Native American Food

November 2, 2011: Native American Food

When people are craving a meal of “good old” American food, what do you think they want? Hot dogs? Burgers and fries? Apple pie? Well, a percolating trend says none of those. Instead, according to Time magazine, they might want “sage-rubbed bison ribs, blueberry barbecue sauce, fry bread and hominy salsa.” If that doesn’t sound all that American to you, you’re wrong. It’s about as American as you can get—it’s Native American cuisine, and Time says it could soon be spreading across the country.

Tocabe: an American Indian Eatery is getting ready to expand to a second location in Denver. Started by Osage Indian Ben Jacobs, and his college buddy Matthew Chandra, Tocabe (which means blue in the Osage language) was featured on the Food Network’s popular show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which raised their national profile and quadrupled their business. Time says a friend of Jacobs gave him a T-shirt that said “Diners, Drive-in, and Tribes” when the show first aired. And the magazine reports Jacobs and Chandra are fielding inquiries from all over the country from entrepreneurs interested in opening their own restaurants featuring Native American food.

The restaurant’s setup resembles that of Chipotle, another popular quick-service concept that has more than 1,100 locations. But at Tocabe the tacos (filled with either beef, chicken or two different kinds of bison) are served on fry bread.

We Americans are always looking for a new food trend to embrace—and it sure sounds like authentic American food may well be the next new thing.