Four friends from work and I were hoping to go to Roya for lunch last week, but the place was closed and the windows were papered over...any word on what's going on there?
So we headed to Sunwishes, as there was a vegetarian among us and we all wanted to go somewhere out of the ordinary.
As you may recall, Thursday of last week was unbearably hot. Imagine our dismay when we walked in and realized that the air conditioner was on, but clearly broken. There was little difference in temperature between the sidewalk and the restaurant. We were already a quarter into our lunch hour though, so going elsewhere wasn't really an option.
There was no waitperson in sight on the lower level, where the tables are, so we pulled two tables together ourselves and waited for someone to appear. And waited. And waited. Until I went up the stairs to the area where the kitchen and register are, and asked the guy behind the counter if he knew we were there. It's not a big place, and we could hear things going on in the kitchen, so there was no way the guy didn't know we were in there. He said he knew, that he was coming, that I could go back and sit down. Without a hint of hurry in his voice.
Five minutes later he comes down with two lukewarm glasses of tapwater and three crumpled up paper menus (for five people as you may recall), and immediately asks if we know what we want to order. We haven't looked at the menus yet. We beg for a little more time and for more water, and with a shrug he tramps back up the steps to Nowhere Land.
Fifteen minutes later, he comes back down with a pad of paper and two more glasses of acrid, flat, warm water (we're up to four glasses for five people at this point, so that's good) and ask if we've decided. The prices are a big steep for the entree sandwiches and wraps (averaging $9), so we mostly picked from the starters menu and prayed we wouldn't go back to work hungry.
We chose: the spicy lentil injera wrap, arame and tofu salad, two people opted for spelt pizza with roasted vegetables, and a basic veggie burger.
Food took FOREVER, well over half an hour, and this is for lunch. For dinner, I wouldn't blink at a hour hour wait, though it's not preferable. For dinner, you don't always mind having a little longer to sit and talk. For lunch, that's ridiculous. I had to go back up those dreaded stairs and ask if we could get a ETA for our food, as at this point we had well exceeded our hour for lunch. The guy gave one of his famous shrugs and non-committally told me it would be right out, and even slipped a hint of empathy into his voice.
Ten minutes later, he trudges down the steps carrying two plates at a time, admits that he can't remember whose is whose, lets us hand plates to the right people ourselves, and slinks away.
The food was totally awesome. The portions are really generous, it's all beautiful, fresh, lovingly made, inventive, etc. My Ethiopian wrap came in a tangy, thick injera bread, and had spicy chunks of sweet potato amid intensely flavored lentil mash. It was amazing. Everyone else professed infatuation with their food as well.
Moral of the story: Go to Sunwishes for takeout, and you will be very happy. Just don't go there to eat in. You'll just be really ticked off, or very amused, depending on your temperament.