I saw an interesting Japanese term for Western (European/American) food. Not 西洋料理, (Western cuisine); or 洋食 (Western-style cuisine developed in Japan). No, it was 横飯. “Sideways rice,” or “sideways meal.”
At first impression, that's quite some shade.
In English, things can go sideways, a guy can come at you sideways, and more; it's rarely the proper, desirable act or outcome. So “sideways meal” doesn't seem like a compliment.
How did the term come about?
Surprisingly, 語源由来辞典, an online etymology dictionary, has no entry for 横飯. Some Japanese speakers are stumped, too; see this Yahoo 知恵袋 entry. Gathering some of the responses I found:
聞いたことないですね。(I haven't heard the term.)
Maybe this is Chinese?
海外に関係あると思うんですけど。(I think it's related to overseas (other countries).)
It's related to 横文字 (sideways-style, Western writing)
横飯というのは外務省用語で、外国語でしゃべりながら食事をすること (A term from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meaning to talk in a foreign language while having a meal).
Meaning a meal eaten sideways, it is used to describe the peculiar stress of speaking a foreign language.
Reflects vertical vs. horizontal arrangement of food, or manner of interaction, or writing in general
The relation to traditional menu styles looks promising, contrasting Japanese-style vertical menus to western-style horizontal writing. 横飯 even has a 反対語 (antonym): 縦飯, “vertical meal.”