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Sneakeater

What's the Most Obscure Cuisine You've Eaten in New York?

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The one in Tokyo had imports of the cheese, peppers, and suspicious bacon. Somehow sponsored by the ministry of culture. Very hot, very fermented, and very very cheesy due to an historical accident.

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I've only had Bhutanese in Tokyo, and maybe there's one here, but that is one I'd describe as obscure.

 

I'd actually meant to type something about Bhutanese cuisine then forgot for some reason... there's one pure Bhutanese place that I know of in the city - Weekender Billiards & Bar. And a couple pan-Himalayan places that serve a dish or two. Ema Datsi, that cheese dish, seems to be growing in popularity enough that I'm starting to see it pop up on the occasional Tibetan and Nepali menus. Maybe it'll be next year's poke. 

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Weekender has some better stuff on the menu... the spicy tripe is solid, the squash soup and the buckwheat noodles are good comfort food. They've actually expanded the menu a bit since the last time I was there, a bit I haven't tried. 

 

It's not a place I'd go out of my way for, more a place I'll pop into if I'm taking someone on a mini-tour of the Rooz. But if they start doing take-out it'd be good stuff to bring to Solid State, the craft beer joint around the corner.

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Funny thing: while the breadth of cuisine offered in NYC is amazing, the most obscure cuisine I've eaten has been out here.  There's the Liberian restaurant in San Leandro and the Tongan steam-table place in Hayward, and the once-closed restaurant in the Mission specializing in food from Guam is reopening.

 

If you'd spoken to me before I'd moved, I'd have said the Antiguan food I got from a booth at the West Indian Day Parade.

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Is Mongolian obscure? I see a couple of hot pot/bbq places, but I’ve eaten Mongolian “street food” at the community festival in Central Park last couple of years

 

I feel I’ve eaten obscure dishes more than obscure cuisines.

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I feel I’ve eaten obscure dishes more than obscure cuisines.

I totally think this.  And it brings back an old question I might've asked before - just because something is obscure, does that mean it's good?  Or to put it another way, is it necessary to eat rare and or "challenging" food for culinary delight? 

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Is Mongolian obscure? I see a couple of hot pot/bbq places, but I’ve eaten Mongolian “street food” at the community festival in Central Park last couple of years.

 

I feel I’ve eaten obscure dishes more than obscure cuisines.

 

From what I’ve heard, Mongolian HP & BBQ aren’t even Mongolian, but Taiwanese. And curiosity getting to me, it seems Mongolian restaurants are fairly obscure in Mongolia. At least in the capital.

 

I made a couple Mongolian-ish boodogs for an event once, which might make my own half-assery the closest I’ve had to actual Mongolian food.

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I feel I’ve eaten obscure dishes more than obscure cuisines.

 

I totally think this.  And it brings back an old question I might've asked before - just because something is obscure, does that mean it's good?  Or to put it another way, is it necessary to eat rare and or "challenging" food for culinary delight?

No and no. But it’s fun and interesting, regardless.

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Is Mongolian obscure? I see a couple of hot pot/bbq places, but I’ve eaten Mongolian “street food” at the community festival in Central Park last couple of years.

 

I feel I’ve eaten obscure dishes more than obscure cuisines.

 

From what I’ve heard, Mongolian HP & BBQ aren’t even Mongolian, but Taiwanese. And curiosity getting to me, it seems Mongolian restaurants are fairly obscure in Mongolia. At least in the capital.

 

I made a couple Mongolian-ish boodogs for an event once, which might make my own half-assery the closest I’ve had to actual Mongolian food.

 

 

right, mongolian bbq (which not surprisingly emerged at about the same time as teppanyaki) and mongolian beef are Taiwanese, and genghis khan is an even more non-mongolian Japanese dish. 

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You have to understand that I come from the Pacific fringe, but I found most revelatory the classic Dairy restaurants on ??? Grand??? in the '60s.     Nothing like them in Sf.    I also sought out Taza d'Oro on 6th for Puerto Rican pasteles. 

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So my Mongolian street food from actual American Mongolians probably counts. Was it great? No. Was Dave Cook there? Yes.

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Cuban cuisine in Havana and elsewhere on the Island. Totally different than the Cuban food here.

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