Egg foo yong alongside fried plantains ain’t high-concept fusion. But when a Chinese family immigrates to Cuba, then flees the Castro regime and opens a restaurant on the Upper West Side, their menu naturally includes both Cantonese and Cuban staples, like chicken chow mein and vaca frita (Cuban-style fried beef with rice and beans). Die-hard regulars have been mixing and matching for years. Maybe Washington just needs some chili sauce.
La Caridad: 2199 Broadway at 78th; 212.874.2780
Bayou by the Slice
A single boot will only get you so far, but Two Boots are made for walking, and in the case of the geographically similar Italy and Louisiana, they’re also stompers of a pizza phenomenon. This masterfully mismatched pair has trooped all over the city—from Bleecker Street to the West Village to the Upper and Lower East Side and even over to Brooklyn. When it comes to Cajun pizza, we recommend jumping in with both feet.
Two Boots: multiple locations citywide; twoboots.com
Accord Sure, chocolate and chorizo coexist peacefully in Spain, but they’ve been seen together as seldom as Superman and Clark Kent—until now. Tia Pol famously united the two in an unprecedented sweet-savory alliance sandwich; melted bittersweet chocolate and slices of spicy chorizo can surely please all of thepeople all of the time. Note to future candidates: It’s even better after you inhale.
Tia Pol: 205 10th Avenue at 22nd; 212.675.8805
Sure, colonialism had its drawbacks, but before France and Vietnam broke up they gave the world a beautiful love child: spring roll ingredients (fresh cilantro, pickled carrots) tucked into a mayo-kissed baguette. Chef Matt Weingarten of Inside Park gets the Western Hemisphere in on the act with the addition of fried oysters and octopus (is Cajun cuisine congenitally collaborative?) plus cabbage-jalapeño slaw and spicy pickled black radishes. Bahn mi po’boy, me love you long time.
Inside Park: 109 East 50th at Park Avenue; 212.593.3333
Photo credit: Erin Gleeson