Cheap burgers and the term 'have a nice day' would sum up what many imagine to be an American restaurant in the UK, however that is not the whole picture. Fast food did originate in America, in southern California to be exact, but the USA also boasts many other culinary offerings thanks to its diverse range of cultures.
Over the centuries America has embraced immigrants from a number of cultures around the world, and this has influenced the cuisine. The Mexican burrito, the Italian pizza and many other dishes are as at home in the American diet as they are in their native countries.
For more about what's on offer at American restaurants in the UK check out the sections below...
American Restaurants - Flavours to Savour
Well the key to American cuisine is diversity and if you are looking for a flavour of America then you'll have plenty to sample. Looking at the American diet you will see influences from China, Mexico, Italy, Greece, Thailand, the Caribbean and more recently Japanese. However there are some distinct culinary traits you may be able to recognise.
Southern American food - fried and flavoursome, this food has a clear Caribbean influence.
Californian food - almost the complete opposite to southern American as it promotes healthy eating and is based on fusing flavours together from around the world.
Tex - Mex - fuses spicy Mexican flavours with the hearty taste of Texan cooking. Tex-Mex favourites include Monterey chicken, tacos, burritos and fajitas.
Cajun food - mainly associated with New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, it combines flavours from French and Afro-Caribbean flavours for an unmistakable taste. Cajun favourites include gumbos and jambalaya.
American Restaurants - First Visit Food
Probably the one thing that connects all American cuisine is that it is comfort food - you'd be hard pushed to name American haute cuisine! So forget the calorie counting when you go to an American restaurant and just choose items on the menu that appeal to you.
As mentioned before there is a great diversity in American cuisine and therefore it's hard to predict what will be on the menu at your chosen American restaurant, but if possible why not try a Waldorf salad (named after the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City where it was created), a bison burger or buffalo burger, or a 'surf & turf' meal which usually consists of steak and shrimp. Then for dessert the only logical choice for first time visitors to an American restaurant is of course, apple pie!
Get a Feel For American Cuisine
American restaurants vary so widely it's difficult to pinpoint an exactly style. Some are typically American with the American flag and miscellaneous American memorabilia lining the walls, while others try to conjure something more specific, for example in a Tex-Mex restaurant you may find a restaurant decorated in bright, Mexican colours with a fake buffalo suspended from the sealing.
As you can see American restaurant décor is hard to predict, however what you can expect is a welcoming atmosphere to accompany the comfort food on the menu.
Find American Food in the UK
Finding an American restaurant in the UK is an easy task, because as well as the individual restaurants there are also several American restaurant chains that have restaurants around the country. So if you're struggling to find an American restaurant why not look out for some of these American restaurant chains:
* Chicago Rock
* Old Orleans
* Frankie & Benny's
* TGI Fridays
* Fatty Arbuckles
Things to look out for at American restaurants in the UK
One of the biggest events in the American calendar is Thanksgiving which happens each November to celebrate the Pilgrims coming to North America. As with all annual festivals, Thanksgiving comes with its own special foods, foods that a traditional and typically American. So if you decide to visit an American restaurant in November look out for some Thanksgiving specials like pumpkin pie, candid sweet potatoes, cornbread and pecan pie.
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