It has been a great year for the members of the Food Heavens Around the World because we had the opportunity to test a lot of different cuisines, some familiar and some not.
Our last event of the school year was a real test- African. At first we wanted to go to Axum Ethiopian but we had troubles making the reservation. Perhaps it was a good thing because it led us to Café D’Afrique. It was definitely a test for the crew; most of us have never tried African cuisine and it was a whole new experience. One thing we learned was their definition of spicy and our definition of spicy was totally different. The server was really nice and the place seemed to be run by one family. When we first arrived it was empty, but as we left it was much busier.
We ordered a total of ten entrees, served with their version of sour dough bread. At first we thought each dish would be served individually. However, to our surprise the food came in three separate platters to accommodate the nine of us. We really had no idea what was what except that they all tasted delicious. The meats were heavily seasoned with spices and most of the dishes were spicy hot.
The décor of the restaurant was rather unique, there were African drawings on the walls and the top of the bar was decorated with a straw roof. Librarians would have totally hated the place though since tables were decorated with old paperback books folded back on every page serving as the center piece. Traditional music was played in the restaurant giving the restaurant an authentic African feel. Service was attentive for the most part but it did take a while for the food to come.
However, there is room for improvement. The food came out a bit slow and the menus weren’t very specific on how spicy the food really are. Once the food was served, the server was hanging around refilling glasses and made sure everything was alright in a timely fashion. The fact the restaurant was ran by what seemed like one family reminds me of high school, when my family owned a restaurant. Sadly, at that time I was very immature and we didn’t have enough help around the restaurant for it to survive. Hopefully more business arrives at Café D’Afrique because it really is a hidden gem.
As always there were a lot of stories shared at the dinner table and everyone had a great time. The only shame was that as we were ready to head out, a band started setting up for a performance at the restaurant, so it was too bad that we missed it.
After leaving the restaurant we went out for some crepes at Bon crepes. It is definitely the best place for crepes downtown and you can also shop inside the Japanese grocery store for some items like matcha pocky that you can’t find anywhere else! Walking around got a bit dull so we headed for a bit of bowling and that is where had the most fun of the night, or at least I did. Normally winning in bowling is about getting the highest score, but tonight, I think I won; I manage to distract people by making people miss bowls by yelling absurd comments. It was funny how some clearly had their performance hindered, while others enhanced. In the end we all laughed and joked around. Michael went from 30 points in the first game, getting zeros for the first three rounds, to 107 points by the end the last game came! He will be teased everytime we go for bowling for that 30 point performance though.
This outing was the most fun (and most expensive) event we had all school year. As great as all the food we had this year, I think for every event it was not necessarily the food that made the events worthwhile, it was the people. The stories I hear and the activities we did after the food were the most memorable things of the year. It is funny how a common love for food turned strangers into friends.
As always special thanks to Vincent and Rosalind for the photos.