A restaurant in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia is facing backlash over a menu item that may be considered racially insensitive towards Asian Americans.
Lennie’s Hoagies has been facing complaints after naming its homemade macaroni and cheese dish “COVID Mac,” reports CBS3.
The dish supposedly received its name because of the Chinese chili garlic sauce it’s topped with.
While Lennie’s Hoagies has reportedly removed the item from its menu following the outrage, the restaurant has yet to address the issue publicly.
Found out this morning that a hoagie place in Philly called Lennie’s Hoagies has a dish called “COVID Mac” so named because it has Chinese ingredients. Do better. https://t.co/fhptSQ0Hse pic.twitter.com/8Q7aEGydQ5
— Jessica Yang (@byjessicayang) February 18, 2021
This is disgusting and I’m embarrassed that this is from a restaurant in Philly. https://t.co/tnB0ucpR1G
— Charlie McGeehan (@CMcGeeIII) February 19, 2021
Jerry Won, CEO of Just Like Media, reportedly called the restaurant to complain about the menu item.
“I said I don’t really have a problem that you’re using [Chinese chili] but the fact that you’re calling it COVID Mac, I think it perpetuates a lot of the unfortunate racism that’s been going on,” Won said, according to CBS 3.
Won’s complaint, however, was not well received by the person who answered his call: “She said, ‘We’ve dropped the name so what’s the big deal?’ I said the big deal is that it’s already been done and the news is out there, so would you guys like to apologize for what you’ve done because it’s hurting our community right now and our community is hurt, and she refused.”
Earlier this month, a bar in Oregon drew similar backlash after advertising its “China virus” hours on its marquee signage, as previously reported by NextShark.
The Asian American community has seen numerous COVID-related cases of prejudice and bigotry in recent months, ranging from public insults to violent attacks that have resulted in injury and death.
Feature Image via Google Maps