I visited Milwaukee, where I grew up, a few weeks ago. One thing I’d never thought about much: There are German restaurants there. But there aren’t many German restaurants throughout the country.
At least, German restaurants don’t seem nearly as common or widespread as Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Greek, or Japanese places. Even English cuisine represents, what with the popularity of pub grub. Taco Bell yes, Schitzel Haus not so much.
Why is this? Why is sauerkraut possibly less common than kimchee, unless you’re at a hot dog stand? What is it about German (and possibly Eastern European) cuisine that has left it a rarity, often served in places that require their waitstaff to dress in lederhosen or serving-wench costumes?
The National Restaurant Association seems to back up my impression. And suggests a few ideas, but I’m really curious about the long-term trends. German Americans make up the largest ancestry group in the US, so why doesn’t Tombstone make a pumpernickel-crust pizza?