Noted while passing through the easternmost reaches of Manhattan's Chinatown: a skewers joint with a curious approach to typography. From a distance, the large characters 鐵板燒烤 (tiě bǎn shāokǎo, roughly "iron plate barbecue") reinforce the message of the twin-skewers artwork. Up close, the menu is printed in English, and rendered in one of those Orientalist typefaces meant to suggest, to Western eyes, that "this is Chinese" — but items including souvlaki, bifteki, and tzatziki, and maps that decorate the dining area, make clear that the food hails from the Peloponnese. Rather than assert identity, the typeface seems to gesture toward a sense of neighborhood belonging instead.
121 Division St. (Orchard-Pike Sts.), Manhattan