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What do Russian tourists eat in America?

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For the past two days, I hosted popados and his lovely friend Luba in Washington, DC. Yes, they visited the State Department for cookies, but it was necessary to feed them proper meals. I offered to slave away in the kitchen, to prove that American women CAN cook, but they wanted to eat in restaurants so I took them to two ordinary places where a lot of Americans dine - Chili's and Outback Steakhouse. These are not expensive restaurants, but you can get a good meal at a cheap price, and taste some typical American cuisine. You can find these chains in almost all States across the U.S. Plus, it's always fun to sit in a cafe or restaurant and observe the natives in a social environment. Most Americans eat out several times a week, when they're in a hurry or just too lazy to prepare a homemade dinner. The list of choices is endless, even small towns typically have several shopping centers and restaurants. In this photo, a Tex-Mex salad, covered with chicken, salsa, beans, corn, peppers and avocado. But, of course, you can't come to America and not eat steak. :)) So, on the first night we went to devour a bloody piece of meat...

On Sundays and Wednesdays, Outback Steakhouse runs a special where you can get a steak, a side item (like potato, vegetable or rice), a salad, bread and a small dessert for only $12.99!  I don't understand why people go to fancy steak places and spend $50 or $60 for a piece of meat, when you can pay $13 and get steak of good quality. In upscale or fancy steak houses, you also pay a high price for meat only, and then each side dish is an additional cost (around $9 for a potato or plate of veggies!).

food1

At Chili's, Arthur chose a combo meal - you can pick 3 items out of a list of 20 for $13.29. He picked small burgers, fried cheese and Southwestern eggrolls.

food3

I love this place because they have computer screens at all tables, where you can place your own order if you prefer. If you decide in the middle of eating that you want a beer or dessert, just order directly from the table without the need to wait for the server to return. You can do everything from this portal, even pay your check and wait for the receipt to print, then leave without having to rely on the waitress to come back. Very efficient and fast.

0304ziosk

If you visit the U.S., always try to find a local who can show you ordinary life, take you to places where natives travel, shop and eat on a weekly basis. Otherwise, you miss out on a true part of American culture. I'm grateful I now have so many friends in Moscow and other parts of Russia who show me the same when I visit the country. However, I haven't been to many Russian restaurants. We almost always cook at home when I visit Moscow.

Have you visited the U.S.? What or where did you eat on your journey?


Comments

( 112 comments — Leave a comment )
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st_konstantin1
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC)
буду знать!
procurator0
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC)
steake shmake. go to a pho place in bollston. that would be eating.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
We don't have Steak 'n' Shakes in Virginia. The steak is good there? It seems to be of poor quality, based on photos I've seen online. But I love shakes. :))
(no subject) - procurator0 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - v_otaku - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - v_otaku - Oct. 20th, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 21st, 2015 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - v_otaku - Oct. 22nd, 2015 06:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 10_4 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
genka8
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC)
Did one of your top blogger friends advise you to conclude each post with an open ended question? :)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC)
Haha! :) No, I only ask questions when I'm interested in the answer. I don't know where or what most tourists are eating when they visit the U.S. A lot of Russians go to NYC, visit Brighton Beach, and eat only in Russian places. It's strange to me, this is not immersion into U.S. culture.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - genka8 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
creamy_mood
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
I ate in a few womderful Taverns in NYC but do not remember names :) I also enjoy Chipotle fast food restaurant, they are of a quite decent quality and amaze me by their elephant portions :))) I live in Paris, and we have 2 or 3 Chipotle restaurants since a couple of years but the portions and at least 2 times smaller :)
I loved Katz in NYC as well, delicious pastrami! There were some few nice restaurants in places I visited in Florida, and somehow I do not remeber the names at all. We ate in excessively expensive restaurant located right inside New York Staples center, but though it was good, I do not know why their bills are that high. As you say, each side dish for at least 10 bucks, and portions were not big.
Waffle house, ColdStone, and yes, Bur ger King that is a tremendous success in France, are nice as well.
I am sure, there are a lot of local restaurants serving nice and healthy food everywhere, but somehow, fast foods are easier to remember.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Very good! These are real American restaurants, esp. Waffle House. :)) I also love Chipotle, they have awesome food and you can eat healthy there if you want. Just get one of the salads, and top the meat with lots veggies. I like the barbacoa there - spicy, shredded beef. Delicious!
qi_tronic
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Steak with big popato - very good.
Combo meal - NO!!! :) I'd get a headache for the rest of the day after that.

I liked steaks, California omelettes, Mexican of Chinese cousine in general. Margaritas! :)
Ice cream is not bad, though it does not have enough milk fat.
Starbacks atmosphere is better than their coffee :)

Computer terminals on tables - nice idea. Calling a waiter can be a problem if the place is busy.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
He did not get a headache! He eats a lot, including delicious sweets, but he's so thin. Bastard! :)) Mexican food is awesome, we love it here in the U.S. We have some good ice-cream places, where they use tons of cream, but the ice-cream is usually more expensive. Next time try Cold Stone Creamery, as the reader above mentioned. It's good, and you can pick from a lot of toppings if you want.
(no subject) - popados - Oct. 20th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Oct. 21st, 2015 03:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Oct. 21st, 2015 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
jon_quille
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
DC = District of Cookies ))
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
:))
pin_gwin
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC)
The secret of dinning in US is to know the price level of the chain... The simplest way to guess - white sheets on the tables. It they are there - run!!! The food will be the same anyway but pricier.
Personally we like Chipotle when travelling. It makes you full for a long time, for cheap and looks healthier to me, so you can spend time on purpose instead of looking for the next pit-stop. The place to remember was a buffet in Yellowstone. You pay for a plate size, than fill as much as you manage, good simple things like roasted buffalo, brook trout, veggies...
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:37 pm (UTC)
"white sheets on the tables...run!" This is very good advice! :)) I don't like these fancy and expensive places that charge you so much for a small plate of food, sometimes it's even inedible because the chef tries crazy creations or innovative approaches. I went once to a "molecular" restaurant where everything was prepared right at the table. This is a new trend - molecular gastronomy. It was fancy, expensive and everything tasted like sh*t!! Chipotle is better, and more satisfying. :)
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
conrad
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
What about tips? Did popados tip? Or it's not essential as customers are interacting with computer screens?
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:38 pm (UTC)
No, it's necessary to tip. We still had a waitress who greeted us, brought our drinks and food, refilled water, etc. In U.S., you should tip a minimum of 15%, unless the server is really bad. Servers here earn very low hourly wages, their primary source of income is through tips. I used to be a waitress, so I usually tip 20%.
(no subject) - conrad - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - conrad - Oct. 20th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - conrad - Oct. 20th, 2015 03:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - den_dark - Oct. 21st, 2015 09:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
sergechel
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:45 pm (UTC)
only after reading comments I realised the real meaning of "without relying on the server to return."... geek...
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 02:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry, sometimes I'm using complicated and formal language here. It's my lawyer training, and I'm always writing and responding to comments at work.
(no subject) - sergechel - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
mb_b
Oct. 20th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
Outback is actually an Aussie place/chain... that's where their meat is supposed to come from, I don't know if it really does.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, it has an Aussie theme but I thought it originated here? Anyway, it's a popular steakhouse for Americans. :) Or, you can go to a place like Morton's or Ruth's Chris and pay 10x the price.
pinkjackal
Oct. 20th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
According to TV, americans usually prefer meat meals. But do you have a choice of eateries with vegetarian cousine? Is it expensive?
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC)
We eat vegetables all the time. Do not believe TV. :) Almost all meals in restaurants come with veggies, rice or potatoes. And there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants also. Here's the one by my house - http://crystalsunflower.com/

Edited at 2015-10-20 03:18 pm (UTC)
logofilka
Oct. 20th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
I respectfully disagree on $13 steak statement. You cannot get a nice aged steak for less than $40, I would say close to $60 if the place is fancy.
It is not to say that $13 steaks should not exist - I totally love them, but it is a completely different gastronomic experience.
Yours truly,
Meat-lover
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
As a meat lover, you will probably be distressed to know I eat all meat well done, no pink. :)) I've had steaks at both Morton's and Ruth's Chris, but I honestly do not see that much difference in taste for the huge price gap. Although I love that garlic butter at the latter. :)
(no subject) - logofilka - Oct. 20th, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
rider3099
Oct. 20th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
I love American food! It’s always delicious
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, and you're never hungry when you leave the restaurant. :))
(no subject) - rider3099 - Oct. 20th, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
romanklimenko
Oct. 20th, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
What I love about LA (where I live) is diversity.
Korean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Israeli, Vietnamese,and of course Mexican... all authentic food made by immigrants.
American food (as well as Russian) seems bleak on this background :)
Or may be this is a real American food?

Btw, I tried expensive stakes ($25-50 a piece). There is a difference!
Cannot afford it very often but it pushed me to improve my own bbq skills.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
In America, we eat everything, from all over the world! So, I always wonder what's really considered "American" food. I think the answer is burgers, steak, baked potatoes and apple pie. :)) Not sure what else?
(no subject) - nkhaba - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nkhaba - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_nimaida
Oct. 20th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC)
For the past two days, I hosted popados and his lovely friend Luba in Washington, >>>

Arthur's friend called Natasha
she is his wife
peacetraveler22
Oct. 20th, 2015 05:00 pm (UTC)
It was not Natasha. He traveled to the U.S. with one of his female friends.
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Oct. 20th, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
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