What to Know
NBC 4 reporter Michael George is on a quest to eat food from every single country in the world, right here in New York City
Michael has spent the last two years eating his way around New York, and he's ticked off 114 countries and counting
But he needs your help -- Michael is still looking for restaurants from Iceland, Saudi Arabia and multiple central African nations
Can you find food from every single country on Earth right here in New York City? One reporter is trying to find out.
NBC New York reporter Michael George covers some of the biggest news stories in the tri-state every night at 11 p.m. But in his off-time, he’s spent the last two years exploring New York for the best food from all over the world.
He’s documenting his quest, called “Mike George Eats The World”, on Facebook and Instagram. He’s already tried food from 114 countries so far, and he’s looking for more! Over the next few weeks we're going to show you all of the world restaurants Michael has eaten at during his mission, and maybe you can help us help him finish his quest. Here is Part 1, Afghanistan to Ecuador, and here is Part 2, Egypt to Lebanon.
In the meantime, this is how it all went down, according to Mike.
How did it start?
"I was covering a fire on Staten Island one night, and the only thing open was an Uzbek restaurant. The food was fantastic! I immediately started thinking what a waste it is that we usually stick to the food we know -- American, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, etcetera. This is New York- the city of immigrants! I came up with a plan to try food from every country in the world, and to share it with others.”
How did you find these places?
“I wanted it to be authentic, so I asked people from those countries -- friends, coworkers, even Uber drivers and complete strangers! Turns out everyone loves talking about food. When possible, I would go to a restaurant with a friend from that country so they could help me order, which was especially helpful when the staff didn’t speak English.”
What’s are some of your favorites?
“There’s so many! Bhutan, Belgium, and the Philippines all make my top 10. A Georgian dish called khachapuri- it’s basically a bread boat filled with cheese. South Africa’s bobotie is amazing. It’s curried ground beef with an egg custard topping. I also learned a lot about real Mexican and Chinese food -- not the kind we’re used to in America. Oh, and French fries are way better when eaten the Belgian way; with mayonnaise instead of ketchup."
What’s your least favorite?
“I’m the kind of guy who likes pretty much everything. But I will say the only challenging one for me was a Filipino street food called balut. It’s a boiled duck embryo, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Don’t Google it.”
“I’ve done 114 countries so far, and I’m always looking for more! I still need an authentic Icelandic restaurant, Saudi restaurant, and lots of central African countries! If you know a good spot, hit me up on my Instagram or on Facebook.”
Did you ever get sick?
“People always ask that! I never got sick, not once. Maybe eating so many different things all the time gives me a cast-iron stomach. The only downside is the 15 pounds I put on eating all this food over the last 2 years.”
How can I try some of the food you ate?