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#39 – Ethnic Strip Mall Eats

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Believe it or not, suburban strip malls are increasingly the place to find cheap, good ethnic food. Within a 5-minute drive of my house I have Afghan, Cuban, Peruvian, Brazilian, Indian, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, tons of Mexican and tons of Chinese. All in strip malls, some nestled right in with the chains we have come to expect of suburbia, like Outback, Macaroni Grill, and Applebees. But most of them are in nowhere strip malls like the one pictured–cheap rent in a bad location with little traffic and a bunch of questionable stores for neighbors. It’s the suburban equivalent of a ghetto.

Not a good slice of pizza to be had for miles and miles, though.

UPDATE: A blog has been keeping track of the Washington area’s strip mall ethnic eats. Scroll down for his pics.
UPDATE 2: There’s actually an interesting Washington Post article on the subject as well.

…the good ethnic restaurants downtown are either trendy (think Rasika and Indique, both of which reinterpret Indian for upmarket American eaters), or cater to the wealthy international crowd (such as the Spanish Taberna del Alabardero near the International Monetary Fund and World Bank). For the best buys, though, you have to get in the car and head out to the sprawl. These days, the most authentic, spiciest food comes at cheap, ugly strip malls, far from the District and miles from the Metro.

4 Responses to “#39 – Ethnic Strip Mall Eats”

  1. October 19th, 2006 | 3:30 pm

    outback is most certainly ethnic, it’s australian. so what if it’s a successful chain? stop being such a new york food elitist and enjoy their exotic yet value-priced delights from down under.

  2. October 20th, 2006 | 11:24 am

    you’re right, last time i went to outback everyone in there was australian and talked about how great it is to get some homestyle food so far away from home.

  3. Mel
    October 25th, 2006 | 9:47 pm

    G’day. Ai just wantid to tellya Eyem an Aussie, and fuck if I don’t love a goddamn Bloomin’ Onion. I cuddit witha knife. No, THIS IS A KNIFE.

    By the way, myee Tejano cousin Pepe says Taco Bell ain’t half bad.

  4. October 25th, 2006 | 9:54 pm

    yes my aussie friends tell me, confidentially of course, that the outback’s bloomin’ onion is even better than their mom’s. i hope their moms aren’t reading this!