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Canadian Restaurant?

Canadian Restaurant?

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Old Jul 14, 09, 12:28 pm
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Canadian Restaurant?

Well, since someone talked about American food, how about Canadian food? Has anyone ever come across a Canadian Restaurant anywhere in the world?

The only thing I have ever come close to anything Canadian, although it is not really Canadian is a burger named McCanada whilst in Paris.. And someone else also had one of those in a recent trip.

BTW, what do Americans think of Tim Hortons. I'd like to know.
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Old Jul 14, 09, 12:51 pm
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In NYC, it kinda revolves around poutine -

Tpoutine - http://www.tpoutine.com/

The Inn LW12 - gastropub serving poutine and Quebecois-lite fare

Susur Lee opened a restaurant (Shang) in Manhattan last fall, but that is more of an pan-Asian/fusion flair
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Old Jul 14, 09, 4:29 pm
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Epcot at Walt Disney World has the restaurant Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion. Although, beyond the servers being from Canada, I question how authentically "Canadian" of a restaurant it is.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 8:17 am
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With the exception of some Quebec foods, I find it hard to identify foods that are uniquely Canadian. I looked at Le Cellier's menu and didn't see anything on it that was Canadian other than the source of some of the fish/produce.

The things that I think of as uniquely Canadian are all Quebecois - Soupe aux pois, tourtiere, tarte au sucre, poutines, ragout de boulettes, and even most of these (except tarte au sucre and poutine) are 18th century French recipes which survived here long after they died out in France.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 8:45 pm
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We have a few of these in RI, but to be honest I never been in one. I thought it was just a Canadian version of Dunkin Donuts.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
We have a few of these in RI, but to be honest I never been in one. I thought it was just a Canadian version of Dunkin Donuts.
Yes, I think Tim Hortons is the embodiment of Canadian cuisine.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 9:46 pm
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I adore Tim Horton's iced cappuccinos with chocolate milk, but I don't really see them as the embodiment of Canadian cuisine. I obviously see them as "the coffee shop with my favorite frozen coffee beverages."

Vernon, CT Timmy's, baby! Plus the one in College Park in Toronto.

I also had poutine once, and it's my "favorite food that I can never eat again." It was delicious, but my cholesterol is 147 and I want to keep it that way.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by You want to go where? View Post
With the exception of some Quebec foods, I find it hard to identify foods that are uniquely Canadian.
Very true. But I challenge you to find a moose burger anywhere other than Canada.

On the whole it's hard to identify food as "typical" to Canada. But the same can be said of the US - beyond fast food (which is in every major city in the world; you really have to go out to the villages to get away from McDonald's etc) what is "typical" to the US? Did American's really invent apple pie for instance? (Maybe they did - I simply don't know.)

I know we're talking generalities here when we say "a typical dish from [insert country name here]", but when it comes right down to it, a lot of food is actually hard to classify as "typical". The North American concept of Chinese food for example doesn't always jive with "real" Chinese food in China. The similarities are adequately clear but the actual food (taste) isn't necessarily the same. Ditto Italian food. There are some true abominations in North America that pass as Italian cuisine.
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Old Jul 16, 09, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by RCyyz View Post
Very true. But I challenge you to find a moose burger anywhere other than Canada.
It's on the menu where there are Alaskans!

(...of course, the chef providing the recipe has served them at his place in Ohio...)
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Old Jul 17, 09, 10:38 am
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In Paris we have The Great Canadian Pub, but as far as I know the only thing they serve that's Canadian is Molson Canadian beer. The rest is burgers, nachos, salads, etc. Oh, and they do have duck shepherd's pie and duck leg -- are those Canadian fare, by chance, or are they on the menu to cater to any unsuspecting French people who drop in?
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Old Jul 17, 09, 11:27 am
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The places I've been in Canada that do "Canadian cuisine" are usually based on regional ingredients. Things like PEI mussels, Alberta beef, wild Canadian salmon, wild halibut, caribou. Really "clean" food - with sides from Canadian-grown veggies or Canadian-made cheeses and fruit. And, good Canadian icewine!! For a "Canadian" food item coming down to the US, well, the candied salmon nuggets and salmon "Indian Candy" might fit the criteria.

Oh, for a Canadian restaurant, how about Earls's?? It's all over Western Canada, and there's at least 2 of them in Arizona (where the Canadians winter). It's Canadian, but definitely not Canadian cuisine!!
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Old Jul 17, 09, 12:21 pm
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I don't think there's anything such as "Canadian" food. The country is very regional (as is the U.S.) and there was never a big "melting pot" philosophy to make a common cuisine (I call it the Lowest Common Denominator which is what describes U.S. food - dull and boring to cater to the widest audience). The closest that could be universal in Canada is the cuisine derived from British settlers which is not dissimilar to a broad U.S. cuisine minus the "Mexican" (or Tex-mex) influence among other things (Italian, southern U.S. (African & Cajun/Creole-derived/influenced)). I would say Ontario and British Columbia would have represented this cuisine until the latter '80s when other ethnic cuisines started to influence the bland food. One place where this cuisine can be found is in the Okanagan valley of B.C. where the maitre d' of a cutting edge restaurant told me the local taste just isn't very adventurous (which resulted in the chef/owner dumbing down the menu and eventually selling out). The cuisine here is generally dull and boring with no self-respecting restaurant in Vancouver would offer. This may be due to the very homogeneous northwestern European mix with some 16% of the people being Germanic (my partner's family being one of them).

The eastern provinces (Newfoundland, PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) were settled mainly by British (broadly including the Irish) and a cuisine developed from this base. There is a Newfoundlander at my partner's company and he always brings canned seal flipper pie to potlucks. My partner describes it as a black gelatinous goo that no one else will even touch, so the Newfoundlander will happily devour the whole can.

Of course, there was the French settlement of Quebec, eastern Ontario, New Brunswick and quite a bit of Nova Scotia (the latter/latter two until the expulsion/ethnic cleansing by the British which resulted in the Cajun settlement of Louisiana - Cajun = Acadian). These French settlers mostly derived from Norman and Breton stock and the cuisine is derived from there (after a few centuries). There was a strong British presence in Quebec until the advent of the Parti Québécois which started an exodus of English speakers. There has been a healthy mixing of Scottish/Irish with the French in Quebec where 2 prime ministers and 2 provincial premiers were of French and British heritage (Trudeau's maternal line being the Scottish Elliotts) and provincial Quebec francophone leaders having names like Ryan and Johnson (the latter made of 2 brothers who led the PQ and provincial Liberals).

Prairie western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) has a lot of British settlers but also a large proportion of Ukrainians, Germans and a scattering of other eastern/central Europeans. It's my belief that the early European ethnic settlers are integrating into the mainstream so their cuisine is disappearing (for one, perogies and other eastern european cuisines are not as popular as they were 30 years ago though now there is a Russian revival with new Russian immigrants).

There are many ethnic cuisines in Canada, more so in the past 40 years, so a lot of cuisines have arrived and but have not made it into the mainstream. Some have been here but never made a mark in its homeland let alone here. I'm specifically thinking of Dutch cuisine - ever try to get Dutch food in the Netherlands? You do get a lot of "Chinese-Canadian" cuisine in the smaller towns and cities all over Canada but you also get genuine Chinese cuisine in Vancouver and Toronto. Albeit primarily Cantonese, Shanghai and other Chinese regional cuisines are beginning to pop up (earlier, all other flavours of Chinese cuisine were tinged by Cantonese taste).

Finally, one shouldn't ignore the First Nations who have made some culinary contribution.
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Old Jul 17, 09, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by iff View Post
In Paris we have [URL="http://www.tgcparis.com/en"] Oh, and they do have duck shepherd's pie and duck leg -- are those Canadian fare, by chance, or are they on the menu to cater to any unsuspecting French people who drop in?
Not Canadian at all, but the duck sheperd's pie certainly sounds mouth-watering, as long as they don't desecrate the duck with canned creamed corn...
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Old Jul 17, 09, 10:16 pm
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As an American, when I think Canadian food, the first thing that comes to mind is poutine, maple syrup, and Tim Horton's. Beyond that, what makes a dish Canadian to me is that the food orginated in Canada (ie, wild Canada salmon, icewine, etc.).
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Old Jul 18, 09, 2:40 am
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Canada has little to no distinguishing culture. There is no real national food. Each of the regions have differences, but nothing that stands out. Modern Canada is really a melting pot of various cultures as the country has had massive immigration levels to make up for the aging baby boomers. There's no real Canadian food. The closest thing is possibly a medium double double with a Boston Cream donut. Even that isn't really Canadian.
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