Food For Thought…

During my years of international travel I often thought that the worst of America is often exported, especially our fast food chains.

No matter where you travel there is a plethora of McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and now Golden Corral copy cats.

It is not all bad.

I must admit I have never heard of Golden Corral which is a buffet all you can eat chain founded 50 years ago in North Carolina.

Apparently, inspired by a Florida Golden Corral, developed in the Netherlands and imported to Kurdistan, ABC Restaurant has an American Idol on their hands.

These food raves feature an assortment of global cuisines all filtered through Kurdistan’s semi-autonomous relationship with the U.S.

BTW, Kurdistan is an autonomous region in Northern Iraq.

I just learned that Friday nights in Northern Iraq are all about ABC’s Golden Corral knock off.

Who would ever imagine that Uncle Sam is mobbed weekly in Kurdistan…not a flash mob of anti-Americans, but gaggles of I Love America supporters.

Kurds, Arabs, Christians flock to the 1800-seat restaurant decorated with US license plates and showcasing a McDonald style kids playground.

The food offerings are immense, with over 600 dishes, including Turkish kofta, Iranian tahdig, and Italian American spaghetti.

Guests pile their plates with steak, one of the most popular offerings and Instagram their sushi, which ABC is largely credited with introducing to Kurdistan.

In light of the attack on Israel, the war raging in the Ukraine, the ethnic cleansing of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave in Azerbaijan and immigrants headed to the U.S. attempting to escape violent crime in Central America, wouldn’t it be fabulous to introduce an American themed restaurant in international safe zones that would unite people.

We are all basically the same. The desire to insure the safety and happiness of our families, craving good food, filling our bellies, being entertained and the longing to just be secure and happy.

Photo: Maarten Meurs

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