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Yemen cafe review

Nancy | Feb 11, 2006 12:14 AM

I was inspired to finally try this place because of glowing Chowhound reports, but since the total number of posts on this place is still pretty low, I thought I'd add a review.

Five of us, one vegetarian, went around 8:30 on Thursday night. Most tables were occupied but it wasn't packed, we easily got the large table by the window. Very mixed crowd, non-Arabs, couples, women. (We were four women and one man). Very comfortable from the start, as the friendly waiter immediately made us feel welcome.

For appetizers we ordered the eggs with tomatoes and onion, foul and fatah. The waiter suggested we might enjoy the honey-and-butter coated fatah better as a dessert, so we opted to get it after. For entrees we ordered special fatah with lamb, salta with chicken, roasted lamb and the one vegetarian dish on the menu. We really wanted to try the aseed (dumpling dish) but they had run out.

First came the heavenly lamb soup, which we deemed to be essentially lamb concentrate. So intensely lamby. The thoughtful waiter apologized to our vegetarian friend that he wouldn't get to try it! The salad that came soon after had a lovely dressing on it, similar to their hot sauce.

The eggs were homey and delicious, very similar to the way we would eat dinner eggs in my Chinese household, but with mounds of fresh-baked bread. This bread...it was perfectly done, crispy and soft. The foul was different than I expected, having only eaten Egyptian foul. Less smoky than I've had, but delicately spiced and so tasty. We were so eager to eat it we dove in despite the bubbles sizzling across its surface, burning our tongues and then going back for more.

Because the vegetarian couldn't share our food, we kept our paws off his. So I can't report on the vegetarian dish, but man, the meat was to die for. The overall favorite was the fatah mixed with lamb, which had such a wonderful flavor. The chicken that came with the salta was amazing as well, so much moister and more flavorful than chicken usually is. The roasted lamb was literally falling off the bone...we were easily cutting portions off with the sides of our forks. Mixing together the meats, salta (also delicious), hot sauce, bread, we ate as if we were afraid it would be taken away from us.

After gushing about the fantastic meal, the waiter offered us tea--ah, that sugary stuff brought back a flood of memories. Then came the much-anticipated fatah...which ended up being two servings! So much generosity. Sweet, soft, and an excellent match with the black sesame seeds, I could probably eat fatah every day.

We were stuffed and happy, and ended up paying $16 each including tax and tip. I can't wait to return.

Image: http://www.strangejade.com/salta.jpg

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