When I first moved to the Bay Area I was pretty green when it came to eating other culture’s food, but I was quickly thrown into a situation where I was heading to eat Vietnamese food and had no idea if I would even like anything. I had rented a room from a couple and they were super excited to take me to eat Pho (Vietnamese soup) not knowing that I was scared as hell that they would find out that I wasn’t a very adventurous eater.
To make sure I was never put into that situation I started reading menus of restaurants from Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Greek, Persian, and other non-American foods so that if was ever invited to eat at one of these restaurants I would have some idea of what they served before I got there. Here’s a guide from one picky eater to another on what you can eat that won’t disrupt your taste buds.
Chinese – American Style
Most people have had Chinese food, but if you haven’t, stick to the following:
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Mu Shu Chicken or Pork
Chinese – Hong Kong Style
In the Bay Area you can easily find yourself eating Hong Kong style Chinese food which is way different than your typical Chinese buffet or Panda Express.
Chow Fun with Beef
Deep Fried Spareribs
Sweet and Sour Pork
Don’t worry about Greek food. There’s plenty of grilled Beef, Chicken and Lamb, salads and french fries.
Pho – try the Chicken Pho (pronounced fuh) as it’s similar to chicken noodle soup.
Bu Lac Lac – This is stir fried filet mignon over rice
The following are what I have found to be “safe” dishes after many trips to the Filipino restaurants.
Pork Sisig and rice – stir fried pork over rice
BBQ Skewers – you’ll often find chicken or pork skewers
Longsilog – Sweet sausage over rice
Tonsilog – Sweet chicken over rice
With Thai food you want to make sure you order to your spice level. Don’t get it too hot/spicy.
Garlic Pepper Chicken
Indian food can be very tasty if you know what to choose. Order below, but don’t be afraid to try other stuff if it sounds good. Watch the spice level.
Tandoori Chicken – BBQ chicken
Butter Chicken – Chicken in a tasty tomato cream sauce, yet you won’t know it’s tomato.
Naan – warm bread
Afghan, Persion and Middle Eastern
This is great food as most of it’s BBQ over rice and break.
Skewers/Kabobs – BBQ meat on a stick
Falafel – Deep Fried wheat balls
Shawerma – Sliced meat into pita bread or flat bread (wrap)
It’s time to try Sushi if you haven’t.
Maguro – Tuna
Teriyaki Chicken – Grilled chicken with Teriyaki sauce
Chicken/Pork Katsu – breaded and fried
Yakiniku – BBQ Meat