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Once we're done with Mexican...


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#1 iatethefoodie

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

Soo looking at the current NYC Restaurant landscape. Mexican elite taco palaces are officially here.
What do you think is going to be the next wave of regional cuisine to be embraced by restaurant groups?

Just so we are up to speed. If you owned a multi unit restaurant group you probably have...

A 3 star french bistro, whatever that means.
A northern Italian trattoria named after an ingredient.
An artisanal traditional/modern minimalist pizzeria with a golden oven.
A ramen joint. Nuff said.
A playful mexican taco margarita machine.

Not saying that there is anything wrong with these. I happen to love those places but I'm curious to see what people think will be the new wave. Boy I enjoy poking fun at my career choice.

OMG I forgot the burger concept! Lets conceive burgers people!

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#2 Jaymes

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Peruvian maybe?

Big elsewhere in the Americas. Has its time come here?

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#3 gfweb

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

We have a Peruvian place here in DE. Its OK. Different taste than Mex for sure. Asian hints. I like it.

#4 nickrey

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

Argentinean BBQ could emerge as a front runner.

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#5 HungryC

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

I think overpriced tapas should be on that list. How about down home southern/diner, with housemade pickles and stuff served in jars? Seems to be an emerging trend outside of the south.

#6 scubadoo97

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

Agree about tapas. You more often end up spending more than if ordering a regular meal.

#7 iatethefoodie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

Peruvian maybe?

Big elsewhere in the Americas. Has its time come here?


I would like to see that.

#8 iatethefoodie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

I think overpriced tapas should be on that list. How about down home southern/diner, with housemade pickles and stuff served in jars? Seems to be an emerging trend outside of the south.


Well played sir... some how that one slipped my mind.

#9 iatethefoodie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

I think Moroccan might get some shine in 2013

#10 iatethefoodie

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Argentinean BBQ could emerge as a front runner.


any examples I could look at?

#11 Mjx

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:33 AM


I think overpriced tapas should be on that list. How about down home southern/diner, with housemade pickles and stuff served in jars? Seems to be an emerging trend outside of the south.


Well played sir... some how that one slipped my mind.


Didn't we already do those in the 90s? I seem to recall seeing this sort of thing on menus around the same time that roughly every other person I knew in NYC had some sort of swing-dance injury.

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#12 rancho_gordo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you haven't really done Mexican until all these trendy places are making their masa from nixtamal. I understand there is one place in Queens that does it and that's it. Like most cuisines, Mexican is about the ingredients and the foundation is corn, chiles and beans. From what I experienced and read, this hasn't changed much. Cocktails and innovation are prized over traditions and quality. (Notice I didn't say "authentic". That's a horrible word.)
But I'd ask you to constantly ask, are the tortillas made from nixtamal? Shame them into doing a better job.
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#13 Rainee

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

I'd say Mexican still has a lot of room to run, as we are just now starting to get a few places that go beyond tacos and street food for higher end regional Mexican cuisine.

 

But I also think an emerging trend is americanized asian food, with places like Mission Chinese and Pok Pok at the forefront.



#14 gfweb

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:59 AM

Big parts of the rest of the US are saturated with Mexican restaurants, mainly due to the huge numbers of Mexicans that now live here. It wouldn't surprise me to find that it is the major type of restaurant in lots of the country.

 

But they are all the same, in my experience.... Mexican "diner-food" , a lowest common denominator. They seem popular with Mexicans in my area, so I assume that they are authentic enough, but the cuisine (cocina?) is not for me.

 

I'd love an NYC restaurant that elevates Mexican to catch-on and spread elsewhere.



#15 huiray

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:09 AM

We have a Peruvian place here in DE. Its OK. Different taste than Mex for sure. Asian hints. I like it.

 

Hmm.  Wonder what you mean by "Asian hints".  Burmese? Turkish? Gujarati?  I'll make a wild guess and suspect you mean Japanese or pan-Chinese.  If so, it might be an idea to say so? 



#16 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:04 PM

Huiray: the asian flavour influence in Peruvian cuisine varies with the dish.  There are some things that taste almost Thai, while other things are more Punjabi, there are some meat dishes that would be entirely at home in Turkey, and yet others are Japanese in influence.  I'd say that gfweb was being completely accurate.


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#17 huiray

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:18 PM

Panaderia, that is much more informative, thanks.  I think it is more useful to call out the specific cuisines or give examples of the influences - for myself, anyway.  I would be equally puzzled if I read of a Northern Thai (Isan) dish with European hints.  (Yet even there to me the ranges that might be intended with "European hints" seem to be less extreme than, for example, the contrast between Cantonese steamed fish and Chettinad chicken curry...as an example...)


Edited by huiray, 22 March 2013 - 10:26 PM.


#18 Syzygies

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:45 AM

A ramen joint. Nuff said.

 

Just to help calibrate your point of view, what's the best ramen joint you've been to in NYC? If you've found supposedly good ones to be can't-finish-the-broth awful, I'd agree. But that's no reason to dis the category.

 

My answer would be Jin Ramen http://www.jinramen.com/node/61 though it doesn't even make various top ten lists. The tonkotsu broth is for real.


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#19 Jaymes

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

Big parts of the rest of the US are saturated with Mexican restaurants, mainly due to the huge numbers of Mexicans that now live here. It wouldn't surprise me to find that it is the major type of restaurant in lots of the country.

 

But they are all the same, in my experience.... Mexican "diner-food" , a lowest common denominator. They seem popular with Mexicans in my area, so I assume that they are authentic enough, but the cuisine (cocina?) is not for me.

 

I'd love an NYC restaurant that elevates Mexican to catch-on and spread elsewhere.

 

Admittedly, I've lived in locales that have a great many Mexican residents - first generation, second generation, and just-got-here-yesterday Mexicans - but I've sure not found that to be the case at all.

 

We have everything from very high-end, to Mom & Pop taquerias, and everything in-between. 

 

Often I think the tendency to lump all Mexican restaurants into the sort of generic "Mexican" you describe is more on the part of the non-Mexican customers than the restaurants themselves.

 

For example, one of my very favorite local Mexican restaurants is Ostioneria Mar Azul.  I don't think it could be any clearer that it's a seafood place.  Not only from the name, but once you arrive, the interior walls are painted turquoise blue, and are decorated with fishing nets full of starfish and seashells.  When I go there, I always get the ceviche to start, and then either the fried whole mojarra, or one of the marvelous big seafood stews, the caldos de mariscos.

 

So I recommended the place to an acquaintenance.

 

A few weeks later, I asked him if he went and, if so, how he liked it, and he said, "not much."

 

It turned out that, despite the fact that he had said that he was looking for a "Mexican restaurant that serves something different," and I told him this was a seafood place, he ordered cheese enchiladas.  And, surprise, surprise, they weren't particularly to his liking.

 

I'm sure he would agree with you, gfweb, that "all Mexican restaurants are the same - 'diner food', a lowest common demoninator."  And you say that you think the Mexican cuisine at the restaurants in your area seems "authentic enough" because they "seem popular with Mexicans."   But before I reached any conclusion from that, I'd have to know what those Mexicans are ordering and how they liked it.

 

Because, in truth, if you look hard enough, it's been my experience anyway, that you can find a wide panoply of Mexican restaurants - regional (just in my neighborhood, there's a sandwich shop specializing in the foods of Tampico, especially the Torta de la Barda; the cuisine around Guadalajara, La Tapatia; Cocina de Michoacana, the foods of Michoacan, Las Alamedas high-end Mexico City), types of food (like Ostioneria Mar Azul specializing in seafood, La Fogata Mexican grilled meats). 

 

But I'd be willing to bet that probably 80% of the Gringo population that walks into each of these places has very little idea, if any at all, that to a knowledgeable customer, these restaurants are completely different.


Edited by Jaymes, 23 March 2013 - 10:32 AM.

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#20 gfweb

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

A good point. But your Texas (if I recall correctly) is much different from my Pennsylvania countryside where Mexican cooking is a newcomer and fairly undifferentiated as far as I can see.

 

I've had a lot of Mexican  food in Houston over the years. It is a very different scene indeed.



#21 Jaymes

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:37 AM

A good point. But your Texas (if I recall correctly) is much different from my Pennsylvania countryside where Mexican cooking is a newcomer and fairly undifferentiated as far as I can see.

 

I've had a lot of Mexican  food in Houston over the years. It is a very different scene indeed.

 

Right.  But I experienced the exact same thing, although on a reduced level of course, when I lived in Springfield, Missouri.

 

Hardly a hotbed of Mexicana.

 

There were different types of "Mexican" restaurants there, as well.

 

But none of the white folk in town seemed even slightly aware of that.

 

To them, "Mexican" was just, well, Mexican.

 

ETA:  Not to mention that a large portion of my point was that the belief that all Mexican restaurants are the same is largely the fault of the customer, not just the restaurants.

 

As evidenced by the fact that the acquaintance that I spoke of figured that all Mexican restaurants must be making terrific cheese enchiladas.

 

If he could think that, and he does, in a place that is as saturated in Mexican heritage and culture as Houston, I believe that proves my point that, largely, the customer is to blame for catagorizing all Mexican restaurants as being identical.


Edited by Jaymes, 23 March 2013 - 11:32 AM.

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#22 Jaymes

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:47 AM

A good point. But your Texas (if I recall correctly) is much different from my Pennsylvania countryside where Mexican cooking is a newcomer and fairly undifferentiated as far as I can see.

 

I've had a lot of Mexican  food in Houston over the years. It is a very different scene indeed.

 

And, I have a suggestion for you.

 

I suspect pretty strongly that the Mexican restaurants in your Pennsylvania countryside are probably owned by Mexicans.  Assuming that's right, I suggest you talk to some of those owners, ask which region in Mexico they're from, ask what their regional specialties are, ask if they offer any of those specialties, either on the menu, or specially-ordered.

 

For example, one of my very favorite Mexican dishes is Chile en Nogada - a specialty of Puebla.  While dining in Mexican restaurants in Springfield, I always asked the owners/managers what region of Mexico they were from.  If they were from anywhere near Puebla, I asked them if they ever had Chile en Nogada on their menu.  It turned out that one of those restaurants featured it every Sunday in the fall months - when the chiles were in season.  But you had to ask for it - it wasn't on the menu - and they were just making enough for the local Mexican population that knew enough to seek it out.


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#23 iatethefoodie

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:51 PM

A ramen joint. Nuff said.

 

Just to help calibrate your point of view, what's the best ramen joint you've been to in NYC? If you've found supposedly good ones to be can't-finish-the-broth awful, I'd agree. But that's no reason to dis the category.

 

My answer would be Jin Ramen http://www.jinramen.com/node/61 though it doesn't even make various top ten lists. The tonkotsu broth is for real.

 

Na. I was not trying to dis any category. Just trying to add some humor to the conversation. No elitism to be found here my friend. Thanks for the link, I'm going to check it out now. Ippudo ranks high on my list but the best ramen I've ever had was not in a restaurant.



#24 janeer

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:30 PM

I actually love the question, and the spirit of it. Which brings me to--I've noticed a lot of restaurants organized around alcohol--beer, whiskey, etc.--as the lead.

 

Along the same lines, I actually wish someone would move away from the ethinicity (and btw, there can never be enough GOOD Mexican restaurants, which are rare--none here in Tucson), and focus on, e.g., spice. I can imagine a restaurant that has dishes organized around different herbs and spices: the cinnamon section, the salt section, the thyme section, whatever. I could create an entire restaurant around Aleppo pepper. Seriously.



#25 carl_spencer

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:22 PM

Argentinean BBQ could emerge as a front runner.

 

I second that!


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#26 terryanny

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:28 PM

Peruvian maybe?

Big elsewhere in the Americas. Has its time come here?


I would like to see that.

Yeah. I agree.  I'd love a good Ceviche competition.  


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