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Yummy Food from Far Away Lands

June 16, 2008

Here at FCNL we think a fair bit about multiculturalism. I, personally, am a big fan of it. On this sleepy Monday morning I present you with two reviews (well, to be honest, raves) of restaurants that would not be around without Northwest DC’s large East African population.

El Khartoum, 1782 Florida Ave NW, Washington DC

I’ve never been to the Sudan, so I don’t know how authentic the food served here is, but I do know that it is delicious. The restaurant seems to be popular with the Sudanese crowd, since I am always the only person in there speaking English, and luckily my boyfriend took a summer course on Sudanese Arabic (when are you going to use that, love?), and so can confirm that the proprietor and patrons are at least familiar with the El Khartoum region. Besides a language lesson, you can order grilled lamb, falafel, or hibiscus juice. And shwarmas, which I’ve never tasted, and I’m not familiar with, but which sound like something I need to try. In any case, the food is succulent, cheap, and served in large portions.

Café Collage, 1346 T St., NW, Washington DC

I like coffee, I like art, I like couches, and I like the 14th Street corridor in DC. It feels like a place people actually live, which is refreshing compared to the sometimes-tourist (or at least non-District-of-Columbia-er)-saturated 18th Street corridor near my house. Luckily I recently discovered that I can indulge in all of those pleasures at one coffeehouse just off 14th Street on T St NW. It is run by two (I think) Ethiopian gentlemen, and they serve Ethiopian coffee and (even better!) Ghanaian hot chocolate (among other menu items). The coffee shop can be found in an old row house, and both the first floor and the English basement are filled with comfy couches to sit on and art to look at. On a recent Saturday evening I passed an enjoyable two hours there reading the summer fiction issue of the New Yorker (The story by Haruki Murakami about becoming a runner? Perfect piece at the perfect time). I can’t wait for the weather to get colder so I can really enjoy the hot chocolate and coffee with all my heart (though I did try my hardest in 100 degree heat).

What are you going to eat for dinner tonight? Where are you going to study for those GREs? Looks like I’ve solved both problems for you. Bing, Bang, Boom.

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