Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kuti's - Harlem

Middle East via West Africa?
The best meals are the ones that teach, take me out of my comfort zone a bit and taste great. Puffin, you remember Abdul from Korhogo, right? No? Perhaps if I remind you of the bacon-wrapped scallops that you called "orgasmic?" Yeah, well, he's back. He's opened a small take-out spot in Harlem named after Fela Kuti. They offer shawarma, West African style, and some other intriguing fare. Shawarma was brought by the Lebanese to West Africa and now Abdul's brought it to NY.

I took a walk on the wilder side - for me. Specifically, a mix of beef tongue and merguez sausage, above. I ordered it spicy and it didn't disappoint - it was wrapped up with some peas, chopped lettuce, onions and "white" sauce. I coulda gone further - they offer brain, kidney and liver as well. On my second go-around, I reined it in with a chicken/shawarma combo that was quite tasty. Definitely different from other shawarma I've had.

The chef grilled up the chicken and then carved off some shawarma from the spit and rolled it inside a very thin pita.

Then, something I've not seen done to shawarma - he put it in a panini press for a few minutes. This quickly heats up the insides and turns the pita slightly crunchy - a nice touch. Yes, I ate two sandwiches in one lunchtime. Piggie in the house!

There is nowhere to sit - this is truly a take-out spot. Taking a look at their menu, there are some other things that are interesting: West-African style jerk chicken, pita grilled in spicy oil, the Korhogo-126 burger and if you really want to go all out: how about an escargot panini?

Harlem, NY

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  1. Looks too adventurous for me... not sure if I will dare try it.. Yesyes.. call me chicken!

  2. @Puffin - Boooooooooo!! I drank that herbal soup-tea in Hong Kong, remember?

  3. Peter would say, "I hear your arteries clogging up!"

  4. @Sal - I've seen what Peter eats. He is hearing his own arteries clog....

  5. ive been there and i must say the food there is very interesting and has great taste too!

  6. @Anon - I agree with you. What'd you have?