Recommend me ethnic food I might like

I was raised on very plain food – beef, potatoes, chicken, green beans, peas, that sort of thing. Starchy and deep-fried, I’m from the Deep South, after all. Never cared for hot spices. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for ethnic food that I might like, and I’d like some suggestions. I’m a Mid-Atlantic Doper now, and there’s all sorts of ethnic restaurants in the area, from Mongolian to Somalian. I already like Mexican, Thai, Korean, and Indian. Ethnic food I do NOT like include:

I’ve had Chinese every conceivable way, from Americanized to right-out-of-Guangzhou-authentic, and I hate it in every variation. I still get it forced on me by well-meaning people who tell me that “you’ll like it this time!”, and I never do. Japanese is a strong “meh”. I don’t like sushi or rice, so really what’s the point?

I’ve had authentic Greek before, and forget it. Seems to be nothing but spinach and cheese. Lebanese is also out. Because of these two, I’m wary of any Mediterreanean-style dishes.

There’s a good Ethiopian restaurant in my home town. I’m a vegetarian, so I can only describe the vegetarian dishes. Too me they were a little like Indian dishes (e.g., a lentil dish) but without all the spices and curry. They were all kind of mushed up, if you know what I mean. The restaurant I know serves the whole thing on a big spongy pancake, and then you eat with your hands by tearing off pieces of the pancake and using it to scoop up the various kinds of food.

I’ve also had good experiences with Moroccan food, but it’s been a while since I had it, so maybe someone else could describe it better.

Pakistani food is good too, but to me it’s basically indistinguishable from Indian (despite my Pakistani friend’s claim that there are noticable differences.)

Asia Recipe is a nice site (apart from the advertising) that allows you to check out the culinary traditions of most Asia and the subcontinent. Should give you some idea what will appeal. My choice for you would be Vietnamese - many simple, tasty dishes and lots of fun if you find a good restaurant. A group can eat like kings comparatively cheaply.

Greek meals tend to focus on different forms of grilled meats (lamb, meatballs etc) with bread and dips and salad. You seem to have been introduced to spanokopita (spinach and cheese pie) which, while it is traditional fare, is not the only thing on a Greek menu. Same with Lebanese cuisine in my experience…although there tends to be a greater emphasis on bean/vegie recipes compared to the Greek variety.

I think you are doing yourself a disservice by avoiding Greek and Lebanese restaurants. They are bonza. As are Viet, Moroccan, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Turkish, Italian, Korean, German, French, Mongolian, and even the local pub doing a $10 schnitzel (with pot).

Food is great. Different food is greater. Although I do draw the line at that fish stuff that is buried under the ground until it is rotted…what’s it called…lutefish or summat? Yeah, you can shove that!! :smiley: