Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ethnic America

It is interesting, to me, all the debate we have about immigration policies, ethnicity, population make up and how we want to see ourselves and our country. Feelings are obviously based on each of our backgrounds and beliefs, and are reinforced by our personal situation and history.
Yet when it gets time to vote with our stomach or pocketbook we often chose ethnic( foreign food) over the standard American fare. At least in this household, we do.

It is also an interesting fact that there are more Chinese Restaurants in this country than Mc Donald's and several other "fast f0od" outlets combined. Since the last posting we have supported two of them: "China Gourmet" 3340 Erie Ave. Cincinnati OH 45208 (513)871-6612 and "Jans Chinese" 10012 Montromery Rd. Cincinnati OH 45242 (513)891-3100.
Working backwards, this morning(Christmas) we had a Diem Sum Brunch at "Jans" along with three other friends. I really should try to keep a list of all the dumplings, stuffed leaves, and dough covered items that we consume, although that would probably have me losing my place as the items make their appearance. I do remember: Chinese eggplant stuffed with shrimp, two other shrimp offerings, scallops, pork buns; pork, shrimp and veggie mixture wrapped in translucent dough( as are several of the offerings), Fried chive and pork dumplings, Chinese broccoli, yam cakes, pineapple fritters and sesame dumplings and several others that were tasty but which either slipped by my grasp or memory.
One of the participants spends an amount of time in China and he believes that "Jens" can hold it's own against many of the places there. All this very good food comes at a very reasonable price; today, $12/person before tip. The restaurant was crowded and as is usual, at "Jens", from the several times we have been there about half or more of the patrons are Asian.
Wednesday evening at the "China Gourmet" we had a pleasant meal consisting of an egg role, cucumber and chicken salad( both split as an appetizer), a whole steamed walleye pike( also divided) in ginger and scallion sauce and a mixed vegetable of crisp bean sprouts and sliced scallions. The "China Gourmet" has always done fish excellently and some believe it should bill itself as an Asian fish house. The clientele has been supportive for many years and are generally well know to the servers and owners, therefore service is attentive and friendly. Prices are slightly on the high side for what one might expect at a "Chinese Restaurant" although not for a first class "fish house".

Our other venture, this week, was a return visit to "Bombay Brazier" 7791 Cooper Rd. Montgomery OH 45242 (513) 513-794-0000. Because they had a party in the main dining area(hooray) we were seated in their wine room, a lovely quiet spot with either 3 or 4 tables. Once again we put ourselves in the hands of the owners, Rip and Gee, and were delighted with the choices. Starting with "Pappadi Chaat", crisp tortilla chips topped with onion, tomato, green peppers, chickpeas, apples and 3 different ralishes( Rip's spelling) we then proceeded to two main courses. I should mention that the vegetarian, slightly sweet "Pappadi Chaat" was an excellent accompaniment to our drinks and was more than ample for the four of us.
Next came "Saag", delicately cooked and minced spinach and broccoli in a buttery garlic sauce with cream and spices, to which had been added lamb chunks and sizable pieces of fresh mushrooms. Our third item was "Mango Chicken", tandori roasted chicken in onion, ginger garlic sauce with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, spices, mango chutney and mango slices. Sweet and pungent at the same time and a wonderful dish to compliment the "Saag" and white rice with peas, which was placed on the table.
As mentioned, before, we are lucky to have this upscale Indian restaurant added to our dining scene.

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