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After watching Martin Sexton, with only half his voice intact, gut his way through a 9:30 Club show on Saturday, my friend suggested we all walk across the street to Asmara Cafe and Lounge because the joint, he said, serves up a mean plate of foul, the fava-bean dish. When the four of us sat down and ordered it, the waitress stared blankly at us for a second, smiled, and asked, “Do you like spicy food?”
We all agreed in the affirmative.
What the waitress brought from the kitchen was a large platter draped in injera, half of which was covered with salad and the other half with hot beef tibs. The dish was terrific. But it wasn’t foul.
When the waitress came back around, we asked her why she brought us beef tibs instead of foul. You guessed it: She thought we had merely asked for “food.” Apparently believing we couldn’t navigate the Eritrean/Ethiopian menu beyond a comically broad order—-really, just a step up from grunting, “Me hungry”—-she only wanted to know whether we liked our “food” spicy or not.
She took it from there. It was a good choice, we all agreed. But it was also good that none of us was a veg-head.