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May 20, 2008

Two-cuisine restaurants



A new restaurant called York Garden has opened where Pacific Rim used to be in Cockeysville. I bring this up not as a bit of restaurant news (for that, see tomorrow's Table Talk column in the Taste section), but to point out that it serves Indian and Mexican food.

No, it's not a fusion restaurant. You just have to say, Huh? And scratch your head.

It reminds me of Nasu Blanca in Locust Point, which serves Japanese and Spanish dishes. Again, not fusion. At least there the owner/chef does it simply because those are the two cuisines he likes best. I gathered with York Garden it was more of an economic decision.

If I can only come up with one more example, I'll have -- ta-da -- a trend. The two-cuisine restaurant trend.  

(Photo of Nasu Blanca by Karl Merton Ferron/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 12:07 PM | | Comments (36)


Alonso's/Loco Hombre kinda counts- 2 sides to a restaurant sharing 1 entrance

I don't think this is too new a trend we've had pizza places that also server Indian Food for years.

What???? I'm not even sure it's a trend, and you're telling me it's over?????!!!! EL

Reminds me of a sketch on SNL called Dr. Uncle Jimmy's Smokehouse and Outpatient Surgical Facility where you can get both at the same time, but be careful .. the barbecue sauce comes in an IV bag too.

I used to do something like Pizza Joint Anthropology. It seems like different ethnic groups take over the same cheap pizza delivery places and add a layer of their own cuisine. I think in Baltimore it roughly goes like this: Italian, Greek, and Indian/Pakistani. I have seen many delivery menus that have pizza, pasta , Greek salad, baklava, gyros, spinach pie, chicken marsala, and lamb vindaloo.

Indian + Mexican? Sounds like the perfect storm.

In England, almost all of the Chinese carryouts (excuse me, takeaways) also sell fish and chips.

Tamber's: a 50's diner and an Indian restaurant in one (and both pretty good). And there are a number of Asian restaurants in the area that are dual cuisines, or one cuisine (such as Korean or Chinese) along with sushi. Arbutus used to have a carry-out called the China Thai (owners were from those two countries) that was very good, and a place in the Golden Triangle in Ellicott City called Viet Thai had two chefs, one for each (the Vietnamese guy left, apparently along with his half of the menu).

Vice, a japanese and mexican restaurant coming where Fletchers used to be. Should be open in the next few months. Bam!

Tamber's near Hopkins on St. Paul Street serves Indian food and 1950s-style American diner food

An upscale equivalent of our local combined KFC-Taco Bell.

Mama D's on Light Street near the Cross Street Market. Best known for its pizza, which I've never tried, but good for Greek dishes. Its gyro sandwich and Greek salad are quite good.

My friends from the Philippines tell me they were astounded to discover that American McDonalds don't have chicken and rice!

McDonald's in other regions can have different items on their menus. Once about 8 years ago my daughter and I took a road trip through Pennsylvania, New York, and up to Toronto.
The McDonald's in the State College, Pa. area were quite interesting. They had pizza and hot dogs on their menu. They had other stuff which was way different, but all I remember now is the pizza and dogs.

There is a great place in Phoenix, AZ called Chino Bandito Takee Outee that serves both Mexican and Chinese food. Here's the link:

Check out the menu. Never seen anything else like it.


MInato's was originally MInato Sushi/Cafe Viet. They dropped the dual name but I think you can still get a great pho at the new location.

I ate at an Indian restaurant in London once and was surprised to see two blokes eating fried eggs and baked beans for dinner. Classy.

Totally unrelated: I just installed spell check on my Opera browser for the purposes of this blog and it works very well. Best browser.

Banjara in FedHill always used to serve pizza and subs on one side and indian on the other.

Another fun place is Earl's Beauty Inn... ice cream and snoballs in the front. Beauty parlour in the back.

The McDonald's I was forced to stop at in Maine a few years back had lobster rolls on their menu. I don't know if it's still the case, but some locations on the Eastern Shore used to have crab cakes.

Wow! Indian food and Mexican food under one roof. Are there 2 more gut-churning cuisines? I hope they serve Tums for dessert.

New York City used to have a bunch of restaurants featuring comidas chinas y criollas -- Chinese and "Creole" meals, though "Creole" usually meant Cuban food.

I've heard whispers that Nasu might be closing soon. Have you heard anything along those lines, Liz?

I haven't. Maybe someone else has. EL

I was shocked to see Indian food on the pizza menus stuffed in my door when I moved here.

On Baltimore St. in Patterson Park, there is Tex Mex Pizzeria. Serves pizza, some Mexican food, subs, Cuban sandwiches and papusas. I don't know how the Tex got in there. Isn't all that great, but it is very, very cheap.

York Garden: since I never give away first prize I simply say its currently at the top of my list for restaurants that have a 99% probability of having NOTHING on the menu I would order, even with Tums, lots of Tums.

How about Habib's Bagels and Kabobs in Eldersburg? I giggle every time I think about it. Good bagels though. I haven't tried the kabobs.

LIssa, see my note above. It's most likely Indo-Paki food on an old pizza menu. New wave ...

And the real perfect storm would be Mexican, Indian and Korean ... kaBOOOM!

Sushi San/Tai Jai Dee

Which I find rather enjoyable disturbingly.

OMG wrote: "And the real perfect storm would be Mexican, Indian and Korean ...

How about a Black Bean pizza, with Kim Chee, and covered with Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese cubes in a spicy sauce). What a combination!

Mr. OF,
Kimchee is some nasty stuff!

Down here, we have an odd combination in the same place: discount hair cuts and a travel agency.

Kim Chee is dancing at the Ritz tonight. She really works the pole! BTW kim chee is awesome. I made my own. WOW! The Kimchis are my favorite Korean soccer team, seriously.

Hey gang, there's a really obscure idea: food names that would make good stripper names (better than Kim Chee). I've got to go trailer hitch shopping with Maggie now, so you're own your own.

Not so much a dancer, but more of a dance...but how about "Tuscaloosa Dumpling".

For anyone who doesn't get that reference, WATCH SQUIDBILLIES ON CARTOON NETWORK'S ADULT SWIM!! Best show on tv!

Oooh oooh oh! Call on me! I want to play. I grazed thru a few nice joints' menus and, to be a little perverse, Friendy's to get some ecdysiast monikers:
Baby Lamb Chops
Shark Fritters
Crème Brûlée
Apple and Pecan Strudel (twins)
Penne Amicci
Baby Arugula
Brioche Crouton
Kitchen Pickles
Shaved Asparagus
Hidden Hills
Pork Buns
Tangerine Ginger
Sweet Mint
Jasmine Pearls
Super Sizzlin' Sausage Sunrise
Super Big-Two-Do®
Towering Fronions™

That was fun. I find Shark Nuggets and
Towering Fronions™ to be most intriguing.

Thanks for playing RC and EC. That's funny, my high school prom date was named Brioche Crouton.

Uh oh, is Rock Chiclet chugging Red Bull again? Why did your askew mind have to taint Friendly's? Actually, they are funny. There certainly is a lot of sexual innuendo on some menus, if only for the breathless way some items are described.

Anyone who's listened to classic blues knows that food is second to nothing for sexual innuendo.

I will not venture a guess as to why.

RC: Your list of stripper names could also pass for a list of drag queen names. It reminds me of the "game" of soap opera character/porn star name: The name of your childhood pet and the street you grew up on. Well, I never had a pet and I grew up on Manitowoc Avenue. Anyway, if I ever have an occasion to do drag, I would be known as Addy Tood. (Actually I have a list of names but this is the only one fit for a family blog.)

Rock Chiclet's inclusion of Baby Arugula reminds me that the Giant produce section used to have baby spinach with a sign for "teenaged spinach" next to it. One of the produce guys has a sense of humor.

Yes Lissa, there is a lot of lemon squeezing in the blues.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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