Chow Bella

Can We Blame Donald Trump, Too, for Our Culinary Culture Wars?

Can We Blame Donald Trump, Too, for Our Culinary Culture Wars?
Luster Kaboom

Wal-Mart v. Target.

Buttons v. elastic.

Pinot grigio v. Mountain Dew.

Culture wars.

We're hearing the term more and more to describe the political climate in this country; it's no longer Democrat v. Republican, liberals v. conservatives.

The gap is widening, not only along political ideologies, but culture itself.

As a country, we haven't all watched the same news for a while now, we don't drive the same cars, and half of us don't believe our bigger-than-a-parking-space SUV has any correlation to climate change because scientists and experts have an agenda (what that is, the rest of us still don't know).

Half of Republicans believe higher education is worthless, and consider the word "elite" dirty, even though they voted for a guy who literally has 24K gold wallpaper.

The state of our country has boiled down to this: PBS v. Duck Dynasty.

When Donald Trump tweeted that transgender people were now banned from serving in the military, the gap grew even wider, and if we're really talking culture, it's just a matter of time before restaurants tumble in and fall on top of news cable shows, bronze statues of Confederate heroes, and freedom fries.

Therefore, I've done a bit of legwork so when the time comes, as in any day now, we know where we belong and can retreat immediately to those areas. We don't want to eat with you any more than you want to eat with us; may a stray fiber from a pussy hat never again touch a MAGA baseball cap back-to-back in adjoining booths.

It's time for some boundaries. Here you go.


Fast Food (but not Arby’s)
Conservatives, waiting for your coal mining jobs to come back can make a man mighty hungry, so when it’s time to chow, feel free to head to any fast-food restaurant where you can get the most saturated fat for your money, with the exception of Arby’s (I leave that one out for purely selfish reasons, as it’s my favorite). Feel free to toss that paper football of trash right out the window onto the highway because you’re a goddamned American, that’s why. I won’t be there to see it.

Country Music
More good news! Any food and drink establishment that plays country music is also your territory, as is the presence of sawdust on the floor. Is Natural Light on tap? Then you’re in a Red zone, Trumpkin!

In the mood for something fancy? Any eatin’ establishment with a TV is now your territory, mainly because no restaurant televisions sets are tuned in to Masterpiece Theater or the News Hour.

Italian Food
All Italian joints are on your list, too, because, well, most of their owners came from New Jersey, and voted for Christie (and still think he’s doing a great job), but the most significant qualification was the Mooch. Sure, he only lasted in the Trump admin as long as it takes a mosquito bite to itch, but the penance needs to be paid. It’s going to take more than a couple Hail Marys to cancel that sin out.

Bargain Pizza
As far as pizza goes, if you have to cook it once you get home or get two large pies, a bag of bread and some pizza dough with chocolate syrup on it for dessert for under $12, place that call now.

Guns and Chains
You also get every establishment that gleefully permits guns, has pictures of their food on their menu for easy deciding for those who have trouble with letters, and any grub hole that has more than two locations. That means Sizzler! SIZZLER! You get SIZZLER! I know, buried the lede, but I saved the best for last.


Gay Waiters
Now for liberals: All right, so you have relinquished spaghetti and meatballs, but guess what you get in return? Gay waiters! That’s right, any restaurant that has the best wait staff is now your home, because if the conservatives put their hush puppies where their mouth is, both of the ends of the rainbow can be found in Blue Land.

All Ethnic Food (Except Italian)
That’s not all, folks! The in the liberal corner is all “ethnic” food except Italian. We even get German because of Angela Merkel! All Mexican is ours, and that includes every taco shop, ‘berto’s incarnation and mom and pop place. (Even the chains. I just rewrote that rule.) Let Trump build that Mexican wall, and watch as the liberals eat it away. Chinese. Japanese. Indian. Middle Eastern. Thai. Anyone that conservatives want to ban from this country is one more spice in the collection.

If a restaurant uses even one organic ingredient, the liberals get it, as well as anything that serves chow and is on wheels, so give us all the food trucks.

Gourmet Pizza
As far as pizza goes for this side: If there is fresh basil, homemade mozzarella, and dough that isn’t delivered in frozen little balls as tight and cold as Steve Bannon’s heart, it’s progressive. They prefer things to rise instead of thaw.

So, I’m sorry, liberals, this guide probably rules out most fried food and places that serve you a loaf of bread as a free appetizer. But we all have to make sacrifices for the cause, whichever cause it may be.

And this doesn’t mean you can’t patronize the other side, but know it comes with risks.

For every visit to Cracker Barrel, liberals should expect a heaping helping of “Prosecute Hillary” talk while people buy snacks in the waiting area in order to survive until they get a table. To satisfy every craving for a chimichanga, conservatives must realize that there is possibly an undocumented worker nearby, plotting to take their jobs.

Now go to your corners — and eat.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laurie Notaro