It may appear that we’ve broken two rules of this game.  We left NYC to find the Angolan food described in this entry.  But our travels only took us to nearby Elizabeth, NJ, which is certainly well-situated in the greater metropolitan area (just over the water from Staten Island).  And, because it is home to what was formerly NYC’s only Ikea, most New Yorkers know the town and consider it an extension of the city since most of their furnishings came from there.  So, forgive us, dear readers.  We left the 5 boroughs, but not so much as to lose the heart of the journey. In all honesty, we knew Jersey would come into play at some stage.  It’s inescapable.

The second rule we kind-a sort-a broke was getting food from Antigua and Barbuda before sampling Angolan.  Though this is an apparent breach of parameters, I have an excellent argument otherwise.  Late in October, I rang up the Permanent Mission of Angola to the United Nations, to inquire about Angolan eateries in the area.  The charming and friendly receptionist told me that there were in fact no Angolan restaurants in the city.  Sad news indeed.  We chatted for a while, and I asked her where she goes to eat food from her homeland.  She answered, “At my house!  I cook Angolan food every day.”  To which I naturally replied, “Well, can I come over to your house?”  And she said yes!  But then decided it would be even better if we came to her church on November 9, when they would be having a celebration of their congregation’s second year.  A feast was planned following the service, which would include all sorts of Angolan dishes.  That was certainly worth the wait, so we went ahead and checked out Antigua and Barbuda in the meantime.

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Ancient and Bearded

November 9, 2008

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Our resourceful Nomad found Antigua & Barbuda at Pyramid Exotic Bar and Restaurant 3825 White Plains Rd. in the Bronx.  What happened to Angola you ask?  Oh faithless reader, the Nomad had already lined it up for Nov. 9, so she forged ahead not wanting to break our momentum.

ducana2When we walked in, there were maybe three or four people standing around the bar and we were greeted somewhat warily by a tall, solid, serious-looking woman. Noquar timidly asked if they were serving food because it certainly wasn’t apparent.  The room was mostly empty with a live music setup in the front and two folding tables along the wall, the larger of which was being monopolized by a kid and his coloring.  The woman seemed a little confused as she told us they were, in fact, serving food (which, by the way, only happens on Fridays and Saturdays).   “Antiguan food?” we asked.

These two words triggered a warm, broad smile.  She still clearly had no idea how or why we had ended up there but she was thrilled we had. The poor kid and his coloring were promptly cleared from the table and we were installed.  There was no menu, so she listed what she had, and since we had no idea what she was talking about, we afish2sked her to give us three of her favorite dishes. Read the rest of this entry »