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Sep 21, 2009 06:47 PM

Recs for visitor (and food snob) from Tianjin?

We'll have a guest from Tianjin for the next several months who professes to like *no* western foods beyond mashed potatoes, and that no Asian food can surpass that of his own region.

Having established that he has an open mind, can any one offer suggestions that might please him? He's debunked anything I thought I ever knew, so while I've reviewed postings here, I'm not feeling too competent to judge.


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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. From what you say, anything you might suggest will doubtless fall below your guest's standards. The only way he is going to come to enjoy anything he is served here is to discover it and convince himself that it is good.

      So, assuming he has Internet access and can read English, why not let him peruse the discussions here? As a gracious host, you can support his quest for decent food by offering to take him out to some number of restaurants that he chooses himself.

      Also, I am wondering if your guest cooks? You can offer to hook him up with the requisite ingredients. No doubt we can help you there.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        Thanks-he has already decided his English isn't up to the board, and while he has said he would like to cook some night, tonight he stated that I simply couldn't provide either equipment or ingredients to his standards.

        Frankly, I'd like to hit him over the head with a rolling pin.

        1. re: BarefootandPregnant

          Exactly! Force him out of his envelope and he'll be quite distressed.

          1. re: BarefootandPregnant

            Yes, it sounds like your best strategy will be to go to places that you love and wear earplugs, so at least you get a great meal out of it.

            What about some place that sort of defies categorization, like East Coast Grill? Perhaps if he can't easily place origins he will be more hard pressed to complain.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Folks, if you have chow advice to share, please do so, but comments on how BarefootandPregnant ought to deal with this visitor on a personal level are just out of the scope of what we do here on this site.

            1. perhaps salvadorian or italian food?

              other than that, just go somewhere that has really awesome mashed potatoes.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jylze

                Italian is not, as of yet, flying. We have done okay with Anna's and Viva Mi Arepa. He's shown mild interest in Pollo Campero, as well.

                I'll admit to some reluctance to try much that digs deep into my pocketbook given the negativity, but this hostess with the mostest can't live on multinational fast food, either.

                1. re: BarefootandPregnant

                  Since he seems at least somewhat open to Latin American-influenced food, maybe a really good Spanish place like Taberna de Haro? Lots of small dishes there to try, with great flavors.

                  1. re: BarefootandPregnant

                    I have eaten at Pollo Campero and honestly, while it is tasty fast food, it IS fast food and does not pretend to be any more than that. So, one might really wonder how it might be acceptable while any sit-down restaurant would not be!

                    There is an interesting variety of South American restaurants in Chelsea; there are also some good (sit-down) alternatives for Latino grilled chicken (various nationalities). What do you think is attracting your guest's interest, the concept of grilled chicken or the adventure of central- (or south) American style food?