Find Hot French Food Near Me: A Follow-up
On Zvi’s recent post about French food I posted an inflammatory comment (saying in essence that French food is so bad American capitalism hasn’t even bothered stealing it). I got challenged to provide evidence supporting this, and particularly to back up my claim that there were more German than French restaurants near me.
Right. Yes. Evidence. I am a reasonable adult who understands that beliefs must be supported by evidence. So. Here we go.
Some Google Searches
I’ve searched for ‘[ethnicity] restaurant near Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ’ (I live in Jersey City, and the Grove Street area is reasonably near the center).
When I search for ‘French’ I can count 13 results:
And when I search for ‘German’ I count only 9:
Ha! The foolish American has been hoisted on his own petard! (‘Petard’ is French for ‘fuck you’).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I don’t think these numbers tell the whole story.
What Makes These Places French?
Google’s definition of ‘French’ and ‘German’ restaurants here appears to be extremely expansive.
Hudson Hound Jersey City, an ‘Irish gastropub’, shows up on the French search.
Shadman, a ‘go-to for Pakistani and Indian cuisine’, shows up on the German search.
Luna, for ‘Italian eats’, shows up on the French search.
Frankie, an ‘Australian eatery’, shows up on the German search.
So, for lack of anything better to do, I’ve gone through manually to look for things that I think ‘count’ as French or German.
The two ‘real’ German places (and the ones I was thinking of in my comment) are ‘Wurstbar’ and ‘Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden’, and while we may question the taste of these places I do not think we can question their German-ness. The search also turned up ‘Hudson Hall’, a ‘Euro beer bar with house-smoked meats’, which I think at least ambiguously might count.
It’s less clear to me how many of the hits for ‘French restaurant’ are actually both French and restaurants. Certainly I’ve been to a few of these places, and none of them have charged me twenty-three dollars for a baguette while sneering at me. We have:
Cafe Madelaine describes itself as a French restaurant. We count that.
Choc O Pain definitely sounds French, but it’s not clear to me if it’s actually a restaurant: it seems to actually be a bakery, and the menu seems to bear that out. I’ll give it half.
Hudson Hound self-describes as ‘Irish’.
Matthews Food and Drink self-describes as ‘American’ (though I guess it also self-describes as ‘chic’).
Grove Station self-describes as ‘New American’ (I have no idea what that means).
El Sazon De Las Americas self-describes as ‘Dominican’ (I don’t think that counts as French, though I’m sure someone will make the case).
Uncle Momo self-describes as ‘French-Lebanese fare’. Let’s give that half again.
Beechwood Cafe self-describes as ‘American’.
Luna self-describes as ‘Italian’.
Razza is an Italian pizza place.
Short Grain is...uh...a ‘hip place with sidewalk seats serving Asian-influenced & vegetarian dishes, plus coffee & green tea’, and while I have no idea what that is and don’t particularly want to find out I don’t think it means ‘French’.
Frankie self-describes as ‘Italian’.
Cafe Dolma self-describes as ‘Greek’.
So overall I think ‘French’ and ‘German’ each end up with either 2 or 3 restaurants, depending on how you count some edge cases.
I am sorry that I said French food was not as successful under capitalism as German food. I see now that French food is exactly as popular and successful as German food, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise!