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Old Skool Cafe

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We had a delightful dinner last Friday at the Old Skool Cafe in Bayview, directly opposite Radio Africa on Third St. This is a very special place and doing some really special things -- and the food is darn good.

We had:

Abu’s West African Peanut Butter Stew. Delicious coconut milk and peanut chicken dish from Sierra Leone. Recipe was developed by Abu, a young refugee from the Sierra Leone horror, who is one of the friendly and competent staff of very young people.

Shrimp and Grits. Great cheesy grits with fine large and spicy shrimp. Shrimp and grits come in many styles and this is an excellent one, though I prefer a bit more saucy version (as at Galatoire’s in Baton Rouge).

Blackened Catfish, tasty dish with couscous.

Great Sweet Potato Pie.

Dishes run around $10 and are smallish so you can sample several. Liquor license on its way. If you are nice they might give you a glass of wine in the meanwhile.

Nice ambience and music. Excellent, friendly, enthusiastic service from young twenties youth who are learning as they go, but already very well trained. Open Thurs-Sat. Website: http://www.oldskoolcafe.org

So, if I don’t say more, this is a restaurant worth returning to. But it is also a very special place, giving young people, who have been dealt the really short end of the stick, a chance to get started in the San Francisco food scene and a chance at employment that will (as Old Skool says it) provide solid alternatives to a life of crime and poverty.

The Third Street Muni stops right in front as does the #24 Divisidero/Castro/Noe Valley bus.

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