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Manhattan Hole in the Wall

Bouhaus Owner's New Memoir and the value of Ethnic Hole in the Walls


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Bouhaus Owner's New Memoir and the value of Ethnic Hole in the Walls

jonkyo | Mar 12, 2013 09:33 AM

Having spent several years in Taiwan, in the south of the island, I am quite familiar with much of what inspired Eddie in his restaurant creation.

I have never visited his establishment, but must say the review by Melanie Rehak in Bookforum (feb/mar volume 19, Issue 5) of his new memoir was entertaining to read.

The memoir is entitled 'Fresh Off The Boat'. Either he has internalized a certain earlier racial stereotype of Asians or is playing with this, tongue in cheek?

The article did inspire me to thought, not on 台灣的黑社會 (Taiwan black society or organized crime) of which his father had been a part of, but of street food, or food that is indicative of the every day meals in the life of laborers or peasant, or commoners.

There is certainly a market for this type of street food, one that puts it differently from its origins, where ever the street food is originating from, while calling it 'street food'. That is the catch, or the market ploy.

This is especially so in NYC, with such a diversity of people from other places, developing and underdeveloped, and they have popped up in varying places.

Thus stated, equally a fine experience can be found within the context of the food's origin. These places, ethnic hole in the walls, if they represent those who have migrated to NYC, are often somewhat exclusive, ethnically, and language may be a problem. Perhaps some 30 years ago, one could find a Taiwan hole in the wall somewhere in NYC. These days they may all be gone, so I suppose Eddie knows what he is doing, by filling the void.

I have charting out some of these ethnic hole in the walls, and there are plenty, some no English. The determining factor is demographic and economic, whether they exist or not that is.

Anyway, check out Eddie's new memoir. If you take to his stylish cuisine, his words may also be appetizing.

I am wondering if the translation to Bouhaus, a take on the German school of design, would be 包房子.

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