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the perfect pick-me-up: Rainbow, in Old Town Gaithersburg

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Restaurants & Bars

the perfect pick-me-up: Rainbow, in Old Town Gaithersburg

turbogrrl | Apr 7, 2004 10:36 PM

I must buy something fabulous for my friend who suggested we go to Rainbow tonight.

It was so good I really didn't want to tell anyone, but that's not fair to the restaurant. Nor to you guys!

Cuisine: West African, specifically Ghanian. It's counter service. But the restaurant is sparkling and bright. No hole-in-the-wall feel here. Everyone is very friendly and happy, and they do a brisk trade, especially in take-out.

There's not a huge kitchen- food comes out when it's ready, which means that one member of your party could be finished with their entree before you've gotten yours. No matter. If you're bright, you'll steal bits of your friends food.

First out of the kitchen was a peanut butter soup, which had good kick. This was goat [boneless, in this case, but ask for bones if you want 'em] in a thin hot peanut & butter broth, with fufu on the side. Peanut isn’t really something I crave, but I still kept stealing bits of the soup when my friend wasn’t looking. The fufu on its own is uninspiring, but as a conveyance for stew it rocks. Slightly tacky and bland [and unfortunately similar in taste to reconsituted potato flakes, despite being made from plantain], a generous pinch rolls nicely against the fingers and dunks into the stew... yes, I licked my fingers afterwards.

Next out- The regular goat stew had a more immediate heat, and I liked the taste of it more than the peanut. [personal preferance; from what I observed of other patrons, the peanut is a perennial favourite.] I really really loved this. I didn’t think it would be possible to be happier, and then my own dish finally came out. The jollof rice was wonderful. I got it with fish in a spicy tomato stew... and I ate every damn bit. No sharing. [Strategic advantage: everyone else was so full they couldn’t bring themselves to try more, and I was content that way.] The fish had a more complex heat to it- the taste hit me before the burn, which was nice. Only caveat is that the fish is full of bristly bones- some of which crunched nicely and went down before I even noticed, but the others were just difficult to pick around. But I persevered. The skin was crispy and perfect, the fish was tender and juicy, and I was happy.

Good times. It had been way too long since I’d had a good spicy goat stew. Rainbow fixed us right up.

phone: 301-947-0099
fax: 301-947-1551
312 East Diamond Ave
Gaithersburg, MD

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