Archive for 'African'

Top Lunches of 2014

A pre New Year round up of my favorites bites is a fun excuse to look back on each year of dining. It is also incentive to get down and hold the plank position until the ball drops.  Here are my 2014 eating highlights:

During my first overseas trip of the  year, I ate my way through Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai!

Soon after, I started giving Chinatown Food Tours! (if you still owe someone a belated Holiday gift, its not a bad idea!)

I wrote a few fun articles for Zagat, including one on shopping at “ethnic” markets.

On an outing to Graffiti Pier in Port Richmond, I put together a Polish picnic that you can replicate.

For my birthday, we celebrated with beer and a Puerto Rican Pork feast.

I coordinated a food truck festival for 15,000 people in Mt. Airy.

On a solo vacation in Mexico City, I ate a ton of street meat.

I was really proud of my Federal Donuts costume this Halloween.

Way more, after the jump…

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Checking to See if I’ve Changed My Mind on Ethiopian Food at Kaffa Crossing

For years now, I have been telling everyone that my least favorite cuisine comes from Ethiopia. This is personal, and ya’ll can freely disagree but I don’t like the intense spicing, the lack of variety of flavors, and the slimy injera (a fermented, moist sort of flat bread). But, it has been a while since I gave it a chance and I wanted to be more open minded. I picked Kaffa Crossing in West Philly, highly rated on Yelp.

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West African Feast Platters at African Small Pot

Bored of food from the European and American continents? Travel west on Woodland Ave, really really west. It doesn’t take as long as you think. When you get to the 60s you will start to see a few African restaurants. You can do as we did, picking African Small Pot, a small restaurant specializing in West African food.

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Experience Ethiopian in Center City at Almaz Café

Today Luncher John is having Ethiopian for Lunch 

On 20th Street, between Walnut and Sansom, is the rather unassuming Almaz Café. Nothing from its exterior or even the inside would immediately indicate that Almaz was anything more than just a small coffee shop. And it’s certainly true that Almaz, open from 8 a.m. during weekdays, has a wide selection of coffee, espresso, and mocha drinks. But it’s not until you check out the menu that you realize that Almaz offers a whole lot more, from breakfast dishes, to sandwiches, to some solid Ethiopian food.

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Communication Problems and Chicken at Le Bercail

Le Bercail is a small French-African restaurant in West Philly. Expect a menu mostly divided by mode of preparation with a grilled section, a fried section, and a saucy section. Inside are a few booths and smaller tables.  At lunch time, it was mostly empty, just us and one other table. The lack of a crowd did not help the fact that our waiter did not really understand us very well. He was not able to help describe some of the menu when we had questions, and he misunderstood my friends order; instead of bringing out 2 of the same order, he brought out one leaving us with 2 plates for 3 people. We were so frustrated we just shared.

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Trying Senegalese Food For the First Time at Kilimandjaro

Out in West Philly, next to an erotic dvd purveyor is Kilimandjaro, a restaurant specializing in Senegalese food. Africa is probably the continent whose food I am least familiar with, and despite my many attempts, Ethiopian food has never rubbed me the right way, but I was hopeful that the French influence found in Senegalese cooking  might appeal to me.

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