Monday, June 05, 2006

Say Cheese. But it Better be in English.

Apparently Italian-Americans are capable of racism and stereotypical thinking too. Who knew?

According to an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly's favorite son, Joseph Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philly, would like you to order your cheesesteaks in English. Don't you dare try it in any other language because he'll ignore you.

According to the newspaper:

It seems that Joseph Vento, Geno's owner, feels strongly that everyone in this country ought to speak English - even if they're tourists from faraway climes looking for that fabled Philly cheesesteak fix.

Vento insists his customers order in English. No pointing at the menu items. Speak English, a sign at Vento's popular, curbside counter reads.

The paper points out that Vento's Italian-born grandparents, who were immigrants to this country, spoke little English.

How times have changed.

Vento went so far as to put up a sign at Geno's stating his new English-only policy. Apparently the fact that South Philly, once the home of Philly's Little Italy, is quickly becoming Little Mexico, does not sit well with some of the old-timers.

I wonder how Vento would react is someone came up to him and ordered a cheesesteak in Italian?


Anonymous said...

He would react the same way because he does not speak Italian. Vento does not "ignore" those ordering in foreign languages, he tries to serve them. However, if he doesn't speak their language, what do you expect him to do? Should he be forced to have a staff of interpreters to handle any language that people might speak?

Anonymous said...

I think Joey Vento is a big-mouthed, uneducated idiot....