Thursday, July 9, 2015

Post-Gazette on "The Asian Influence" on local dining.

Melissa McCart at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes on "The Asian Influence" in the local restaurant scene for Thursday's paper:
The influx of Asian students to Pittsburgh universities is one of the most important factors shaping Pittsburgh's restaurant community. Not only is it bringing to the city more Chinese, Korean, Indian and Asian-fusion eateries, it is also prompting some restaurant owners to shape menus according to students' cravings.
. . .
Beyond providing low-cost items for students on a budget, many restaurants are offering authentic regional cuisine as a separate menu or a subset of an expansive menu of Asian dishes. And as many restaurants cater to millennials and an even younger set, restaurants are diversifying menus so students can have it their way.
The article also includes a brief update on plans for Ramen Bar and Pink Box in Oakland. I was asked a few questions for the article but missed the deadline, but noted in my responses that it I don't think it's the local Asian student communities shaping the neighborhood, it's Asian and Asian-American entrepreneurs who have found menus that appeal to a wide variety of people. While a few restaurants are known for more specialized, authentic dishes, usually you'll find long menus at each place that stretch across a range of cuisines and invariably include things like sushi, fried rice, pad thai, and bubble tea.