Ethnic food has grown in popularity, especially as America has emerged as a foodie nation of its own.
Today, more and more cuisines are now considered to be 'ethnic,' meaning they are distinct to a certain culture and region. Ethnic food might also show itself in a fusion restaurant, combining flavor profiles of two or more different types of cuisine.
Maplewood and Brentwood have plenty to brag about when it comes to a wide array of ethnic restaurants, and this week's Patch Picks highlight just that.
Patch Picks: Four Places To Find Ethnic Food
- San Sai Japanese Grill — In Japanese, Sansai means "mountain vegetables," and the restaurant itself certainly has plenty of veggies to go around. If the thought of fast food sushi freaks you out, try San Sai - you will be pleasantly surprised. Yes, the food comes out fast, but not too fast. Every ingredient is fresh and delicious. Choose from two or three asian salads, brown or white rice and a choice of chicken and sushi items to create a delicious, affordable combination.
- Maya Cafe — Specializing in pan-latin cuisine, Maya Cafe brings south-of-the-border food to downton Maplewood. Featuring traditional dishes from Mexico, Argentina, the Caribbean, Cuba, Spain, Peru and more, the restaurant stands alone in bringing many different textures and flavors to your plate. One must-try is the Chayote Rellenos - stuffed chayote squash with artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers and green onion. This is a great place to broaden your palate.
- Acero Ristorante — Yes, Italian food is considered ethnic. A lot of people assume that the term only applies to non-European cuisine, like Chinese or Indian, but it's in fact more broad than that. At Acero you will find authentic, traditional ingredients like Proscuitto di Parma, ricotta and Egg Raviolo. The food is specifically Sicilian (northern Italian) and the wine list features only Italian wine.
- Mai Lee — According to Mai Lee's website, the owner (with the same name) escaped a "war torn Vietnam" in 1980 to start a new life with her husband and son in the United States. The restaurant serves up fresh Vietnamese and Chinese fare. Start with spring rolls with shrimp and pork, or order the Do It Yourself spring rolls with a range of ingredients to choose from.
Catch up on our previous Patch Picks lists: