Thursday, March 30, 2017

A tale of three unusual Bay Area restaurant chains

My quest to Eat the Globe has slowed down quite a bit recently. However, I found a United Arab Emirates-based fast food chain in Fremont called Just Falafel.

Fremont has almost a quarter of a million residents. It's between Oakland and San Jose. It has a large Afghan, Indian, and Chinese population. 18% of the city are Indians, another 18% are Chinese, and I can't find figures for Afghans because they count themselves as Asians and whites in the census.

In any event, I was in Fremont this week and decided to go to the falafel place for dinner. My meeting went long and by the time I got to the strip mall where the falafel place was located, it had closed already. Who closes at 8 pm?!

I then looked around and found Eden Silk Road next door. I had heard about this place. It's a Uighur chain restaurant run by a Xinjiang-based company. I've always wanted to eat there. On the windows, there is a long, hand-drawn map of the Silk Road, with places like Hami, Kashgar, Turpan, and Tashkent marked. Guess what? It also closes at 8.

I then walked some more and found a place called Inchin Bamboo Garden. It looked like a nice Chinese restaurant from the outside. I walked in and it looked just like a PF Chang's. But all of the servers and all of the customers were Indian. It's an upscale chain of Indian-style Chinese restaurants. I had the chili chicken with Kingfisher beer. It was really spicy and didn't taste "Chinese" at all. It's definitely worth checking out.

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