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nigerian food

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any recommendations for nigerian food (or failing that, ghanian food) in the d.c. area?

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  1. good luck, and if you find it, let me know, and send me a prospectus. Some years ago some enterprising Ghanains opened a restaurant in G-Town, and it had a shelf life of a week. All of "sophisticated" Warshingtonians prefers to go the Palm, right? For now, we have only Ethiopian (the new Zed's doing it jes fine).

    7 Replies
    1. re: John

      Six months ago, I had some good West African food, and I think it was Nigerian.

      it'll take some detective work. I was trying to get out of Arlington and back to NYC. As usual, I took a highway that looked good on the map, twists thru a tunnel, then lands you on a long long street filled with a plague of traffic lights. Many miles later, you regain a highway (that looked a LOT more continuous on that map).

      About halfway down that slow, slow street was a cheesy looking motor lodge (on the right), and the coffee shop of the motor lodge had been completely Africanized by new owners. And the food was good...though I was alone and only had a quick bite (that is, I might've gotten real lucky with my two items). Nice people, too. Took forever for the food to come, but that is of course a good sign (if I get fast service in African restaurants, I tend to leave in a huff).

      Any clue? I did get a card, but Lord knows where it is at this point...

      ciao

      1. re: Jim Leff

        good news, everyone!

        temporarily living in silver spring and went down to virginia to pick up my brother. spotted a sign that said "nkwombe nigerian food" (or something similar).

        so on the way back we stopped in. this might be the same place jim went to. the place was deserted, but we were greeted by arthur nwogu, and left about 35 minutes later with pounded yam, goat stew with egusi (melon seeds), beef with okra, fried plantain, and suya (beef coated in a spicy peanut mix and cooked on a skewer)!! nothing fancy, but a hearty home-cooked taste.

        while we were there some other people came by, peered in and left...oh well...hope i can go back, although it's kind of out of the way.

        CJ's International Restaurant
        501 New York Ave. NE
        Washington DC 20002

        Phone: (202) 544-5599

        1. re: dw

          yup, "International" often means African (like "European" means Russian and "Spanish" means Puerto Rican).

          Place sounds good, and my find definitely was in the NE quadrant. But was this in a motor lodge? I mean, this place was downright UNUSUAL for its setting. Right in the parking lot of this 70's style motel, with cheesy pool (with screaming tourist kids on sliding pond), the whole works.

          In any case, hearty and home-cooked sounds like just what we're looking for. African food isn't usually fancy (at least not in my experience...maybe it's different in Africa...if Robert Sietsema's reading along, maybe he'll comment, he's pretty much the authority on African foodways)

          ciao

          1. re: Jim Leff

            Someone using the moniker "Tom Sietsema" is soon to be the principal restaurant critic for the Washington Post. Any relation to Robert? If so, perhaps the Sietsema clan can uncover some of the worthy non-Ethiopian African restaurants in D.C.!

            1. re: marty l.

              They think they're distantly related...Robert's the Village Voice food critic. And it's not that Sietsema's are genetically superior on the topic of African food! It's just that Robert's traveled extensively there.

              FWIW, Tom was a major candidate for Ruth Reichl's job at the Times when she left.

              ciao

            2. re: Jim Leff

              yes it was in some kind of motel parking lot, motel 6 or something like that.

              1. re: dw

                Bingo. Chowhounds to the rescue once again.

                Thanks for the address...and to those of you reading along, do check this place out. I think it might be a real find.

                Thanks, dw!

      2. There is a place called Bukom Cafe on 18th St in Adams Morgan which bills itself as West African. When I was there (probably more than four years ago) I had a wonderful peanut fish oxtail soup. Whenever I get to A-M I resolve to go eat there, but I haven't been in awhile. Unfortunately since I'm carless A-M takes a bit of planning. Ditto for CJ's location, but I'll try to make it over! Thanks for the suggestion.