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So You'll Never Guess What We Did Tonight....


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so I go over to Yaou's place (pronounced Ya-oo) and he says he wants to go to a restraunt. I say, "but I thought we were going to eat African food?"

 

He says "this is an African restraunt"

 

I said... :huh: ????

 

He's been here about 9 months now, and he's found that there are a lot of African nationals living over in Harrisburg  (in what I know as a notorious crack neighborhood called "Allison Hill") and the restraunt is there.

 

Ok, I says and off we go

 

We get to the infamous intersection of 13th and Derry. I'm in the hood wearing a nice golf shirt with $100 USD in my pocket, and we go winding through the neighborhood to the restraunt. We go in and its pretty empty. The owner is eating his dinner at one of the tables and Yaou greets him in his native language. His wife comes out and Yaou says we should just sit down at one of the tables

 

Now there's been no menus and no talk of what anybody wants to eat. That would be the first thing that an American would expect. His wife says something to me. It dawns on me that she just asked me if I like fish in French. I say C'est mi preferre' which is spelled wrong but means Its my favorite

 

We sit down and she brings us out two big plates.  One holds a pile of spicy fried rice with some carrots and the other is an entire fried fish. Head, skin, fins, the lot on a plate sunny side up

 

She puts two spoons on the table for us to eat the rice.

 

The rice is tremendous! Its an African spice that is just got this deep, rich pepper flavor and it grows so that as you eat it the heat kicks in. I'm sweating, but this is some of the best fried rice I ever had, and I was in Pacific Fleet!

 

So now the fish...I ask Yaou how show we eat it. I know that the French don't eat anything with their hands, so before I tear into the fish, I want to make sure. He says "in Africa, we just tear off pieces with our hands, but I can get us some forks if you like"

 

By the time he finished speaking I was munching on a piece of fried fish

 

The lady asked us if we wanted something to drink, but she asked us in her language and Yaou had to ask me in mine.

 

He had a bottle of water and I had a Pepsi in a can

 

When she brings us the drinks she also brings us a small plate with a quartered lime on it.

 

"Limons" she says as she puts the plate down beside me

 

When you squeeze the lime over the rice, the lime juice reacts with the spices in the rice and it becomes this whole other world of terrific fried rice

 

So we ate the rice and the fish and not only was it pretty good, but the way we ate the meal was like how Yaou would have dinner with an African friend.

 

He told me that he had been there the night before to tell them I was coming. He said he told her I wasn't a typical American and that we wanted to eat an African style dinner so not to serve us like Americans

 

There was no way I could finish all the food she brought us. By the time we were done, she was speaking with me in French.  It was nice to see her relax when she could tell I understood her. I told her as best I could that it was very good food, but I couldn't eat all she brought us. She brought us out a doggie bag with the rest of the rice when we left.

 

Thing about it is that food was not just good tasting, but I can feel it in my blood that that was some real food.

 

Our evening got even more intense as we mounted an expedition to the Asian Market to get Yaou some calling cards for Niger

 

Oh, and he's going to NYC tonight. He's taking a Chinese bus. apparently, the Chinese run a bus to the City tonight and $30 gets you a seat

 

so that was my "diversity dinner"

 

I trip to the hood, a plate of rice and a fried fish topped off with a trip to buy calling cards from the Vietnamese black market :D

 

 

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so I go over to Yaou's place (pronounced Ya-oo) and he says he wants to go to a restraunt. I say, "but I thought we were going to eat African food?"

 

He says "this is an African restraunt"

 

I said... :huh: ????

 

He's been here about 9 months now, and he's found that there are a lot of African nationals living over in Harrisburg  (in what I know as a notorious crack neighborhood called "Allison Hill") and the restraunt is there.

 

Ok, I says and off we go

 

We get to the infamous intersection of 13th and Derry. I'm in the hood wearing a nice golf shirt with $100 USD in my pocket, and we go winding through the neighborhood to the restraunt. We go in and its pretty empty. The owner is eating his dinner at one of the tables and Yaou greets him in his native language. His wife comes out and Yaou says we should just sit down at one of the tables

 

Now there's been no menus and no talk of what anybody wants to eat. That would be the first thing that an American would expect. His wife says something to me. It dawns on me that she just asked me if I like fish in French. I say C'est mi preferre' which is spelled wrong but means Its my favorite

 

We sit down and she brings us out two big plates.  One holds a pile of spicy fried rice with some carrots and the other is an entire fried fish. Head, skin, fins, the lot on a plate sunny side up

 

She puts two spoons on the table for us to eat the rice.

 

The rice is tremendous! Its an African spice that is just got this deep, rich pepper flavor and it grows so that as you eat it the heat kicks in. I'm sweating, but this is some of the best fried rice I ever had, and I was in Pacific Fleet!

 

So now the fish...I ask Yaou how show we eat it. I know that the French don't eat anything with their hands, so before I tear into the fish, I want to make sure. He says "in Africa, we just tear off pieces with our hands, but I can get us some forks if you like"

 

By the time he finished speaking I was munching on a piece of fried fish

 

The lady asked us if we wanted something to drink, but she asked us in her language and Yaou had to ask me in mine.

 

He had a bottle of water and I had a Pepsi in a can

 

When she brings us the drinks she also brings us a small plate with a quartered lime on it.

 

"Limons" she says as she puts the plate down beside me

 

When you squeeze the lime over the rice, the lime juice reacts with the spices in the rice and it becomes this whole other world of terrific fried rice

 

So we ate the rice and the fish and not only was it pretty good, but the way we ate the meal was like how Yaou would have dinner with an African friend.

 

He told me that he had been there the night before to tell them I was coming. He said he told her I wasn't a typical American and that we wanted to eat an African style dinner so not to serve us like Americans

 

There was no way I could finish all the food she brought us. By the time we were done, she was speaking with me in French.  It was nice to see her relax when she could tell I understood her. I told her as best I could that it was very good food, but I couldn't eat all she brought us. She brought us out a doggie bag with the rest of the rice when we left.

 

Thing about it is that food was not just good tasting, but I can feel it in my blood that that was some real food.

 

Our evening got even more intense as we mounted an expedition to the Asian Market to get Yaou some calling cards for Niger

 

Oh, and he's going to NYC tonight. He's taking a Chinese bus. apparently, the Chinese run a bus to the City tonight and $30 gets you a seat

 

so that was my "diversity dinner"

 

I trip to the hood, a plate of rice and a fried fish topped off with a trip to buy calling cards from the Vietnamese black market :D

 

Sounds like a truly interesting evening.

 

I imagine that some of the spice was cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, but I could be wrong.

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yea, I know what all those taste like and its not that

 

I asked Yaou if there were any foods he ate in Africa that he couldn't get over here and he said that you can't get the spices. Most people, he said, bring them from Africa

 

The people that own the restraunt definitely did that he told me. Each region has its own spices.

 

He said the rice dish is very common all over Africa, but every region uses different spices and puts different things in it.

 

 this style was like the way they make it in his country of Niger.

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also, the rice had 3 big carrots with it. I didn't realize, but the carrots are the prize bits. I ate one and he ate one, but he left the third for me. When I deferred, he gladly ate the last carrot

 

I had seen boiled carrots in his lunch many times and he said it is a favorite in Niger. They eat a lot of carrots

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also, the rice had 3 big carrots with it. I didn't realize, but the carrots are the prize bits. I ate one and he ate one, but he left the third for me. When I deferred, he gladly ate the last carrot

 

I had seen boiled carrots in his lunch many times and he said it is a favorite in Niger. They eat a lot of carrots

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