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Cooking Greek, Becoming American

Forty Years at Seattle’s Continental Restaurant

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About the Book

When Taso G. Lagos began to memorialize his family’s beloved Greek restaurant The Continental, he wrestled with 40 years of history and a clientele that stretched for generations. His family bought into the operation without a clue how to run an eatery, yet in time they became linchpins of their Seattle neighborhood. Customers became friends, and meals turned into memories. It wasn’t only the food or the company, though. The Continental also served as an entry point into mainstream culture for a family who had just arrived in the United States as Greek immigrants a few years prior. While the Lagoses cooked and cared for many people, they also learned valuable lessons about what it means to be “American.” This memoir illuminates life in a Greek restaurant through the experiences of one member of a restauranteur family. It also emphasizes the role of restaurants as vital social institutions that often provide immigrants with a dynamic space for acculturation. Readers will learn the many ways a family restaurant adds culture and richness to a community.

About the Author(s)

Taso G. Lagos teaches at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies in Seattle and conducts research on diaspora studies, nation branding and sports as religion.

Bibliographic Details

Taso G. Lagos
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 186
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8652-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4552-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 7
One. You Can Eat Here 17
Two. Rise of the Greek Restaurateur 31
Three. Through Bad Times and Good 45
Four. Restaurants at the Center of My World 58
Five. Restaurants as Community Centers 73
Six. Must It Always Involve Stereotypes? 85
Seven. Restaurants as Cultural Assimilators 97
Eight. America’s Promise to All 109
Nine. A Place at the Table 119
Ten. The Check, Please 130
Conclusion 138
Appendix: Special Continental Dishes 145
Chapter Notes 169
Index 171