AFRICAN PARADISE & CALANLEY--columbus somali chow?
any columbus chowhounds out there who've tried these new somali restaurants yet? i'm dying for some feedback as there are plenty of african but no somali restaurants around new york city. will it have to wait until the next time i come thru columbus???
African Paradise Restaurant
2263 Morse Road, Columbus, OH
Halal Authenticity: Unverified
Cleveland & Oakland Park Avenues, Columbus, OH
No phone available
Halal Authenticity: Owners are known Muslims
Well, this is kind of an old thread, but I just got back from lunch at Calanley, which is still around and doing brisk business. It was recommended to me by a Somali woman whom I tutor in English.
I had the goat with rice and a tea. I was told to get a sambusa, but they were not on the menu today. The goat was good, but not great -- not as good as Darbo's anyway. The rice was different and just as good. More vegetables in it: peas, corn, carrots, and raisins. And the tea was sweet, spicy, and very tasty. One nice thing was they offer hot sauce, and it is the fire. No pussyfooting around there.
Like Darbo, the people were very friendly, although I think if you're looking to try Somali for the first time you might want to try Darbo first. It's a little more spruced up, and the menu is a little easier to navigate (and their goat was better). Calanley, on the other hand, was a lot more lively, and they have a gigantic projection screen playing al-Jazeera, in case Fox News isn't fair and balanced enough for you. And again, dirt cheap. $7.50 for a tea, lunch (which came with a modest salad), and a banana. Their menu is different from Darbo's, however, so you can try different stuff at each place.
One side note I'd like to add. Next time you hear someone remark about that area being dangerous or "the ghetto," tell that person to go ahead and keep hanging out with all the other racists. Cleveland Ave. between Orchard Park and 270 is no more "ghetto" than most of Hilliard.
I worked there for 3 weeks on my stay in the US. Its co-run by a cousin of mine. All the owners are muslim and they are somali. They serve all kinds of dishes from somali to african dishes and many other various sorts of dishes. The food is ridicilously cheap too, for $5-7.50 you can get some rice and beef or spaghetie and chicken steak or even fish. The place also seems to be a hot spot to meet people. I made several friends including non-somali's.