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Timo

first american/native american restaurants?

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hi all-

just wondering if anyone knows of a good first american/native american/american indian restaurant in the city. (pref. in manhattan, but any boro is cool) my dad always tells me that new york is the one city where you can eat anything at anytime, but today i wanted a first american restaurant and even after a little research i couldn't find one.

if there's already a thread about this on eGullet could you point it out? i'm hopeless with the search function. ; )

thanks!

-timo


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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I'd like to hear about this too, as I would like to know more about the food culture of Native Americans. Good post!


"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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I don't believe there are any restaurants serving this food (though we should petition the museum down on Lower Broadway to do so), but someone mentioned that America: The Restaurant in the Flatiron has Navajo Fry Bread. I seem to think somewhere else was doing a fancy version of this, too - maybe 5 Ninth?

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Pretty sure America: The Restaurant has closed, so that could be a problem.


I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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Pretty sure America: The Restaurant has closed, so that could be a problem.

I hope so -- that place was awful.


"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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Wow, a Native American restaurant would be fantastic. I don't think there are any. Is it that there are not many Natives in the boroughs? I think researching Long Island my provide some information, like the Shinnecocks perhaps?


Emma Peel

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June 17-19 Gateway to Nations NYC Native American Heritage Celebration. Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreation Area, Brooklyn, NY. Info: Cliff Matias (718)686-9297.

july 17 powwow @ Anthony Wayne Recreation Ctr ....Palisades pkway

this is the best I can do ya

I love powwows and Fry Bread

add to calendar if desired......


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I don't believe there are any restaurants serving this food (though we should petition the museum down on Lower Broadway to do so), but someone mentioned that America: The Restaurant in the Flatiron has Navajo Fry Bread. I seem to think somewhere else was doing a fancy version of this, too - maybe 5 Ninth?

Its Blue Smoke, and they do a really good job with it. Its actually my favorite thing on the menu...which is why I don't eat there very often...

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Blue smoke is the only fry bread i have had.. I cant verify the accuracy, but I can say its great.

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Unfortunately, I could not find any information on dining at The National Museum of the American indian in New York City website. The museum in Washington, D.C. has a supereb cafeteria featuring native foods from all over the Americas.

While it does not appear that there is a restaurant in NYC devoted to native american foods, that does not mean that they can not be found throughout the city. So many native foods have become important parts of national cuisines. This is perhaps most evident in various Central and South American cuisines.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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I was just about to say the same thing. I'll be trying the cafeteria at the museum in DC soon.

Also, try the Pow Wow at the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park, whixh should be in July. Plenty of native american food there, including things like buffalo fry bread, vennison or elk sausages, etc...

Unfortunately, I could not find any information on dining at The National Museum of the American indian in New York City website. The museum in Washington, D.C. has a supereb cafeteria featuring native foods from all over the Americas.

While it does not appear that there is a restaurant in NYC devoted to native american foods, that does not mean that they can not be found throughout the city. So many native foods have become important parts of national cuisines. This is perhaps most evident in various Central and South American cuisines.


-Jason

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Mitsitam Café in DC sounds great, and, it's run by Restaurant Associates (who have some hits, and lots of misses, but this sounds like a genuine winner) - maybe we can hope for one here in NYC! Pickled green mango and sweet cinammon fry bread sounds fantastic.

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You got me curious and after doing some searching... check this out. It's not in the city, and the kitsch factor is bound to be high, but a bus ride up to Mohegan Sun may soon yield Native American Fusion cuisine:

The Uncas American Indian Grill will be a warm and beautifully ethereal space designed to resemble a clearing in a forest with a campfire at its center. Rustic, natural design elements will evoke the outdoors of Uncas and the Mohegan Indians in Connecticut. Look forward to enjoying cascading waterfalls and pools, fire pits contrasting with icy ledges, trail-like mosaic walls of internally-lit marbles, reed canopies, natural birch trees, fieldstone walls, and dream-like dawn and dusk lighting.

linky

Makes me wonder, though, if there aren't some hidden taqueria-like gems near any of the Indian Reservations in CT, upstate NY, or LI. Next time I head out to the Hamptons, maybe I'll poke around Shinnecock...


Edited by Josh (log)

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Thanks everyone! but ::sigh:: Mohegan Sun doesn't count. anyone who advertises on the subway is automatically disqualified.

This is very disappointing. Mitsitam seems to be doing well in Washington. (tho i've never been - but i will be in Washington next week for the Folklife festival so I will be sure to have a meal or two there.) So here we sit in New York - the city with everything BUT a First American restaurant i guess.

This is also a little disappointing on a more philosophical level. How can we have so many Starbucks (there are over 200 Starbucks within a 10-mile radius of my block) and not one Native American restaurant?? It's not because of the food - any First American meal I've had could more than hold its own against McDonald's.

It's true that many Native American foods are served at various restaurants. (pre-contact and post-contact traditional foods) BUT in today's mainstream market these foods seem to have lost their heritage. Says the columnist Dale Carson: "It would be a wonderful thing if the broad contributions of Native American foods and cooking to our modern food culture were better understood." I heartily agree. I also think a Native American restaurant in New York is extremely viable. In a city where everyone has seen everything, it would be such a treat to come upon. If anyone has the investment capital, please let me know.

Meanwhile, what do you all think? How educated are you about Native American food traditions? Do you think a restaurant like this would be an effective way to educate people about these foods and promote them?


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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oh- and thanks for letting me know about the pow wow! i will be there. ; )


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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Timo, my first thought is that there aren't that many Native Americans in New York, but I think there are, actually. I don't know; for whatever reason, Native American cuisines don't get much publicity here, though they contributed so much to world cuisine (tomatoes, potatoes, corn, squash, etc.).


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Timo, my first thought is that there aren't that many Native Americans in New York, but I think there are, actually.

It's not as good as a restaurant in Manhattan, but I've seen Native American food at the Orange County fair.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Timo, my first thought is that there aren't that many Native Americans in New York, but I think there are, actually.

It's not as good as a restaurant in Manhattan, but I've seen Native American food at the Orange County fair.

Uh, you talking about that dude that sells bison burgers?


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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What does the restaurant in DC sell? To me, the whole concept of Native American food sounds, well, contrived. Native Americans lived all over the Americas. They can't possibly have had one type of food, one cuisine. They were dependent on the geography of their home location and whatever it offered. Many of the tribes were nomadic, so their foodstuff would necessarily have varied all the time. I can't imagine that the food of the eastern tribes was anything like the food of, say, the southwestern tribes. If a restaurant were to dedicate itself to Native American cuisine, I guess it would have to specify from which area, which tribe(s) each particular dish arose. It is an interesting idea, and I can see how the Smithsonian might be able to do it justice, but I just don't see how something as huge as a generic "Native American" restaurant can be.

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According to the Restaurant Associates website:

The Mitsitam Cafe features native foods found throughout five regions of the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, Northwest Coast, Meso America, and the Great Plains. Included within these five menus are a Lobster Salad Roll, Chicken Tamale in a Corn Husk, Fire Roasted Juniper Salmon, Watercress-Cucumber Salad, Pueblo Tortilla Soup, Soft Corn Tacos with BBQ Pork Pibil, Campfire Chicken Sandwich on Fry Bread, Indian Pudding, Pickled Green Mango and Cinnamon Sweet Fried Bread.

So they are breaking it up into areas, not just lumping it together as "Natvie American food"

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well said lambretta-

and cakewalk, not that i would encourage 'lumping up' of cuisines, but think about how we enjoy chinese food in the US. your average american diner may not always know exactly what region of china the dish she orders in a chinese restaurant originated in. but, in my opinion, this is not always a problem. hopefully, this diner will enjoy the meal enough to learn more about the culture/country it came from, and maybe start trying other dishes from the region.

on the same note, i think what the smithsonian is doing is a great introduction (or re-introduction?) to native american food. they've made it very accessible, and it's likely that the 'introduction' the restaurant provides will pique people's interest enough to make them seek out a similar experience again.


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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I have absolutely nothing to add, except to say that now I'm craving a New Mexico-style Indian taco on frybread something fierce. :biggrin:

How bout a South Dakotan

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