Monday, April 18, 2016

Afro Deli – St. Paul, MN

The entire time the Afro Deli was open in Minneapolis, I never found time to go there, despite attending the U of MN across the street. I now know what a huge mistake that was. D.Rough is a regular at the new downtown St. Paul location and has raved about it, so I met her there for lunch. So glad I did.

The menu is on a big board when you walk in, so be courteous and don’t stand in the ordering line until you know what you want. You’ll want everything, but you’ll need to narrow it down a LITTLE.  Thankfully, I had an expert who offered her own advice as to what I should get. Thanks, wife! I got the Chapati Wrap with gyro meat (it comes with a salad), and a side of sweet potato fries. I also got two Beef Sambusas. D.Rough got the Somali Steak Sandwich.

The food takes very little prep time, so I was pretty happy with the short wait during the busy lunch hour. The salad was pretty standard, but who really reviews a salad? No one. The Chapati Wrap was wonderful. Lots of meat and plenty of peppers and lettuce and rice and such. Great flavor and not sloppy like wraps sometimes get. Super solid showing on this wrap.

The sweet potato fries weren’t stellar. They had good flavor but were a little soggy. I have heard their regular fries are the way to go here, so maybe I’ll try those next time. I certainly won’t complain about these (because I love me some sweet potato fries), but I’ve had better.

The Sambusas were really really good. I liked these a lot and maybe wouldn’t share next time. They are filled with ground beef onions and cilantro, but the bright green spicy dipping sauce (“basbas”) was perfect. I loved these things.

But the winner for me was the steak sandwich. It’s really thin sliced steak but seasoned in really spicy ingredients that make this thing pop. It’s a bit on the slide-y side when you eat it, but you’ll get over it when you have the first bite of this meat. It’s fantastic.

There are so many other things on this menu I need to try. The Chicken Fantastic looked amazing, and the Curry also looked like I needed to try it. I’ll be back!

Top 5 things about Afro Deli
1) Somali Steak Sandwich
2) Beef Sambusas
3) Chapati Wrap
4) It’s verrrrry reasonably priced
5) Having a location in both cities is really smart, especially in the business district of downtown St. Paul

Bottom 5 things
1) Sweet Potato fries
2) Parking isn’t ideal, but you can find it on the street
3) The place gets packed at lunch
4) There were a lot of people eating quesadillas here – super disappointing since everything ELSE is so good (probably the Minnesota spice tolerance issue…)
5) No other negative points – I tried really hard to find something else!

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