When you go out for Chinese Food here in the U.S. of A. you get a meal of mixed cuisines and cooking styles that is a familiar subset of Americanized dishes. Your favorites are usually available anywhere here that has a Chinese Restaurant. Not every place is the same, one of my favorite places is this little hole int the wall place down a flight of steps in a basement in Boston's china-town, it has a lot of Chinese food slop standards and handwritten menu in Chinese hanging next to the counter, the dishes on this menu are a little different and yummy but still pretty familiar to the American fan of Chinese food, that place gets an odd mix of foodies, working men and Asian immigrants.
My absolute favorite dinning experience at a Chinese restaurant was at an unremarkable plaza on Long Island (in New York), it was the weekend of my Grand Parents wedding anniversary and the extended family was packing a couple tables we reserved at the place. It was a pretty typical and boring restaurant on first glance nothing remarkable on the menu. The owner of the place discovered why we were all there and offered us some choice selections form the standard menu but he would be thrilled to offer some kitchen favorites and party foods his family and staff enjoyed. Over the next couple hours a variety of food came out I'd never had in a Chinese restaurant came out heavier on seafood than usually seen and simple but flavorful dishes like a scallop and spinach soup. It was a dizzying array of familiar ingredients in different dishes and entirely new foods.
So, what's my point talking about this here? Well D&D and related RPGs have become a Chinese food of hobbies. Offering the same fair with minor variation again and again a little same-same a lot of the time but with some stand-by favorites. There exists the ability to pull some delights and wonders out of that kitchen and we should be striving for that amazing banquet now and again not the same old comfortable meal,