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Al-Wahda: Yemen food in Cobble Hill


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Al-Wahda: Yemen food in Cobble Hill

driggs | Feb 19, 2011 06:11 AM

Three different Yemenite places are clustered about Atlantic and Court, the most famous and user friendly being Yemen Cafe, which has rightfully gotten a good deal of positive talk on this site.

Yesterday I finally went into what I had though to be the least user friendly (no english signs, always crowded etc). I went with my friend who had lived in Yemen for a year and had been told it was the best of the three.

Since we, and many others, had just left Firdays Jumu'ah prayer, the place was packed. My friend ordered the traditional lunch of Saltah, a spicy stew of Okra, Potatoes, Lamb and Fenugreek. The dish comes in a personal cast iron pot foaming and steaming. The Fenugreek makes a bubbling white top that looks like cheese, but is anything but; its a tad bitter and needs to be mixed into the stew. A huge platter sized flat pita comes with the dish, for scooping up the food.

I also got the roast lamb leg, a spicy fall off the bone meal. I am officially now a sucker for roast lamb, so its hard for me to judge it. I just like all roast lamb.

My favorite part of the meal was the simple lamb based broth that is given as a starter; its just bullion with a few tiny bit of carrots and celery and a wedge of lemon. I could just eat/drink a tub of that.

The food was good and pretty much the same as Yemen Cafe. If you you are eating Yemen food for the first time Yemen Çafe is much easier to deal with and on the outside cleaner. I enjoyed Al-Wahda because of the atmosphere, by the end we were sharing the table with three guys and having a fun time (it helped that my friend spoke Arabic). The less friendly part is only cosmetic, everyone was more than happy to teach me.

Oh, and the tea. Drink it; Like at Yemen Cafe its a spiced sweet tea that you pour for yourself into tiny styrofoam cups; with condensed milk added (traditional) its damn good, especially in these wintery times.

Here is the waiter, Abudl-Qawi, who helped navigate us around the place.

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