Friday, October 7, 2011

All about food

If you are in Minneapolis and you are not dining from the Somali restaurants you are missing out big time! so far I have eaten the food from the three different Somali restaurants and I am not disappointed by the food both the quality and the quantity. Let me start by saying that I am a big foodie; I love everything about food: cooking, learning about new and interesting foods and definitely eating food. I even dream about new recipes while sleeping, down to the measurements. So of course I have done my research ahead of time (before I arrived) about places to eat and foods to try.  I come to town seriously excited about chowing down on some of the best Somali cuisine Minneapolis has to offer and let me tell ya this city delivered.

First place I tried was Qoraxlow restaurant and this place must be a new fad in the city because I have seen more Qoraxlow restaurants than I have seen McD's and Wendy's and my cousin Ifrah tells me that they all popped up all over the place recently. she says the owner is woman with a true rags to riches achieving the American dream tale. The food is good but insha'Allah I plan to explore it some more because I was not really wowed as I was with other restaurants. It was decent Somali food but there is craze over this place and I plan to get to the bottom of it. So many people most be obsessed with  these restaurants because the company seem to be expanding rapidly.

The second place I went I have been planning to go since 2008. Crazy I know! I was looking for recipes for Somali dishes on YouTube and I came across Somali chef who has name I can't recall and he was on morning news show and he was demonstrating how to make this dish he called Chicken Fanstatik, so I wrote the recipe and lost it later on, but I remembered the place he cooked at was called Safari Restaurant and it was in Minneapolis,  that's all knew and I have been waiting to come here and eat this dish since that year. Yesterday, FINALLY! I had tasted it and my goodness it was worth the wait. It was incredible, this dish is unlike anything I have ever tried... it is more Italian than Somali  but it still  has Somali'ish vibe. It was an absolutely delicious meal and I swear I imagined many times how it would taste but is was totally different than anything my imagination came up with. let me describe to you a little the ingredients; it is shredded zucchini, onions, carrots and chicken with a creamy, herb-y sauce over a bed of the some really yummy Somali rice.  I am not the only person who raving about this amazing invention I was reading the all the awards this place has received over the years. Even the mayor of the city comes around and dines there, and the restaurant is also involved in the community which is a bonus for me. And by the way the service was really really great; not to mention I met a white guy named Jeff who speaks Somali really well and we have had few minutes discussion in afSomali and we agreed how difficult it is learn this language... I was surprised how well he spoke it given the hardship of learning this language. Better than some of my friends! I wanted badly to  get a picture with him but I was too shy to ask.

Fantastik chicken Fantastik 

Did I mention that there is camel burger for adventurous folks to try?

My third stop was at Kaaha restaurant inside the 24 mall, (another Somali mall in this city) and I went there by myself and I was seated in women's area. Yes people, some Somali restaurants do have separation of men and women and in my experience I have also noticed in a few restaurants that have a "miscellaneous area" where men and women sit together; mostly family groups or Americans sit in this area. I am not sure if Kaaha has the same arrangement. I have asked for  a menu and the waiter laughed and later on told me that I  was the first person to ask him for a menu. why? because Somali food is always straight up the same at every restaurant you go, it is traditional, no surprises, the same great meals that we grew up with at home are available at this joints. Of course I would not know that because we have a shortage in Somali restaurants where I am from. like zero Somali restaurants! The service was great and it had a very comfortable  Somali family vibe and I loved it. Two thumbs up from me.
                                                   Chicken kutuleti (cutlets) with rice

                                     so much food and so delicious I took some home with me.

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