Street Food at Sunset

Even though some of the food at the market was a bit frightening, it didn’t stop us from getting a little street food. Near the market, a man was grilling up chicken tikka masala skewers. Immediately after, we ducked into Zanzibar Coffee House because of how highly recommended it was. We ordered coffee, fresh passion fruit juice, cookies and a chocolate mousse tart to share. That restaurant was a little pricy, but everything was delicious. I meant to snap a quick photo of the mousse, but it was so tasty, we finished it before I could remember.

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For dinner, we went to an Indian restaurant. It was two floors up in a building near the beach, so we had a great view. After our meal of samosas, curries, masalas, and lassie drinks, we headed over to Forodhani Gardens to sample the street food. Even though everyone was full, we tried a bunch of different foods. We started with the Zanzibari “pizza,” which is basically a crepe. The menu had so many options, both savory and sweet, that it was hard to choose. The cook was making a savory pizza with diced vegetables and beef and he cracked an egg into it before folding and flipping the dough over so it could cook. Although, we had seen the tables with the meat and seafood skewers pulled out of bags and arranged on the table, so who knows how old they were. So the meat at this table was questionable too. But the sweet crepe with Nutella, plantain, and freshly sliced coconut was absolutely delicious. I bought some watermelon while we waited for the pizzas to finish. The cook’s fingers shined with oil as he rapidly rolled out dough, sliced fruit, and flipped the little pizzas on the stove. He asked us where we were from and when we said America, he replied, “oh, Obamaland!” We got this all the time, especially in Paje. I wonder what they called America when George H.W. Bush was president. Probably nothing.

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After pizza, my friend Christina and I split a ginger spiced coffee. It wasn’t quite what I expected. The man put a few spoonfuls of instant coffee into a cup and then poured brewed ginger through a strainer into it. The coffee was surprisingly tasty, although the ginger was incredibly strong. We also tried some of a cupcake and a baked goods table. We had actually met the owner at her shop the day before. A sample of the cakes she baked included coconut, pineapple upside, and peanut.

We finished up the night with a coconut and some cassava chips. The coconut tasted sour, like it had been sitting out in the sun for a few days, and we figured it was probably as fresh as the octopus skewers. Still, the street food was a fun and wild experience.

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