Living in the rural area I do is torture when it comes to dining out. There's nothing but burgers, pizzas, and burritos as far as the eye can see. We have very few ethnic restaurants (and they're rarely authentic). This is probably because most of the locals here haven't been exposed to great ethnic cuisine, and couldn't care less about it. I, on the other hand, have traveled quite a lot and know exactly what I'm missing. There are times I go insane because I'm craving some kind of food that's not available to me unless I drive three-and-a-half hours to Seattle.
Take Indian food, for example.
I love good Indian cuisine, mostly because it's an excitingly exotic option with plenty of choices for we vegetarians. Eggplant bharta with peas served over rice with a side of naan (Indian flatbread) is one of my most favorite dishes ever, and yet it simply doesn't exist here.
We finally got a decent Thai restaurant last year (Mai Lee Thai in East Wenatchee), a passable Sushi Bar with veggie options (Wasabi Sushi Bar also in East Wenatchee), and have a surprisingly good Vietnamese place that's been around a while (Cuc Tran Cafe in Wenatchee). We also have a fantastic South American restaurant, which is one of my absolute favorites (South in Leavenworth).
And that's about it.
French? No. Tapas? No. Moroccan? No. Tex-Mex? No. Greek/Mediterranean? No. Tibetan? No. Cajun? No. Creole? No. Mongolian? Kind of. Italian? Yes, but I have yet to find any Italian food here that I actually enjoy (I once ordered Fettucini Alfredo and got a plate of watery noodles with bacon on top). As for a vegetarian restaurant? BWAH HA HA HAAA HA!!
So when I say that I ended up having a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and a tub of chocolate pudding for dinner at 9:00pm because nothing else sounded good... now you know why.
There's only so much pizza and burritos you can eat.
Cocoa Puffs and chocolate pudding, however, are forever.