Random Food Photos


“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James A. Michener

As for reasonably priced, locally owned places, sure, there are some, but I’ve found Vegas to be lacking in that department. Mostly chains and high-end Strip clip joints.


The man I referred to “rejected the food” but totally participated in the rest. And in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam that was a lot.


But food is perhaps the most fundamental “characteristics” of a country/region/even family


Melon ice cream and milk ice cream from Hokkaido at the Hokkaido gourmet fair at Mitsuwa In Torrance.


Prior to that trip, I’d have agreed with you. As I said, I gave this thought and changed my mind. FWIW, I’m kinda tired of castles so I don’t do many any more.


We’re on a food board, so of course we feel that food is important to culture. But that feeling isn’t a universal truth. I think it’s silly and reductive to proclaim that it is only through a deep appreciation and understanding of the foodways of a particular culture that we can connect with that culture.
Exploring food is only one way to connect. A way I enjoy and value immensely. But most of the time we as tourists eat as we travel we are simply engaging in an economic transaction, as far as the restaraunteur is concerned. And unless we engage in other aspects of culture then we aren’t really doing much with that food transaction.

I mean, if you just go from one restaurant to another and don’t engage with real life actual people or engage in the culture in other ways that people do, frankly you’re just eating.

Here is an interesting image to consider. It has to do with trust levels, which is different than appreciation. But I think the image has some application here. I think food and cooking are appropriately placed.



The last few years we’ve done occasional trips with an “escorted tour.” There are countless pluses to it but you really don’t “engage with real life actual people…” So we’ve learned to break away from the group and hang with the locals. Sitting on a low plastic stool in Hanoi, eating food cooked a few feet away on the sidewalk grill. Fantastic. None of that kind of meal cost much money. Those other meals are the non-local-places.

Your comment is brilliant and so well explained how I feel but couldn’t express. Thank you. And, yes, the tree is perfect, isn’t it?


Nobody said that only through food you can connect to a culture - it is the other way around - it is important to connect through multiple ways with other cultures beyond food but if you avoid the food (and would eat in American chain restaurants in other countries) you are missing on an important aspects and will never “understand/visit” another country.


I connect through food because that’s a genuine interest of mine. That’s just how I do it. I’d imagine everyone on this board feels the same way. And surely one would be missing out on a whole lot of something.

But I wonder if we can be so dismissive to say another person hasn’t really visited a place and people if they don’t eat locally. There’s a gap, but I’m not comfortable dismissing the other ways a person might engage.


You wrote: “Completely disagree - either one is willing to explore another country (culture, food, nature etc) or shouldn’t go at all.”

An anecdote. A few years ago we were in Barcelona and I had scored a res at Tickets Bar, one the the Adria brothers places. It was one of the best and fun meals we’ve ever had. But as frommtron said above we were “just eating.” Dang good eating. Here’s part of what I wrote on CH at the time: "From what we could tell a lot of the diners were visitors or transplants from other nations. "

I recently saw an article that Kenny Shopsin had died. Now his place is IT :slight_smile:

Kenny Shopsin died - there's no way it can be the same

At the opposite end of the spectrum was a lunch we had at Jean Georges. All about the food. FANTASTIC food but just food. The people all looked alike. We could have been anywhere.

There’s the guy in SE Asia and then there are the people who only eat at high-end places. I continue to try not to pity the latter ones, having finally dealt with the former.


Here’s our first dinner in Bangkok. Cooked out on the sidewalk with our beers poured over ice. (When it’s 100 F and 95% humidity that’s the way.)


It doesn’t matter if you go high-end or hole-in-the-wall (actually you should try both to experience the most) but it is important to eat only at local places. As you wrote above about American tourists too often “They want their familiar chains” -that’s the problem


i[quote=“frommtron, post:173, topic:7503”]
There’s a gap, but I’m not comfortable dismissing the other ways a person might engage

Visitors should try to immerse themselves into a different culture/country but it is not only about food. If somebody only goes to restaurants and otherwise only stays in the hotel room instead of visiting the people/country/culture they also haven’t really visited the country. (but overall often, especially American tourists, tend to shy away from not familar food). When visiting a country just try to be “part of the country” during the visit


While I want to agree, I have to only to a qualified extent. As I mentioned, we’ve done perhaps six ? escorted tours. The company - Gate 1 - has amazing guides and we learn an enormous amount. And at our age (71 and 74) it’s admittedly nice to get pampered quite a bit. But also I’d say the VAST majority of people in these groups are…well, hell, I’ll say it ---- scaredy cats! They would no more go off on their own - to eat or anything else - than fly to the moon. So they only look at different cultures, they don’t “immerse” themselves. But I don’t judge them and have become FB friends with a few. We’re heading off on another trip with this company in a few weeks and I’m already reminding myself of these things :slight_smile:


Would you feel comfortable saying that about dance? What about music? Art? Language? Should one fail in one regard do they fail to really visit a place? Or is automatic failure reserved only for failure to eat local food?


I feel the same about art, culture, language etc. I can’t understand people who complain for example if they travel to other countries that nobody speaks English but they never try to learn at least a few words of their language as a sign of respect and interest in a foreign culture. I don’t care for example not much about dance but if I would travel to countries/regions where dance is an important part of the cultures, e.g. tango in Argentina I would miss out significantly if I wouldn’t at least try to watch/participate in dance activities.


I think perhaps the hang up here is that sometimes you say others “should” but then that YOU would miss out. So perhaps, like I, you hadn’t really separated what you consider essential from what others do.

I have a friend with an adult daughter and they are really into art. Her daughter majored in some form and works in the field. They were in Italy around the time we were last year. What was essential for them certainly wasn’t for us. And vice versa.

BTW while in Argentina the first of the year, we had the opportunity to have an ‘optional’ event that was dinner and tango. We didn’t go because those group dinners have proven disappointing. Like VERY disappointing. So we missed the tango but had a super dinner where it appeared that we were the only non-locals.


Menu from Shirley Chung dinner at Playground 2.0 before she opened her short lived restaurant in Irvine. The food was very good and had high hopes. Always better when Sergio is in the kitchen.


holy shit, this picture makes lodge’s pizza and bread look like raw dough.

yelp review of che fico