5 Ways Orange County Food is Better than Seattle Food, From Someone Who's Lived in Both Places

Categories: Five Great...

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Photo by Charles Lam
This photo just makes me so happy

After graduating from college, I did what all good young journalists do and moved far away from home to find work. But I got lucky--while my friends moved to Middle-Of-Nowhere, New Mexico (with a job lined up) or to New York City (without a job), I got the best of both worlds. I moved to Seattle with an editorship all lined up.

But while I had a productive time in the Great North Left, there was something wrong, something that made me deeply miss Orange County. Seattle's food, it kind of sucks, and these are the five things about Orange County food I'm thankful to have again.

5. Real, Actual Spice

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My savior

Seattleites will tell you that they have spicy food, that, even though seasoning isn't at the core of their cuisine, they can hang with anyone from Thailand, Southern California or Mexico.

Boy, are they wrong. The sort of thing that passes as spice up in Seattle (which attracts a lot of its transplants from the bland-as-bread Midwest) wouldn't have a five-year-old down here breaking their sweat. By the time I saw someone struggling to get their way through a bag of Hot Cheetos, I knew I was in trouble.

When I'd asked for "more spicy," I'd get some red food coloring. I once emptied an entire bag of red pepper flakes from Seattle Thai-standby Little Uncle (a Bourdain-approved eatery) on to my pad thai only to notice a slight warmth. I swear, even the Huy Fong Sriracha tasted less spicy up there.

If it weren't for the bottles of Gringo Bandito that I smuggled from Weekly World Headquarters, I might not have survived.

4. Actual "Ethnic" Food

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Got an hour to drive?

Seattle is one of the whitest metropolitan cities in the United States, though the region does have a steadily growing ethnic population. Unfortunately, the city's ethnic restaurants are either located away from the city core, where immigrant populations can afford to live, or targeted towards the bland Seattle palate (and tech-centric Seattle wallets).

I was lucky enough to work in Chinatown-International District, but if I wanted soondubu? All the good Korean food is half an hour away in Federal Way. Feel like a taco but didn't feel like paying $10 for three "street" tacos? Off to South Seattle to buy tacos from a bus. There was literally a day two weeks after I had moved back that I had eaten more tacos than spent days back in Orange County.

And, don't even get me started on Vietnamese food. The poor Seattleites think Vietnamese food is amazing, but they also put plain cucumber in their bánh mì.

3. Not Having To Hear People Call Soda "Pop"

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Do you see the word "pop" anywhere?

It's soda, guys. I don't get why you're trying to make "pop" happen, you don't even call them "pop" fountains for goodness sake.

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30 comments
James Stutsman
James Stutsman

Went to 'Taco Boy' last night and was reminded why I dream about REAL tacos (^^^)

rsmken
rsmken

Unfortunately. and mostly,  it's only "pockets" of OC that has interesting ethnic foods, many areas, particularly South OC does not. And truth be told, if you live in south OC like I do, to venture into some of those areas is a long drive and through areas I don't want to drive through.

Haven't been to Seattle in 20 years, so I can't comment on their food, but I will say the best Mexican food I've had has been out of OC for sure. Torchy's Taco's in Austin, TX - simply the best - and created by a gringo no less!

Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, and still going up there to see family often, I can tell you the OC is pretty much a waste-land of mediocre food.!   

Ana Arteria
Ana Arteria

You went to school to write about how much the food sucks in Seattle? I thought I was going to read a article about the authenticity of the region's food. Instead you just wasted my time bad mouthing Seattle and whining. I can't believe this passes as journalism.

Marc Morin-Lebel
Marc Morin-Lebel

I agree OC food is waaaaayyyyy better than Seattle food, BUT that's not news.

johnny_automatic
johnny_automatic

well you lost me at Taco Bell, but other than that i liked it.


Henry Marroquin
Henry Marroquin

Seattle has fantastic food choices but in no way does it compare to what we have in Orange County. We In Southern California have authentic spices and flavors that simply can't be duplicated since they are rich in authenticity while Seatlle labels their non traditional food offerings with a "fusion" label that just doesn't live up to the original flavors. I will say this the seafood is head and shoulders above OC, this is heavily due to its proximity to imported food and well renowned fish market.

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

On the other hand for Filipino food and seafood, I'll take Seattle.

Kristy Jordan
Kristy Jordan

It's the OC weekly - not CNN, this is what they do

Louis Mata
Louis Mata

Wow, these lists are so damned lame and desperate. Unfriending in 5, 4, 3, 2.....

Dorian Jones
Dorian Jones

OC is not a city. It's a suburban extension L.A... which is 50 times more interesting than other large US cities. So naturally, it's suburban ring is going to be better than other suburban rings. So I guess perhaps OC may beat Seattle when it comes to a few things, but really... Los Angeles should get the credit.

Joni Devlin Zarka
Joni Devlin Zarka

Totally disagree, where is the good seafood in Orange County?

Lou Wu
Lou Wu

Why is this relevant? We all know seattle is a wasteland :OOOOOO

Greg Chavez
Greg Chavez

I'm born and raised in OC and have spent lots of time in Seattle. Seattle beats Orange County for food and pretty much everything else. I hope one day to leave this place and live there.

Tammy Nguyen
Tammy Nguyen

EA Prieto heck yea, oc food is better than seattle food.. like i said.. ethnic food in seattle sucks!

Derek Hardy
Derek Hardy

He has never had my taco's! But then again, I learned by seeing how they were made in Rosarito Beach.

Larry Luna
Larry Luna

oc constantly compare itself to other cities.. Get over yourselves

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