The International Cuisine

I always had a fascination with running a restaurant. I used to work as a kitchen help in Germany when I was 19, and I liked the work. I enjoyed it more than what was later in my life sitting on a chair all day staring at a screen. I’m imagining sometime that if I was to open a restaurant in the US it would be some authentic Greek food (real traditional Greek food, not Americanized-Greek food). If I was to open a restaurant in Greece though, probably that would be about international cuisine: my favorite recipes from around the world. The menu, consisting of 20 items, would possibly look like this:

Main Menu:
USA: Beef cheeseburger with fries and coleslaw.
Mexico: Two chicken enchiladas with Mexican rice and tamalito.
Mexico: Assortment of three fajitas: chicken, beef, pork. Served with Mexican rice, refried beans.
Argentina: Beef Milanesa, with tomatoes and mozzarela. Served with oven or mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables.
Spain: Paella.
Ireland: Lamb Irish stew.
UK: Fish and chips, with coleslaw.
England: Bangers and mash potatoes with kale, gravy.
France: Cassoulet with assortment of pork meats.
France: Bouillabaisse fish stew.
Italy: Fettuccine alfredo with choice of shellfish or chicken.
Hungary: Goulash.
Russia: Beef Stroganoff with papillion pasta.
Morocco: Chicken with apricots or peaches, and vegetable couscous.
Iran: Lamb kebab with vegetables and yellow rice with Turmeric.
India: Chicken tikka massala with Basmati rice.
Thailand: Spicy green curry fish & vegetables with Thai rice.
China: Sweet & sour pork with Chinese fried rice.
China: Chow mein with vegetables, shrimp, pork, chicken and beef.
Japan: Vegetable & shrimp tempura, chicken teriyaki, with Japanese rice.

A Caribbean recipe might replace one of the above though.

New England, US: Clam chowder soup.
US/UK: Split pea, potatoes and ham soup.
US: Buffalo chicken wings with yogurt sauce.
France: Country pate and green salad.
France: Grilled goat cheese with prosciutto, green salad.
France: Salad Nicoise.
India: Vegetable samosas.

Not really the focus. Possibly just some ice cream.


Ralf. wrote on May 1st, 2011 at 2:30 PM PST:

Guten Appetit!


Fernando wrote on May 1st, 2011 at 9:42 PM PST:

May I ask why do you put “Argentina/South America” as a single item? Looks like they were similar.

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Eugenia wrote on May 1st, 2011 at 9:46 PM PST:

It’s because the recipe is used in most of South America. In fact, it has its roots in Italy, but it’s most popular in Argentina.

Fernando wrote on May 2nd, 2011 at 10:30 AM PST:

Thank you Eugenia. In fact is a dish that is possible to find everywhere, but does not represent “South America” (that representative dish does’t exist). My point is taking South America as whole. Been Chilean, having living in Argentina and other South American and European countries, it concerns me like probably will concerns you something like: “Greece/Europe: Greek salad.”

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Eugenia wrote on May 2nd, 2011 at 10:47 AM PST:

From wikipedia about beef milanesa: “The milanesa is a common meat dish mostly in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico…“.

In other words, this is an originally Italian dish, that is most popular in Argentina, but also very popular in most of the rest of the South America. If I write just Argentina, the rest of the countries that use the dish will get pissed. If I write it the way I wrote it, you get pissed. So it’s what it is. There’s nothing I can do to please everyone. Maybe I can write “Argentina/Latin America”, but that’s about it. And it still would not be accurate. Nothing we can do about this to keep it simple.

Fernando wrote on May 2nd, 2011 at 12:26 PM PST:

Well, it is your menu and your restaurant. Anyway, you can put it just as an Argentinean dish and will be fine, no South Americans will be pissed off by this. In other South Americans countries Milanesas are called in other ways (Escalopas as an example). In add of this, if you read the Spanish version for Milanesa in Wikipedia, Milanesas are mentioned just as typical from the “Rioplatense” area (Buenos Aires and around) and Mexico. So don’t try to see South america as a single culture. If you try to set a South American dish, you will be wrong. Been more specific every body will be happy and your clients not puzzled.

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Eugenia wrote on May 2nd, 2011 at 1:02 PM PST:

If someone told me that the Turks had a version of the Greek salad called something else, or even “greek salad”, I still wouldn’t give a shit about it. To me, these are just puny, uninteresting details of little value.

But you’re right, for the sake of clarification, maybe I would just call it Argentinean.

Stefan wrote on May 5th, 2011 at 1:19 PM PST:

Great idea!
I always thought an American (I mean US) restaurant in Europe would probably work great.. Something southwest themed you know, with bullhorns, cowboy hats and boots on the walls etc. Country music playing in the background.
Give the Europeans some taste of America the way they dreamed about it when they were kids:)
Obviously you would charge premium prices 🙂

Marco wrote on May 6th, 2011 at 12:54 PM PST:

I am italian and live in Europe and I’ve never heard of alfredo fettucine! What is that supposed to be ? I guess a bastardization of some of an italian dish made up by some tourist..

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Eugenia wrote on May 6th, 2011 at 2:35 PM PST:

It is a popular dish in the US, that does have its roots in Italy.

Mirko wrote on May 7th, 2011 at 1:49 AM PST:


I assure you wont find many people willing to pay top cash to eat US style food in Europe. Nor even at medium cost. The only US restaurants you can find are some rare meat/steak restaurants ( probably one in very big cities…until they close) and McDonalds… whom are disappearing everywhere. Here in Italy were closing so fast that they had to change drastically, marketing it as Italian, introducing italian traditional ingredients as main attraction.

Not telling that you cannot find interesting food over there like french creoala cousine but it’s almost uknow over here (and probably there)
Europe is big…and quite diverse…your idea would be suitable probably only in UK and some North or East European country.

zima wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 2:17 PM PST:

Chocolate desserts. We demand it (hey, you sort of pleased Fernando even with that “Argentina/South America” row 😉 )

Also, maybe someday you could try to organize the computer “desk”, and whole workflow on it, in a way kinda similar to how we prepare food? 😉 (hm, NLE on MS Surface…) Maybe even making some low-intensity dish at a side! (and putting it into the fridge for later; or giving it away to hungry passers-by) I even seem to remember “standing desk” being promoted here and there… but I’ll better shut up now before earning a ban for completely entangling myself in bad stereotypes 😉

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