In all the blather about immigration (They're lepers! Drug addicts! Rapists!), no one has talked about the real reason we need immigrants: Food! Maybe this is too bourgeois for the mainstream, but where would NY be without fucking immigrants? For years, two things were true about NY food: No good barbecue, and no good Mexican. Recently, a slew of bbq places have opened, and suddenly, we see Mexican restaurants actually staffed with Mexicans! The bbq complaint should be amended: no good American bbq, sinde Asian bbq has been on offer here for years, some quite good. I was reminded of this when a delightful development happened on one of my commuting routes: the appearance of an authentic taco truck on 14h and 8th Avenue, and some taco stands appearing in Coney Island, one right by the sideshow that makes the best chorizo I've ever eaten, and I've eaten a lot of chorizo. On 14th Street, the truck disappeared for a few weeks, but it was back the other night, and I had a lengua (tongue) taco, that caused a fellow subway rider to look up from his book (Buford's book about being Batali's sous-chef) and ask me where I got that deliciously smelling item. And it was excellent, the tongue soft and tasty. A good taco is a thing of beauty. My taste for tongue of course formed in delis, where a good tongue sandwich is hard to come by. This tongue was not prepared like deli tongue, I suspect a long stewing process, but it was delicious! If you're ever on 14th & 8th, and need a late night food fix, I strongly recommend this truck.
Chinatown too benefits from immigraton. For years, Chinatown was in decline. I remember discussing with a friend how awful most Chinatown places had become, and then new immigrants arrived, bringing soup dumplings and revitalizing stale cuisines: Good Sezchuan! Tasty Cantonese! Anyway, without immigrants, none of this would be possible. And let's not forget my fave Viet fast food: the banh mi sandwich, a noble collision of East & West, yielding one tasty treat. My fave banh mi place is on Broome, but I haven't tried them all by any means.
Viva La immigracion, I say. Let the stampede of exotic food continue!!!!!