The "secret menu" at Chinese restaurants.

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by The Wayfarer, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. intent

    intent Senior member

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    It's a secret menu where I am beucase most white people are pussies when it comes to spicy food or other spices used in authentic chinese food, and so they keep the secret menu secret because they don't want people accidentally order something that they will regret/hate, ruining the restaurant's reputation, when it is due to the customer's own stupidity/ignorance.
    This. Also, white people will start asking "Where's the Sweet/Sour Pork? The General Tso's Chicken?"
     


  2. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Most of what passes for Chinese food in this country is better described as "food inspired by Chinese cuisine" rather than "food Chinese people actually eat." The authentic menu has dishes that contain ingredients that are weird by Western tastes and that are not nearly as sweet as dishes on the Western menu. It would be a shock to most non-Chinese patrons.
     


  3. thinksimple

    thinksimple Senior member

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    Sweet and Sour Pork, son.

    QFT.
     


  4. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Thursday at one of the Asian restaurants here is Dalmation Day.
     


  5. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Most of what passes for Chinese food in this country is better described as "food inspired by Chinese cuisine" rather than "food Chinese people actually eat." The authentic menu has dishes that contain ingredients that are weird by Western tastes and that are not nearly as sweet as dishes on the Western menu. It would be a shock to most non-Chinese patrons.

    O RLY?

    I no longer know what to believe. So...egg foo young isn't on the menu in China? I'm guessing Chinese food is better here than there.
     


  6. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Depends on the spice.

    The Super Xtreme Hot Wings at the local bar is definitely a macho thing to do. However, something like Szechuan Hot Pot, despite unbearably hot, is also absolutely delicious at the same time.


    +1 The super hot to the point of not having any other flavor (like the top wings at a buffalo wild wings or something) is just a macho thing. Hell, they even have a challenge at BWW to see if you can eat 12...

    Other foods, the spice can be good and/or culturaly accurate. A lot of places with really warm climates eat spicy food for its cooling effect...if you are trying to eat somewhat accurate reproductions of food from those areas, I fail to see the problem for eating it as spicy as they like it.

    The people who slather every food item in tobasco however...I do not understand.
     


  7. The Wayfarer

    The Wayfarer Senior member

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    Where do you live Wayfarer? I feel like these "secret menu" type Chinese restaurants are only found in the midwest or some small city where there's not a huge asian population.

    Here in the bay area Chinese restaurants just have one menu.


    Columbus, OH. So yes, very much in the heart of the Midwest.

    They probably assumed you wouldn't enjoy it. Then word of mouth spreads around based on the "unfamiliar" foods and suddenly "oh that place sucks".

    The eating of these foods not generally tailored for the american palate and the popularity of "adventurous eating" is a relatively new phenomenon from TV shows and online forums.

    The thing is, with things like "Bizarre foods" and Anthony Bourdain type shows, more people are willing to try out foods that weren't so big 5 years ago (i.e. "adventurous" internet foodie types who can't wait to yelp/brag about how they ate a common tripe dish from China or something, giving them internets credibility).


    See, that's the weird thing, she's a friend of ours. Her and my girlfriend are really close, grew up together, and the girlfriend is going to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. We've had numerous conversations about the "weird food" we've both eaten. She knows I'm adventurous with food and have absolutely no qualms with offal, spice, textures, etc. Just struck me as very odd that she intentionally tried to hide the menu from me.
     


  8. LawrenceMD

    LawrenceMD Senior member

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    She knows I'm adventurous with food and have absolutely no qualms with offal, spice, textures, etc. Just struck me as very odd that she intentionally tried to hide the menu from me.
    other mainland china fare is heavily rice based. they'll be a what amounts to half a cup of a dish thats super taste laden to be eaten with rice at a 3:1 (or more) ratio. basically pheasant food dishes that are made to fill you up first. they'll include a lot of super bitter vegetables and fat ladened meats but its eaten in moderation when you add the rice to it. once you start chewing it with a mouthful of rice it starts to make sense and taste good. this happens in traditional thai foods a lot. when you're in thailand they'll be weird combinations of thai chili, raisins, scrambled eggs, and carabao meat that need to be eaten with rice to kind of emulsify the combo. if not eaten in that manner then its a different taste all together, too much going on and even bad. lastly a lot of the super native dishes can give you diarrhea... unless you're iron stomached. even natives know when they can or can't handle certain foods that the haven't eaten in a long time, but they wont give shitty reviews on Yelp/report to DOH if something happens because they know the effects.
     


  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Most of what passes for Chinese food in this country is better described as "food inspired by Chinese cuisine" rather than "food Chinese people actually eat." The authentic menu has dishes that contain ingredients that are weird by Western tastes and that are not nearly as sweet as dishes on the Western menu. It would be a shock to most non-Chinese patrons.

    what I don't like is the texture stuff - a lot of people are into unusual textures, and that can drive the price up, so it is often considered a treat for a guest to get him something with unusual textures. I will find myself on a trip in Asia being few a dozen different textures, none of which I really enjoy.
     


  10. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    This. Also, white people will start asking "Where's the Sweet/Sour Pork? The General Tso's Chicken?"

    INORITE?

    I don't understand why white people are even allowed into restaurants.
     


  11. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    I'm going to open up a restaurant and have a secret White menu.
    We'll have awesome things like Miracle whip, cheez whiz, pringles, and vienna sausages. Suck on that, ethnicities!
     


  12. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I'm going to open up a restaurant and have a secret White menu.
    We'll have awesome things like Miracle whip, cheez whiz, pringles, and vienna sausages. Suck on that, ethnicities!


    FYI, the secret is out on at least the viennas. In fact, my entire life, the only people I've actually seen buy and eat those are all Asian!
     


  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    FYI, the secret is out on at least the viennas. In fact, my entire life, the only people I've actually seen buy and eat those are all Asian!

    Those fucking assholes. [​IMG] Isn't their own secret menu enough?!
     


  14. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Those fucking assholes. [​IMG] Isn't their own secret menu enough?!

    Just accept our new yellow overlords.
     


  15. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    They're only secret if you can read them. In English they're called "specials" [​IMG]
     


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