Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Where Can You Get Good Somali Food In Anchorage?
Probably the best Somali food, like most other international foods, is made in private homes of Somali people in Anchorage.
But we do have a Somali restaurant where you can try some interesting (that's not a euphemism for weird) and tasty food.
The two above are appetizers both were terrific. The samosa is a familiar Indian dish, but the filling was unique. The second one was made of something like mashed potato with an egg in the middle. I'm not sure what the crispy red coating was. I forgot about taking pictures until we'd eaten half of them.
The Safari Restaurant is easy to miss. It's on Dawson Street, between Northern Lights and Benson. That's two blocks west of "C" Street.
I talked to our chef and hostess Sainab after the dinner. She said the recipes were her own. She left Somalia as the violence began to get bad in 1991 and spent time in a refugee camp in Kenya until finding her way to Ohio and eventually to Anchorage.
The Anchorage Daily News and the Anchorage Press have both given this place great reviews.
I'd certainly encourage everyone to drop by for a meal. Running a restaurant isn't easy. Fortunately, Alaskans are pretty adventurous, so I hope enough people eat here to keep this place in business. It adds to the food diversity we already have. I asked Sainab if she knew of any other African restaurants in Anchorage and she didn't. I recall that there was a place, run, I think, by Gambians, in what used to be called the Post Office Mall downtown, but it's been long gone.
Aside from a good meal for a reasonable price, it's a chance to meet people from Somalia and to help support these people who were forced to leave their country. I have a soft spot in my heart for refugees because my parents too were forced to leave their home country to escape persecution.
Halalfoodnation gave Safari a good review and said, aside from a couple of pizza places, this is the only Halal restaurant in Anchorage. So, if you have observant Muslim guests, this is a place you can take them.
Last year the ADN cited a trained psychologist originally from Cameroon, Peter Igwacho, who estimated there are between 3,000-5,000 Africans in Anchorage, the largest groups being from Sudan and Somalia.
The food below is shawarma.