26 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Upon consideration, that may have been a little harsher than warranted.
posted by The Gaffer at 3:27 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


canned cream of mushroom soup

Mmm. Polish gravy.
posted by disclaimer at 3:29 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Upon consideration, that may have been a little harsher than warranted

Nah, it's confusing. Like I would say Cheesesteaks are Philadelphia Cuisine but...you know Philadelphia is one of the birthplaces of America so why separate it out from American cuisine? It's not that there is no American cuisine, just that there are so many subsets of it that American Cuisine describes everything and nothing at the same time.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:31 PM on January 19, 2015


Alabama
1. Southern
2. BBQ
3. Cajun
4. Chicken wings
5. Soul food


... or as we like to call all those things here in Alabama, "food".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:32 PM on January 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd be genuinely excited to try actual Hawaiian cuisine, given that in the UK, "Hawaiian" just means "it's got pineapple on it" for some reason (this is mainly, but not exclusively, used for pizzas).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:37 PM on January 19, 2015


It does seem like a really interesting fusion of influences. I'd love to visit and try it sometime. Unfortunately for me, it doesn't seem particularly vegetarian friendly.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:40 PM on January 19, 2015


I lived in Utah for over 30 years, and I'm not even sure I know what Hawaiian food is.

(Are we taking barbecue? Or spam and taro and that coconut creamed spinach?)
posted by weston at 3:45 PM on January 19, 2015


What's the deal with the specification "Taiwanese"? It seems hyper-precise relative to other categories--"buffets" etc.? I would distinguish Szechuan from "any old chinese restaurant," but I don't understand what's going on here with "Taiwanese."
posted by batfish at 3:57 PM on January 19, 2015


crayfish boils

no
posted by Sara C. at 4:04 PM on January 19, 2015


*Checks Minnesota*

Yes, everything does appear to be in order here
posted by surazal at 4:07 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't understand what's going on here with "Taiwanese."

Bubble tea shops. Probably there's also more reliable tagging of regional Chinese cuisines by Yelp users and business owners because Californians care more than rest-of-USians about the distinction when searching, but primarily I'd bet on bubble tea shops.
posted by RogerB at 4:12 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I am understanding this, it's not a very interesting use of data. I mean, let's say there are 50 Portuguese restaurants in the the US, 15 in MA, 25 in RI, and 10 scattered through the rest of the 50 states. So the mean number of Portuguese restaurants per state is 1, with Ma at 1500% more and RI at 2500% more. Now, the median and mode number of Portuguese restaurants per state are probably 0, giving MA and RI both infinitely more Portuguese restaurants than rest of the country.

These guys are underachievers in the nonsense statists race.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:12 PM on January 19, 2015


what's going on here with "Taiwanese."

It's really quite distinct. While Taiwanese emigrants speak Mandarin (although sufficiently different as Australian English is to North Eastern American English), the food is quite different to, say, Hong Kong style food compared to Beijing or Shanghainese food.

Think bubbletea and fried "chicken nuggets" (~0.75"x0.75" chunks of chicken thigh with skin on, lightly flour battered and deep fried) over fried rice. Or fresh fruits over shaved ice. Some of the taste profiles/spices used is quite different.

You can distinguish Sichuan because it's typically spicier than typical American "Chinese food," but there are big differences between Beijing style food and Shanghai style food - for example, the soup (filled) steamed dumplings - in Shanhai they're steamed in a bamboo cage, Beijing style, they're steamed then pan-fried.
posted by porpoise at 4:16 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was kind of baffled about the "soup" thing, but thinking about it--well, I do know there are a couple places in the area that are doing "soup" as a novelty sort of thing. The one I'm thinking of does have sandwiches, but it's called The Stew Pot and the point is supposed to be that you get soup. I'm guessing that this sort of thing is uncommon enough that just having a couple places like that in the state would be enough to get a state above the national average for "restaurants that focus on soup", but it seems more like happenstance than anything. We also used to have a place where I went to college that was a shop that sold nothing but bubble tea and like a hundred different flavors of popcorn that was open for like a year. I suppose during that time Ohio might have been the country's leader in popcorn-and-bubble-tea restaurants? It doesn't mean much.

Re: the local soup place, they're only open weekdays and only until 5:30, so the point is clearly just to get the downtown lunch crowd, and it sounds like maybe also encouraging people to stop in and get a quart to take home for with dinner? I've never been. They're right next to the library though so maybe some afternoon I'll go get lunch when I pick up library books, out of some sense of state pride.
posted by Sequence at 4:34 PM on January 19, 2015


As if "southern" is a food. That's a ridiculous, lazy map.
posted by zardoz at 4:34 PM on January 19, 2015


Huh. I'm still surprised at the preciseness (I mean there are different Mexican cuisines too, for instance), and, then, given the preciseness, that "chinese" qua syncretistic hodgepodge doesn't appear anywhere on the list. But the bubble tea thing makes sense I guess.
posted by batfish at 4:36 PM on January 19, 2015


New York City has at least two Mostly Just Soup chains, each with several locations around the city. Generally, as Sequence mentions, focused on the corporate lunch crowd.

My guess is that the Soup States also have a variation on this restaurant concept.

I have dim childhood memories of a strip mall lunch chain called Souper Salad. (GET IT? SOUP OR SALAD? SUPER SALAD? GET IT?)
posted by Sara C. at 4:56 PM on January 19, 2015


While BBQ may be true of Missouri in general, my town has a proclivity for a particular food that makes Chinese Carry-Out by far the most popular. In fact, in this town of 84 sq miles we have over 70 Chinese places that serve this dish.

In Springfield, you are never more than two blocks away from Cashew Chicken .
posted by sourwookie at 5:00 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Zoup!
posted by disclaimer at 5:08 PM on January 19, 2015


Poll takers took a run through downtown Portland and extrapolated that to the whole state eating at food stands. Easy and cheap and probably wrong. A more inclusive survey would have found a large Hispanic population and many gringos eating Mexican food.
posted by Cranberry at 5:13 PM on January 19, 2015


I just looked it up, and Souper Salad does in fact still exist. But not in the Ohio, which I will henceforth be referring to as the Soup Belt.

I searched Yelp for soup restaurants in L.A., but not only did I not turn up anything much (just restaurants where reviewers mention soup a lot), I looked in the categories and -- unlike probably most of the rest of the US -- there's an entire Yelp category for Taiwanese food. Looking at all the categories (AND YES SOUP* IS ONE!), there's a surprisingly diverse and granular number of Asian restaurant types. Shanghainese gets its own category, as does Laotian (there are separate Cambodian and Vietnamese categories), Ramen, and Teppanyaki. I was surprised not to see an Izakaya category, as well.

*All the LA-area restaurants under the soup category are Asian restaurants that specialize in soup. In fact they look like they're all Korean soup restaurants. Even crazier, LA has its own separate category for Hot Pot. Which makes three separate soup categories, all of which are Asian soups.
posted by Sara C. at 5:19 PM on January 19, 2015


How is "gastropub" disproportionately popular in Vermont? One in every three Vermonters I know brews their own beer.
posted by maryr at 5:28 PM on January 19, 2015


(Jessamyn's Pissing Elephant IPA is hoppy, with a big citrusy taste and less bitterness than you'd expect.)
posted by maryr at 5:30 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't understand what's going on here with "Taiwanese."

For what it's worth, I just learned that as of 2010, 49% of Taiwanese Americans lived in California. (In fact, now you can get ex-pat "Californian" food in Taiwan.) It might be slanted by bubble tea joints, but it explains why the numbers are so much higher for California.

Never once have I seen a restaurant advertising its Pakistani food.

Oh man you're in for such a treat, Pakistani food is so delicious! Try as many desserts in fun colors as you can!
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:34 PM on January 19, 2015


Oh damn, I misread the data. Vermont makes total sense with the gastropubs. Carry on.
posted by maryr at 5:36 PM on January 19, 2015


I searched Yelp for soup restaurants in L.A., but not only did I not turn up anything much (just restaurants where reviewers mention soup a lot),

I wonder if places like Souplantation and its alter-ego Sweet Tomatoes, which I would think of as a soup restaurant simply because of Mark Evanier's obsession with their Creamy Tomato Soup, are listed as buffet restaurants in Yelp.
posted by Ranucci at 5:43 PM on January 19, 2015


I think this article is wrong. For one thing, I live in Utah, and I know of a Big Kahuna's pizza joint but of no other hawaiian places, and I never hear talk about going out for Hawaiian. Utah has all kinds of places to eat out, but I just don't see a Hawaiian place in every strip mall, nor do I see them downtown Unless something's going on in Provo. This is a flawed methodology.

Google shows six Hawaiian restaurants in the most populous area.
posted by Oyéah at 5:51 PM on January 19, 2015


Restaurants can be listed in multiple categories. Han Bat Sul Lung Tang, the first restaurant that comes up if you browse the "Soup" category in L.A., is listed as Soup, Korean, and Comfort Food.
posted by Sara C. at 5:51 PM on January 19, 2015


Southern food: any of the bitchin recipes from Southern Living magazine.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:57 PM on January 19, 2015


Yeah, Yelp's categories seem like they grew organically instead of being planned out.

'Southern' seems like kind of a BS designation, especially on a list that also includes BBQ, Cajun and soul food, all of which seem upon casual examination to be subsets of Southern cooking (and 'Vegan' seems like a subset of 'Vegetarian'--taxonomies, man).

And I wonder if it's less that gastropubs are especially popular in Delaware, Idaho, Maine and Vermont, or just that the word 'gastropub' is popular in those places (VT is 220% above the average, which doesn't seem like a big number compared to the four-digit figures for things like Cajun in LA and Ethiopian in DC (?)). I mean, gastropub's just fancy bar food, right? Surely that's something that people everywhere enjoy?
posted by box at 5:59 PM on January 19, 2015


It's interesting that both Massachusetts and New Jersey have towns that are heavily Irish and have that Portuguese (Brazilian/Cape Verdean) population.

Also, are there Belgian restaurants in Door County, WI, since that's a big influence there?
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:27 PM on January 19, 2015


At least it isn't Grape Salad.
posted by Sphinx at 6:38 PM on January 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think it's because, outside of MA and RI (and, apparantly, NJ?), one would be hard-pressed to find any Portuguese restaurants in the US at all.


If you are skeptical about NJ being an epicenter of Portuguese cuisine, may I introduce you to the Ironbound section of Newark?
posted by damayanti at 6:41 PM on January 19, 2015


North Carolina
Southern -- 229 percent higher than national average.
Cheesesteaks -- 207 percent higher than national average.
Hot dogs -- 80 percent higher than national average.
Chicken wings -- 47 percent higher than national average.
Soul food -- 39 percent higher than national average.


I choose to believe they left BBQ off this list so my home state would not erupt into yet another bitter and protracted dispute* over the relative merits of Eastern vs. Western varieties . Otherwise I refuse to believe it. Cheesesteaks, my fellow Tarheels? What the fuck.

Also, you didn't ask but NC has some pretty badass Mexican food.

*Eastern is totally better, by the way.
posted by thivaia at 6:44 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


> No...
*source: Native New Mexican


It was a Breaking Bad joke.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:21 PM on January 19, 2015


Soup, for fucking real Ohio?
posted by supercrayon at 8:12 PM on January 19, 2015


Soup only shows as being 57% more popular in Ohio than average, and the New York ones seem to be overwhelmed by stuff that's way higher percentages, so I think it's also a sign of how much closer to the average Ohio is. New York could like soup 100% more than the national average, but it still wouldn't have been enough to make New York's top 5 list.
posted by Sequence at 8:29 PM on January 19, 2015


For the record, L&L Drive In and Zippys are probably what yelp means by "Hawaiian" food.
posted by kanewai at 8:42 PM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Filipino food in Alaska is totally legit. I am stuck in SoCal right now but, when I get back home to Juneau, I can't wait to get my Filipino grub on. Even the grocery stores sell pancit, adobo, and other popular Filipino dishes at the deli. I miss my favorite slow-cooked meats doused in fermented Asian whatevers and vinegar. Delish.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:38 PM on January 19, 2015


Washington
Vietnamese -- 181 percent higher than national average.
Fish and chips -- 175 percent higher than national average.
Thai -- 125 percent higher than national average.
Korean -- 103 percent higher than national average.
Japanese -- 88 percent higher than national average.
While it is Seattle-centric, as all Washington state generalizations, this is completely right on the money. I eat pho at least twice a week, same for Japanese (I had a bowl of amazing ramen just tonight). Thai is common because it's what you order when you can't think of anything, or no one agrees. Fish and Chips is entirely due to the effect of Ivars and the Pacific Inn.

I had no idea pho is kind of Seattle-specific because I'd had it elsewhere first, but every goddamn street in the city has got a pho shop.

The weirdest thing to me on this map is that Indiana get pizza. Is that just lack of other exotic foods that pushes people to pizza so much there? I mean, even here in Seattle we'll do pizza 1-2 times a week.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:14 PM on January 19, 2015


Pho is pretty popular in Colorado, on par with Thai and pretty much always sit-down (or takeout / delivery). At this point it's as saturated as Indian food (to the point of taking over some former Indian restaurant locations) in cities like Boulder, Denver, and Golden but also including suburbs like my little culmination of three 'burbs (Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Westminster) with "Pho 79" and "Pho 65" (random mom-and-pops with lucky number names) located within 2 miles of each other. One of them delivers, the other one grows its own "culantro" (way funkier than cilantro, shiiit) and they both have good options including beef tendon..mmm...I don't know of any specific Vietnamese chains, just tons of mom and pops.

We have our own "little Vietnam" areas along Federal Boulevard (and split into at least two pieces by over 120 blocks) where you'll find boba tea and Asian grocery stores intermingled with "Little Mexico" where you'll find delicious hatch chiles getting roasted during the late summer / fall. My area also has an authentic Polish restaurant nearby, a Czech / German restaurant in the other direction, decent Indian options (and a place that has a little Nepalese too), and a Belgian frites shop with good sausages 'n dogs 'n such...I wish we had a Kolache Factory chain in my neighborhood, I found that further south in Lakewood in my mid-twenties and ate the fuck out of some pseudo-authentic kolaches and spicy "pigs in the blanket" every time I drove by.

I like it here
posted by aydeejones at 11:02 PM on January 19, 2015


Aurora is huge on diverse restaurants too, I'm probably pretty sheltered because I can only speak to their badass Indian and Ethiopian options, though I grew up nearby. At the time my parents could only afford the Wendy's Super Bar (remember that?) or Bennett's Pit Barbecue as "out to eat" options, the latter because my mom cleaned out a parking lot full of "buy one get one free all-you-can eat BBQ" coupons in her saving-for-college-with-a-kid-and-crazy-80's-mortage period and they lasted a year or so.

Souper Salad is one of those places I refuse to go, as well as Cici's. We have Sweet Tomatoes and used to have "Healthy Habits" which wasn't terrible, or all that great. When someone told me that Souper Salad is like a crappy hybrid of Cici's (all you can eat pizza, aka sawdust faux tortilla tomato sauce fart disks) and Healthy Habits (watery pasta, somewhat decent salad, gloppy soup options, and tons of carby muffins and such to blow away any health benefits of pretending to subsist on salad for 5 minutes before moving to the red chili or trying to fish chunks of chicken out of the chicken noodle soup).
posted by aydeejones at 11:09 PM on January 19, 2015


This thing looks a bit misleading.

I bet there are towns in upstate NY with no Jews. Not even one. And halal is number two? Ha. My guess is that kosher and halal are not the two most popular cuisines in upstate NY.

And Peruvian food in Virginia? As in the entire state of Virginia? Or just in and around DC?

They should have just done this map by major metropolitan area, but it was probably easier for them to do it by state.
posted by pracowity at 1:09 AM on January 20, 2015


> The weirdest thing to me on this map is that Indiana get pizza. Is that just lack of other exotic foods that pushes people to pizza so much there?

The worst food I've ever seen called Mexican was in Indiana. I'm not sure the chain exists any more, it was something like Carlos O'Sullivan, and the meal amounted to Velveeta straight from the box poured over a microwave burrito.

The place was hopping, though. Which probably answers your question.
posted by ardgedee at 2:58 AM on January 20, 2015


Never quibble with an Englishman over the matter of tea. Ever.

Good day to you.


Wait, you guys like tea? Since when?

why am I always the last to find this stuff out
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:15 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's the difference between "southern" and "soul food"?

And I'd like to see Georgia broken out into "Atlanta" and "rest of Georgia". (I'm guessing there are other states where the major city is different from the rest of the state.) I don't know where I'd draw the line, though - so much of the good food1 is outside of the city, because of the way immigrants here settled directly in the suburbs.

1. My bias is showing here. I know.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:17 AM on January 20, 2015


The worst food I've ever seen called Mexican was in Indiana. I'm not sure the chain exists any more, it was something like Carlos O'Sullivan, and the meal amounted to Velveeta straight from the box poured over a microwave burrito.

I think you are thinking of Carlos O'Kelly's, which seems to have started in Iowa. I can attest that it does still exist, and is about the worst "Mexican" or "Tex-Mex" food I've ever had. My wife has some strange affection for Carlos and insists on visiting one with her high school friends during trips to Cedar Rapids.
posted by Area Man at 7:38 AM on January 20, 2015


Re: Peruvian in Maryland and Virginia

For the most part, this means Peruvian chicken joints and not the full array of Peruvian cuisine


In the Northern suburbs of Virginia, Peruvian Chinese food is also a thing. It's not some haute cuisine fusion that some culinary school grad came up with, but an actual import brought in by Peruvian immigrants of Chinese ancestry.
posted by jonp72 at 8:04 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


(VT is 220% above the average, which doesn't seem like a big number compared to the four-digit figures for things like Cajun in LA and Ethiopian in DC (?)).

Ethiopian food is huge in the DC area, because the consequences of the Cold War are that just about any country that got destabilized in the name of Cold War realpolitik ended up having refugees in the Washington DC area. And the cuisine soon followed. For my second date with the woman who is now my wife, we went to an Ethiopian food restaurant, drank palm wine, and even got to see Ethiopian dancing in the historic U Street neighborhood of DC. The Cold War aftereffects are also why you can get great Vietnamese, Afghani, and El Salvador food in the DC area, especially the northern Virginia suburbs.
posted by jonp72 at 8:10 AM on January 20, 2015


I bet there are towns in upstate NY with no Jews.

Tell me their names and I will take a long weekend to ruin their demographics.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


D.C. has the biggest Ethiopian community of any city outside of Africa. I think it may have the biggest Ethiopian community of any city outside of Ethiopia. The prevalence of Ethiopian food in D.C. is totally unsurprising.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:28 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Soup"? Missouri's number 2 is "Soup"? Is soup even a cuisine? And where the hell are all of the soup restaurants?
posted by jferg at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2015


I bet there are towns in upstate NY with no Jews. Not even one. And halal is number two? Ha.

Halal and Kosher aren't cuisines, they're certifications. People who are strict about religious dietary laws think it's very important to know if the food at a given restaurant meets their conditions. So you have a lot of restaurants getting the certification and making sure to list it on Yelp.

It ultimately doesn't matter if there is one Jewish family in a given town or five hundred, or even if a given restaurant is thinking that maybe someone who keeps kosher might drive through at lunchtime. They'll seek out a Kosher certification if they think it'll help their business. It's not really about the cultural identity of the place.

(Also yes there are plenty of Jewish people in Upstate New York what even kind of question is that)
posted by Sara C. at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2015


I live in Utah and I really love a good Kahlua Pork on a Hawaiian plate lunch. Hawaiian isn't the most popular here, that would probably be Mexican or fast food. But I would agree with our large Polynesian population here that it's disproportionately popular.
posted by ShakeyJake at 1:00 PM on January 20, 2015


D.C. has the biggest Ethiopian community of any city outside of Africa. I think it may have the biggest Ethiopian community of any city outside of Ethiopia. The prevalence of Ethiopian food in D.C. is totally unsurprising.

I had a feeling. When I lived in DC, all I had to do to get a good recommendation on Ethiopian food was ask my pharmacist. Or my barista.
posted by jonp72 at 2:54 PM on January 20, 2015


> I think you are thinking of Carlos O'Kelly's

YES! By which I probably mean, NO!
posted by ardgedee at 4:35 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


MrGuilt: Before Katrina, that was true. Now, the diaspora have spread decent to good Cajun and creole around the neighboring states. Sort of like how the end of the Vietnam War brought (supposedly) good Vietnamese food to bumfuck Arkansas in the 80s thanks to a bunch of folks being brought there after fleeing the country.
posted by wierdo at 5:41 PM on January 20, 2015


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