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Central District for tonight with caveats

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Okay, my brain is stuck. I'm trying to get people together for a birthday dinner tonight (Tuesday May 6, 2008) in the Central District, and it's starting to feel so much like herding cats that maybe I should just settle on dishes of cream and tuna for dinner. Sigh.

I'm looking for something that will be tasty and inexpensive, and I'm stuck on what. The problem: my original idea was Ethiopian food, but the plan is to go blues dancing afterwards, and someone pointed out that strong-smelling food you eat with your hands and close partner dancing are probably a bad combination.

I'm looking for something in the Central District (not too far from 12th/Cherry). I'd like something inexpensive (or with a significant number of inexpensive entree options), since I have friends who are students or underemployed. I don't want Tamarind Tree, because I always feel funny after eating there (sugar? MSG? I have no idea). I don't think I'm in the mood for Chinese. And I don't want a diner/burgers kind of place.

Which means I'm stuck, unless I just tell people to bring toothbrushes and wash their hands before dancing, and get over it. Other brilliant ideas? Anyone?

Thanks!

http://food.gofrolic.org

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  1. Lemongrass has a restaurant close to there. I actually think its better than Tamerind Tree although I stick to the same thing each time to avoid disappointment. 5 Spice Chicken Soup and the pork rolls appy.

    1. St Clouds--something to please everyone, good atmosphere, though a little further. Also cafe presse, again, lots of options (including price wise).

      Those would be the top two off the top of my head

      1. I'm not convinced that Ethiopian + dancing is a bad combination. Do you like southern food? How about Catfish Corner at MLK and Cherry? Not at all fancy but they throw down some unbelievable catfish, collard greens, hushpuppies and--if you're lucky--killer karaoke. www.mo-catfish.com

        1. How about Cafe Presse?

          1. You know, I think Cafe Presse would be a good idea. I looked at their menu and there are some cheap sandwiches/soups/salad kinds of things. Plus, I've always wanted to try it.

            Thanks!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: seattledebs

              They can get kinda busy though, especially for a group...

              Just FYI.

            2. Crave might be a good choice.

              1. Thanks everyone! Cafe Presse worked out perfectly. They took a reservation and were deft with our big group. People could find things in their price ranges, and the food was delicious.