Trying foods or being open to foods that aren’t traditional or authentic to a region

This is a side topic from the Omelette Norvegienne thread about authenticity.

I often like trying things I can get at home in other places.

Chinese food in Paris. Chinese food in Ireland. Tex Mex in Austria. A burger in Tokyo (ok, I wanted something else, but we were hungry and you know what! That was an excellent burger!)

Which dishes surprised you in a good way while travelling, when you veered away from the French food in France, etc?

The Asian food I’ve had in France has been excellent. Really delicious sushi with better seafood that one can find in Canada where I am based.

Since I am not travelling much, I am seeking out foods here in Canada that I haven’t tried before. Sometimes they’re traditional foods from elsewhere, sometimes they’re new twists or hybrid foods.

1 Like

Falafels at L’As du Fallafel in Paris.

Don’t think I’ve had a better falafel anywhere else in the world.


I luv my falafel. What was different about what you had?


Not to be glib.

But it was just perfect in every way.

Sort of like porn. You know it when you see it.

In this case, it becomes obvious once you’ve eaten it.

1 Like

Ok, let’s try this from another angle. Did you taste any ingredients that are missing from mine?

I haven’t had a chance to have falafel or Arabic / Middle Eastern/ Israeli food in Paris.

I had really delicious Moroccan food in Avignon. I had a list of places to find brik in Paris, but I haven’t had it yet.

I had one trip to NYC where I was very focused on Brik, Burek and Bourekas, then I got a little brikked out. Most of the places have gone out of business or moved.

I will say I really like Old Tbilisi Garden in Greenwich Village for Georgian food.

For me, it’s the salads or condiments that make a falafel in a pita better in some places than others, once you’re dealing with decently fried falafel. I tend to prefer Israeli-style to Lebanese-style.

That said, I like shawarma, doner, shish tawook and kofte better than falafel , so I don’t try that many different falafels while travelling or getting to know my own city better.

French tacos à la Torontaise. I will take one for the team.

Fatayer pizza in Toronto

1 Like

Honestly Scott, and I don’t mean to be obtuse, but I just don’t know nor remember.

I am sure your version is fantastic.

I am just saying that the falafel I had at L’As was truly memorable. No doubt if I tried yours, it would be just as memorable.


I serve my falafel with a wide variety of diverse salads (with made from scratch tahini), and not that often in pita (not enough room for all the goodies).

What does that mean?

They are served differently with different toppings. They also don’t wrap the pita the same way.

Sometimes the Israeli falafel are wrapped in a laffa /lavash instead of pita, which I prefer to pocket pitas. A few Israeli restaurants in Toronto offer a choice of pita or laffa, with a ~$3 upgrade for laffa.

I will post some photos.
Israeli-style falafel in a pita in Toronto

Israeli-style falafel in laffa in Toronto

Upscale/ Modern Israeli-style falafel (not typical) at Parallel Brothers in Toronto

Palestinian-style falafel in pita at a Palestinian fast food restaurant in Toronto


Syrian falafel at an upscale Syrian restaurant called Zezafoun in Toronto


Thanks. All look good, but I don’t usually do the sandwich prep.


I tend to order falafel as a wrap, unless I order a vegetarian platter that comes with falafel.

Falafel are also offered on most menus without the pita or laffa.

If I am visiting a place for a relatively short period of time I will generally focus on the national/regional offerings available. Or, if the place is super-famous for turning a foreign dish into something special (as happened in Berlin with the döner kebab), I will make an effort to try its best rendition. Of course, one could argue that Berlin’s Turkish food is practically on par with the same food in Turkey, given the large community of Turks residing & cooking there.

I can’t imagine getting anything but Greek food while traveling Greece. Or trying Mexican in Ireland.

That said, if I were staying in one place for a longer time, I would likely branch out into dishes/foods not native to my travel destination. There is no way I’d only be eating German food while in Berlin for three months, especially when there is so much fantastic international food available that I can’t get here in my podunk town :wink:

Another thing is opportunity. I’ve had pretty good sushi in NYC (decent in Berlin), but I’ve never been to Japan or Tokyo to compare. I will take a guess that it is much better, but I don’t know if I will ever visit Japan.

1 Like

I was surprised to see some Indian restaurants and an Indian market on my ancestral Greek island last time I visited. Many Greeks also like trying foods that aren’t Greek.

I will probably try more non Greek foods next time I visit.


I did enjoy Greece’s adaptation of bolones/makkaronia. It’s kinda its own thing - overcooked pasta in cinnamony meat sauce that I would send back in a heartbeat were I served it in Italy.

But they made it their own, so to speak.


Often called Makaronia me Kima :slightly_smiling_face:

There are a couple jarred Greek-style tomato pasta sauces available now, with that flavour profile.


Which is so strange, since that term is predominantly used in Asia.

1 Like

Not really, in that ground meat is called kima /kheema from Greece to India.

Same with Kefta / Kofte / etc.

Baklava Baklawa. People get so territorial and regional- these words and foods don’t have borders.

That’s part of the reason I see the authenticity police as silly.


Oh, def agree.

I didn’t know kheema went that far west.


I’m a language geek. I just looked up ground meat in Albanian. Kime.

Romanians use a Latin word. The kime/ kheema borderlands are probably where Latin-based, Germanic and Slavic languages start.
First I’ve heard of Dirty Macaroni!