American restaurants are not as popular these days since more and more Americans enjoy ethnic food. It is even hard to define what "American" food really is. America has always been the land of opportunity for immigrants; however, in the past immigrants were taught that assimilation was the only way to succeed. This meant that many immigrants took on American beliefs and practices. That included giving up their traditional ways of eating. Things are different today. American immigrants have adjusted traditional recipes so suit American pallets. Now a day's American food has grown to include pizza, orange chicken, sushi and tacos. Although these foods have been influenced by different countries, the versions we enjoy are definitely American, differing drastically from the dishes they were modeled after. Still, most Americans do not categorize these foods as "American," so what is American food then? Typically hot dogs and hamburgers are what come to mind when people think of American restaurants. In the South foods like Fried Chicken, biscuits and BBQ are considered original American dishes. Meatloaf and casseroles are also concerned American inventions. Usually when meat or vegetables are grilled they are also considered American food. A nice steak with mashed potatoes is another popular American dish. A myth is that American food lacks flavor and spice. It is true that the use of spices originated in other parts of the world, but many spices are used in American cooking as well. For example, most BBQ recipes are very complex. They begin with a dry rub which consists of a variety of spices, and then there is the sauce which incorporates a few more ingredients as well. BBQ staples like potato salad, macaroni salad and baked beans are also considered American dishes.