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2007-04-02 12:15:00   I moved this to a Talk page for hopefully obvious (and correct) reasons. I apologize for being too defensive in my comments. I want to explain my position, regardless of whether anyone wants to read about it.

I need to make a clear point: Most of the items on Sinbad's menu are representative of Lebanese cusine.

The fact that people consider "mediterranean" as an acceptable concept does a disservice to the cultures that are grouped in this term. Equally it does a disservice to those who insist on using the term as it forges an incorrect picture of cultural homogeneity. Mediterranean food doesn't exist; but Italian, Spanish, Egyptian, Lebanese, Israeli food do. To paraphrase EastSideStephen: there is no "Mediterrania".

Lebanese food happens to consist mainly of lamb (or beef), chicken and fish with different forms of preparation that; to many it probably lacks the elegance of Italian or French food. I'm not ignoring the fact that there is a large amount of cultural diffusion in the region that muddies the issue. We share stuffed grape leaves with the Greeks, as well as Baklava, or stuffed cabbage rolls with the Slavic cultures. In the end though, we still hold our own particular distinction. The French occupation in Lebanon I'm sure has left its mark in terms of nouveau Lebanese cuisine as well.

A secondary part of this issue are those who run the restauraunts. Only in Rochester have I seen so many Lebanese hide behind the "mediterannean" label on their establishments. It diminishes the culutral uniqueness of the food so that people don't realize that it comes from a particular land, a traditon of peoples. The problem is compounded by the small number of Greek and Italian items they hastily throw on the menus in order to earn this "mediterranean" badge of generality.

Am I "whiney" that WegmansFiend called Lebanese food that my mother, grandmother and aunts have made for our family is no better than Taco Bell? I am, and I think justily so. I do believe there is a significant amount of cultural ignorance on the part of many regarding other nationality's traditions, cusinine included. I'm just not willing to let it go. —RichardSarkis

2007-04-02 20:03:26   I do find the proliferation of "mediterranean" restaurants around here somewhat confusing... I love Lebanese cuisine, of the sort one can get from a variety of clearly-designated restaurants in Ontario. Kibbeh, mujaddara, shawarma, tabbouleh... those things, to me, are Lebanese, while salads with olives and feta served alongside a pita is pretty darned Mediterranian in these parts. Are you telling me I can go into Sinbad's and get Lebanese food? If so, do they have a buffet and are they delicious? :-) —RyanTucker

2007-04-02 22:38:02   Yeah, Ottawa and Toronto have a large Lebanese population and plenty of authentic shops and restaurants. We continue to get our pita bread supply from Toronto due to a lacking supplier locally. You should be able to get most what you mentioned from Sinbad's except mujaddara, I don't recall ever seeing it on their menu (although I can tell you how to make it if you want). Their food is good, and their portions are decent, but no buffet. :-) —RichardSarkis

2007-04-02 23:07:16   I take offense at your taking offense, Richard Sarkis. What's wrong with Taco Bell? I can't tell you the number of times I've had delicious meals at that Mecca of culinary delight and left so full that I swore off the need to eat for days afterwards; not just because of the digestive nuisance that followed, but because their burritos had magically relieved my desire for food. Also, when did Sinbad come to symbolize all that’s good and pure in Lebanese culture? I agree that Lebanese food is great. That’s why Sinbad’s menu is so disappointing. Instead of coming up with genuinely creative dishes (see Oasis’s Eggplant Napoleon) Sinbad rehashes the same ingredients over and over. Your family’s food sounds great. When are they opening up a restaurant? —WegmansFiend

2007-04-07 08:06:44   Sinbad's represent traditional Lebanese food, Eggplant Napoleon does not.

You clearly don't like traditional Lebanese food and have a penchant for
bad comparisons. —RichardSarkis

2007-04-07 12:23:03   Richard, Rochester is a rust-belt city. There is no frame of reference and not a heck of a lot of cultural knowledge. Lebanese is Aladdin's with gyro and "Chicklaki plates" - how cute. Greek is diners that have a few Greek items for kicks. Italian is huge ass plates of pasta with sauce that looks like it has been modified with red dye and, of course, "Chicken French"."Mediterranean" is a uniquely Rochester category. It is the McDonaldization of ethnic cuisine, and most people LOVE IT. They know what to expect and there are no surprises. I don't know how far out on a limb I would go to defend Sinbad's though- not that they need it, they are always busy. —JohnPapdopoulos

2007-04-07 13:22:13   To be fair to those who were not aware Sinbad's is (apparently) Lebanese, both the sign outside the restaurant and the menu say "Sinbad's Mediterranean Cuisine". Further, the front of the menu says:

"Our intention at Sinbad's is to provide our customers unique, natural foods of the Mediterranean while at the same time, cater to their increased awareness and concern regarding health and nutrition."

So while much of the food may in fact be Lebanese, I'm not sure it's correct to categorize Sinbad's strictly as such. —StevenDibelius

2007-04-07 13:25:06   Along the lines of my previous comment, it may be appropriate to remove some of the discussion on the Sinbad's Article page about Lebanese food vs. Mediterranean food. I'm not sure of that though, so I'll leave that for discussion. —StevenDibelius

2007-04-09 08:14:17   I take it this means I will not be invited to your parents' home for dinner, Richard Sarkis. This is a shame, for I make an excellent dinnertime companion. I have been known to lighten the mood at almost any affair/occasion through use of sheer charm and magnetism. In many ways this is your loss, but I regret it just the same. We could have been SO good together!

Incidentally, I stopped by Sinbad’s over the weekend. Delicious! The Sultan’s Pitza was out of this world. Who knew the Lebanese had created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s favorite dish? Boy, I’d hate to be in the room when the Italians find out they’ve been scooped. All these years, they’ve succeeded in pulling the wool over our heads. Not any more!

But when you’re right, you’re right, Richard. When it comes to authentic Lebanese cuisine, nothing compares to Sinbad’s.—WegmansFiend

2007-04-09 10:38:28   Do you honestly act like this in real life? I suppose it is inevitable from a guy (or girl) who doesn't use their real name on here.

I'm done, let's move on. —RichardSarkis