Make mine con las cebollas, por favor

nur Englisch, bitte

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A sign in a landmark Philadelphia restaurant asking customers to order in English is sparking controversy in the metropolis known as the "City of Brotherly Love."

The owner of Geno's Steaks said on Thursday that the sign, "This is America -- when ordering speak English," is intended to encourage immigrants to learn the language and assimilate into U.S. society, but one Latino activist said it's racist.

Vento denied that anyone would be refused service if they ordered one of the sliced beef-and-cheese sandwiches, a famed bit of cuisine in the Quaker-founded "City of Brotherly Love," in a language other than English.

The sign is, of course, posted only in English.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I suspect the wait-staff at the oh-so-cosmopolitan Geno's Steak Pit aren't hired for their multi-lingual capabilities. So the sign might be considered more a friendly tip.

Sign or no sign, I'm guessing that if you were to order a "viande et fromage aux oignons" sandwich, you'd get back the same dumb look I get when asking my local British grocery boy which aisle they keep the grits on.