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Resturants that Serve Food from all over the World...Any Ideas?

Theres a Restaurant that Serves Food from all over the World here in Seattle called Coastal Kitchen,more specifically they serve food from coastal cities all around the world and the menu changes every three months.
My question is why aren't more restaurants doing this,or offering food from all over the world like a MEGA-Restaurant.Theres theme chain steakhouses,and Mega-Stores but no Mega-Restaurants with a world-wide variety?Even an all-you-can-eat-buffet with multiple sections,each presenting a different country would be nice.
Does anyone have any ideas or want to share about something similar they might know about?

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  1. My immediate reaction to a restaurant serving food from all over the world is, "Jack of all trades, master of none."

    I would avoid such places, also, as in trying to please all tastes, they may please none.

    1. That's a gimmick Coastal Kitchen uses with very limited success, in my opinion. They do the best job with breakfast. Their hot fudge sundaes are good too. I always found the rotating menu irritating. Three months doesn't seem to allow a restaurant the chance to really hone/perfect the good dishes and weed out the crappy ones.

      There are good reasons to be suspicious of a restaurant whose menu is too huge and varied. They can't do everything well in one place. Think of the enormous variety of goods a "mega-restaurant," as you say, would have to keep on hand and how most of it would probably rot uneaten.

      1. I was thinking of a place with multiple small kitchens each with its own niche,like one for Asia, Africa, North America, South America,Europe and Australia.Then pay one price to enter and make it buffet style.I dont know but mabye ill hear some other ideas.

        1. Yikes, sounds like what event planners try to sell as 'tasting stations'.

          1. My low budget makes me think of things like this.When your poor or middle class you don't get to eat out much.Guess if would cut into most resturants if people only had to go to one.Mabye free internet at the tables too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: billjriv

              At the risk of being too Seattle-specific, I have to say that I've always been irked at the prices at any of the Chow Foods restaurants (of which Coastal Kitchen is one). I feel that all the main courses are about $2 more than they should be. We end up being able to eat out a little more frequently by avoiding those prices.

            2. The idea of "specializing in everything" is, as was said, the formula for mediocrity or worse. The closest that I have seen to your concept is a buffet place that serves (or claims to serve) Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Thai, and "American". Trust me--they do them all equally poorly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                There's a buffet restauarnt in Little Rock, Arkansas that "features" Chinese, Sushi, Mexican, and, I'm fairly certain, "Southern Home Cooking". I have never eaten there.

              2. If your idea stems from a need to be frugal, you'd be better off seeking out small, family run places, perhaps off the beaten track. These days you can sample a number of cuisines from different parts of the world this way and the food is bound to be of a better quality than what would be offered from the type of megaresto you speak of.

                1. They do have a restaurant like this....it's called The Cheesecake Factory. Sure you can get American, Southern, Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc. but in my opinion, none of it is very good. Passable, but I think that restaurants that try to do everything, do none of it well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Newkie

                    I guess your right,doing one thing and doing it well is better.

                  2. There was a restaurant in DC called Cities that tried this concept about ten years ago. The length of time between cities was longer though, I want to say a year, but that seems really long. Anyway, I believe the restaurant is still there, but the concept went out the window. (Probably because as someone said "Jack of all trades...")

                    One place the "around the world" concept is still going strong is at some of the Vegas buffets. Spice Market in the Alladin Casino (although it's about to become Planet Hollywood so it may change), Cravings at Mirage and the Bellagio Buffet all serve a mixture of different cuisines. I think Vegas is the only place where the buffet concept works.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: writergirl

                      Planet Hollywood's back in business I thought they were done for,well in Seattle they didnt last long.

                    2. Something in my gut tells me a worldwide all you can eat would work.

                      1. There's always International House of Pancakes.

                        Try those Latvian Waffles - and don't, oh PLEASE don't, miss the Ghanian Pancakes.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: wayne keyser

                          Ihop lol are they any good these days cause last time I went there 7-8 years ago the coffee was horrible and the food was half-arse.

                          1. re: wayne keyser

                            omgosh its true...I thought you were joking.heh

                          2. One of the concepts bechind Epcot at Disney-Doodle was to have food service facilities from the various countries represented in that multi-theme park. I was only there once, 20 years ago, and remember little -- and I have no idea what Epcot is like now.

                            1. we had a place in boston that tried that. it was self-serve and you wound your way through a whole bunch of stations with a tray. everything was mediocre to bad and the place shut its doors. i never went because i hate tray-service, and anything that tries to be everything never works.

                              all the food gets dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, like on a cruise ship.

                              i can't believe seattle doesn't have a thriving ethnic restaurant community, with plenty of indian and asian places offering buffets (since you seem to equate all-you-can-eat with value). then you get to really experience more authentic food, rather than some corporate suits' excel spread sheet version.

                              1. When I lived in Paris many years ago I frequented a Chinese restaurant that also had Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian food. Maybe something else too. It was all pretty good for Paris at the time and it was nice being able to get some Chinese food and complement it with a plate of pad thai. But that was definitely an exception to the master-of-none principle.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Chowpatty

                                  Geez, given the foregoing, I guess the only place in the US that actually makes this concept work is Aria, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. Good eats; the chef, Noah Bekofsky, really knows and loves what he's doing. Love that naan oven in the dining room. Aria used to have the best foie gras mousse preparation in town (on hot naan that you've just watch someone prepare? Man!) - before the City Council outlawed foie gras. Don't get me started...

                                  http://www.ariachicago.com/aria_dinne... (a word of warning: this website is a giant-sized PITA.)