Aside from the love of Mustangs, Akira and I also share the love of food. So we’re always on the prowl for new and exciting appetizers, entrees, and sometimes desserts. But it’s not only food we look for; we also consider ambiance and service for a wholesome dining experience. OK, so yes we love food as much as other people do but what makes our food exploration different is that we value culture. We like to experience other cultures’ culinary palettes and see how similarly or differently they use ingredients that are common across cultures.
So let’s talk about how we found Sumah’s. Akira was actually the one who found this amazing hole-in-the-wall in Shaw, near Howard University when he was researching places for our anniversary date but I passed it up since it was a trek. Well when we finally found the right time to go for a National Zoo date, we stopped by Sumah’s. Honestly though, Sumah’s was the highlight of my day. We took the Red Line that day and stopped at Chinatown then walked our way up to 7th St. past New York Ave (the green/ yellow line can take you there as well but we can be cheap– even if that means walking seven blocks or so). What a way to burn calories before putting on new ones eh?
We finally made it to Sumah’s and saw a few others waiting for their orders. We met a man and a lady over the counter who happened to be Mr. Sumah and his wife. We poured over the menu for a quick second and informed Mr. Sumah that we know nothing about West African food (although I was anxious to try *Fufu from an episode in Mr. Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” but really though Fufu was the only thing I knew) and that it would be great to have a sampler as seen on a Yelp review. He greeted us with a smile and asked us to have a seat– a sampler will be right out. He came out with it and guided us through every single sauce. He even told us how to eat it and gave us a taste of his homemade ginger beer. After tasting everything on the plate, Akira decided on a few favorites: Cassava Leaves, Krain Krain, Tomato Sauce, and Jollof Rice. But as confusing as it was to order, we ended up with my favorites: Peanut Butter Sauce with Goat meat, Cassava Leaves with Chicken, and Fufu. I was prepared to order more than the both of us could handle but to Mr. Sumah, we we’re trying to order more than what he thought we could handle (oh the dilemma) so we just went with the flow.
My oh my! The Fufu was heavenly. It looks and feels like mashed potatoes but stickier. The taste is that of a starchy goodness and it goes well with the sauces. The ginger beer was the perfect complement to the meal and the food left us with happy bellies. Mr. Sumah even gave us generous slices of watermelon for dessert. I must say the experience left us both extremely satisfied and all that for just $24 plus a little over 20% tip. What a great start to our National Zoo date!
A full review is available on Yelp 😉
*Fufu- dough made from boiled and ground plantain or cassava, used as a staple food in parts of western and central Africa
We would love to hear about your recent food exploration so please comment below and don’t be shy to share your story!