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Jun 8, 2014 05:58 PM

Albuquerque - Farewell, Rafiki

Noticed a big "For Lease" sign where Rafiki Cafe, the little Kenyan diner, once was. Looks like it has gone out of business. I guess it was inevitable.

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  1. That wasn't even open a year, was it?

    4 Replies
    1. re: RobConnoley

      Maybe a little over a year. I think they opened in January or February 2013.

      I'm always kind of stunned at the number of same-old same-old half-baked New Mexican/Faux Mexican/Sysco American restaurants that open up every year in Albuquerque, but I guess that's what survives here.

      1. re: ninrn

        Just had that same convo with a friend the other day, nin. Same ol' same ol'. Guess that's why we eat at home.

        I heard that little Kenyan place was interesting, but never remembered to stop in.

        1. re: sandiasingh

          It was pretty good, not great. They didn't manage to pull off the variety of flavors, consistency, or professionalism that Jambo in Santa Fe does, but they were operating on a much tinier budget and with much less experience. Maybe they could have sorted some of those things out with time.

          My sister's theory as to why they closed is that anyone in Albuquerque who'd be interested in even trying Kenyan food could probably cook Kenyan food as good or better at home just by looking up recipes on the Internet. But the you-could-cook-this-better-at-home argument could be made about almost every NM-style or pub-grub restaurant in city and people still go to them. There's much less of a spirit of adventure in Albuquerque when it comes to food than one would expect.

          1. re: ninrn

            Jambo is pretty good (husband's favorite), but I'm not a huge fan of Kenyan food--it's just OK. Mediocre restaurants do seem to stay in business I guess because most people aren't too picky. We go out once a week for a burger and beer to Chama River Brewing Company and that's about the extent of our dining out any more. Just aren't many great choices in ABQ.