Friday, October 16, 2009

Eating American

It figures that the week that I start a blog about food and cooking, I actually do ZERO cooking the entire week. Lovely. But alas, such is the life. It was a pretty busy week at work straight through and with a moderately active social life combined with laziness and a dash of exhaustion, the result is a week full of Lean Cuisines for dinner. Hoorah!

Tonight, however, the frozen meals were left frozen and I met up for dinner with a few colleagues/friends that are in town from Munich. We actually ate at the restaurant with the truffle fries for dinner (at their request, I swear!) and it was just as good this time. However, what I am really thinking about now is the concept of "American" food and what it is like for someone from outside of the U.S. to go out to eat at an American restaurant.

I spent five weeks this summer in Germany and every time I went out to eat it was a struggle. I was constantly asking those I was dining with (whether or not they were a German native) for advice on what to get, what to try, and what tastes best at different locations. I was a foreigner and wanted the help of those around to try some authentic German food.

With my friends from Munich tonight, it didn't even feel as if I was dining with foreigners. They knew what they wanted (burgers), how they wanted them (one rare, one well done), and how to order them. It felt so normal, that I didn't even think to think that maybe it should feel abnormal. I didn't even think about their lack of questions on questions about what they should try or what was good, until, about.... 10 minutes ago?

Granted, they have both been to the U.S. and both speak English way better than I speak German. Which, isn't giving them enough credit because a parrot could probably speak English better than I can speak German. But, still!

I thought about it afterwards and thought about how both guys ordered burgers. It made me realize that I guess burgers are probably the most "American" food we have to offer. The menu at the Van Dyck only has one burger on it. So, was what their eyes gravitated to?

I'd like to go out with them again, but this time, take them to the Red Robin. If the most American food is a burger, than the most American restaurant has got to be the Red Robin. A menu full of greasy, meat-packed combinations, complete with a bottomless basket of french fries? Really? What could be more American than that?

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