What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

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beatbandito
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What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby beatbandito » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:36 pm

Continuing my reign of terrible threads with terrible titles, I often think of dumb little things that I'm accustomed to that may not be universal. Often they aren't easily google-able and I fucking hate reddit, so why not have a thread that gets used maybe twice for these types of question?

Do you guys have 'ethnic' restaurants full of white people?

On Long Island (and NYC) we have tons of food variety with Chinese take-out, Hispanic delis, and South American bakeries as prevalent as any McDonalds. These are always fully staffed by people that... seem to reflect the food's culture (I haven't checked that none of the workers at the Salvadorian bakery I like aren't actually Argentinian or anything, but I think you get my not-entirely-racist-but-questionable point). To the point that about 5 years ago I went to a chinese food place and was greeted by a white guy, and it was such a jarring experience to me that I still remember it.

Anyway, Gordon Ramsey Yells at Restaurant Owners has become the most recent playlist of choice at work, and I've been seeing soul food, sushi, mexican, all types of restaurants with predominantly white staff and owners. Is this the standard for most locations? Am I a worse person than I realize for even thinking about this that much?
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Brentai
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Brentai » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:07 pm

You rarely see white people in ANY kitchen down here unless it's an In-N-Out or a hotel, so the point may be moot. It's not uncommon to see people who speak Spanish/Korean/Vietnamese making sushi though. Most other culture-based restaurants seem to be staffed by people from that culture.

As for why the people who show up on a Fox Network show may be paler that you'd expect if you're at all familiar with reality, well
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Grath
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Grath » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:50 pm

Where I grew up (middle of nowhere upstate NY college town) the Asian restaurants tended to be yell-your-order-to-the-kitchen-in-their-language legit and everything else was white people.

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Mongrel
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:55 pm

Toronto is now less than 50% white folks, so I'm in the same boat as Brent where kitchen staff in ANY restaurant are generally less likely to white.

The last time I went to a high-end steakhouse for example, it had the traditional White Anglo-Saxon theming, all wood-panelled gentleman's club, but the kitchen staff looked to be almost entirely Sri Lankan.
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Thad » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:18 pm

Depends a lot on the location and whether it's a chain.

The closer you get to campus or to the mall, the likelier you are to see restaurants staffed by people who don't have the same national origin as the cuisine. And Mexican food is so common that you'll see people of all ethnicities working in Mexican restaurants. Same for Italian food.

But family-owned restaurants tend to be owned by folks who are serving the cuisine of their place of origin. Again, that's not quite as true of Mexican or Italian restaurants (again, they're everywhere), but it's very true of various types of Asian cuisine -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian. It's also generally true of Greek/middle-eastern food.

Basically, the more exotic the food, the more likely the proprietor and staff are immigrants.

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zaratustra
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby zaratustra » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:27 am

I'm in London. Every restaurant is staffed by immigrants here. Often not of the 'correct' ethnicity, though.

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sei
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby sei » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:51 am

Brentai wrote: It's not uncommon to see people who speak Spanish/Korean/Vietnamese making sushi though.

Lots of Koreans running the sushi places with business models heavy on all-you-can-eat or other specials. There were several Thai ones out here billing themselves "fusion sushi" or some bullshit which mostly seemed to mean "you'll eat tons of rice if it's in a roll and drowned in sauce."

The Vietnamese restaurants mostly seem run/staffed by Vietnamese people, Mexican places by Mexican[-American] ones, Middle Eastern run by Lebanese, Iranian, etc., but something about sushi seems to have gone pretty differently. Not sure if it's the trendiness, cost, or culinary retribution against Japanese war crimes.

(I believe a lot of the kitchen staff are Latino, but it's southern California, so no surprise there.)
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Mongrel
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:16 am

I think it's just that Koreans, Chinese, Thais, Vietnamese, etc. are far more common than Japanese in most parts of North America, so the owners just hire people who "look Asian" and figure that's close enough.

That's true here too, now that you mention it. We have a HUGE ex-Hong Kong population (there's an entire suburb that's basically wall-to-wall Cantonese-speaking Chinese) and a fair number of mainlanders now too. But Japanese? It's actually a little notable when you run into an honest-to-god Japanese person in Toronto.
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Büge
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Büge » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:01 am

Mongrel wrote:That's true here too, now that you mention it. We have a HUGE ex-Hong Kong population (there's an entire suburb that's basically wall-to-wall Cantonese-speaking Chinese) and a fair number of mainlanders now too. But Japanese? It's actually a little notable when you run into an honest-to-god Japanese person in Toronto.


They're mostly in North York, I think. My friend teaches ESL at Stafford House up near Sheppard and Yonge, and several of her students are Japanese. She actually just got back from a trip to Japan and apparently met up with some former students at one point.
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Brentai
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Brentai » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:03 pm

These are family owned places so it's more "We're pretty sure we can sell more sushi than banh mi." I don't know how that remains true, but it remains true.
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:53 pm

Büge wrote:
Mongrel wrote:That's true here too, now that you mention it. We have a HUGE ex-Hong Kong population (there's an entire suburb that's basically wall-to-wall Cantonese-speaking Chinese) and a fair number of mainlanders now too. But Japanese? It's actually a little notable when you run into an honest-to-god Japanese person in Toronto.


They're mostly in North York, I think. My friend teaches ESL at Stafford House up near Sheppard and Yonge, and several of her students are Japanese. She actually just got back from a trip to Japan and apparently met up with some former students at one point.

Yeah, it's not like they're non-existent - there was a Japanese girl in my reading sessions last year, and one of the volunteers this year is Japanese (not related to the girl from last year either). It's more that was have SO MANY MORE Chinese etc. that the innumerable sushi places in the city tend to employ - and even be owned by - random Chinese folks.

Brentai wrote:These are family owned places so it's more "We're pretty sure we can sell more sushi than banh mi." I don't know how that remains true, but it remains true.

We've got some Banh Mi places, but out here the ubiquitous Vietnamese joint is the humble pho house.
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Büge
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Büge » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:12 pm

Mongrel wrote:
Büge wrote:
Mongrel wrote:That's true here too, now that you mention it. We have a HUGE ex-Hong Kong population (there's an entire suburb that's basically wall-to-wall Cantonese-speaking Chinese) and a fair number of mainlanders now too. But Japanese? It's actually a little notable when you run into an honest-to-god Japanese person in Toronto.


They're mostly in North York, I think. My friend teaches ESL at Stafford House up near Sheppard and Yonge, and several of her students are Japanese. She actually just got back from a trip to Japan and apparently met up with some former students at one point.

Yeah, it's not like they're non-existent - there was a Japanese girl in my reading sessions last year, and one of the volunteers this year is Japanese (not related to the girl from last year either). It's more that was have SO MANY MORE Chinese etc. that the innumerable sushi places in the city tend to employ - and even be owned by - random Chinese folks.


Oh, I know. I'm just jealous that she got to go to Japan. :V
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Mongrel
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Re: What Do You Mean Yours Doesn't Do That?

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:19 pm

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