Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, any more than we can enjoy theirs. ~ Mark Twain
Go to almost any town in the USA and you will find a Mexican place, a pizza joint, and a bar selling a mixture of ‘Italian’ and ‘English’ food. If you’re in a larger town you will probably also find a sushi restaurant, (Sakura in St. George UT is pretty good), and likely there will be a Chinese place, and a Thai restaurant. Sakura in St. George has a super entrance doorway.
Is there such a thing as ‘American’ cuisine, or is it merely foods borrowed from the rest of the world? I would aver that real American food consists of steaks, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, salads, and of course lots of bad cheese and ketchup.
On my recent US road trip I ate the best steak I’ve ever had, and didn’t eat the very worst chilli dog I’ve ever been served. The quality of the food in the USA goes from very, very good to stuff I wouldn’t give a dog.
In the same joint that served that great steak, (White Mountain Mining Co, Rock Springs WY) I also had a truly boring salad that was 90% iceberg lettuce, and a baked potato that was left over from the day before. On the same trip I also enjoyed a really good pizza from a place called Craftsman Wood Fired Pizza, in Placentia , Orange County CA.
In California, in the western USA in general, they also have a buffet thing going. My friend and I had a pretty good meal at a buffet place in Primm Nevada. On the way back to civilisation, Primm, just like every other town in Nevada, is totally devoted to casinos, gambling, and gamblers. I don’t gamble, my friend loves the slots, and that can be a little annoying for both of us. If you don’t like gambling, don’t ever go to Nevada.
The most impressive buffet I’ve ever been to, in my whole life, was the Champagne Sunday Brunch, aboard the RMS Queen Mary, in Long Beach California. If you’re ever in Southern California, I would strongly recommend you take your girl there for Sunday brunch. Just don’t eat much the day before, and make certain that one of you is the designated driver, (or book a room). There is a fabulous cocktail bar aboard her too.
A few things for the unwary traveller to bear in mind when eating at a Restaurant in the USA; try to go during their happy hour, to European eyes places close very early, remember to add sales tax to the prices when you’re budgeting ~ and on top of that the standard tip anywhere is 20%, (and I hate that). Don’t expect to be given cutlery, (Americans are like children and eat with their fingers), and if there’s a wait for a table, you can always eat at the bar, where it’s first come first served. (I hate eating at the bar because brash Americans will talk to you while you’re eating.)
In bars that serve food the beer is generally pretty good, but the wine and margaritas can be of very variable quality ~ they will still get you very drunk. The food in most American bars is garbage.
Americans can eat garbage, providing you sprinkle it liberally with cheese, ketchup, mustard, chilli sauce, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish ~ Henry Miller, American Writer.
All in all, eating in the USA is a different and sometimes unnerving experience for a well-mannered Englishman. But then eating in France, Greece, Italy, Spain… has its own idiosyncracies. Close your eyes and enjoy the experience. Some American food is fabulous, and sometimes the dining experience is even better.
Just don’t eat Mexican food…