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!