Matam Brinz

princecafe.JPG Right next door to Felix is The Prince Cafe, the newest of the Washington area’s Middle Eastern food and sheesha franchise. I had a bite to eat there before I stopped in for the big first anniversary party.

The most famous Prince location is in Georgetown, about a block away from M Street and Wisconsin. That particular location has a reputation as a sausage fest where a lot of Middle Eastern post-adolescents wile away their evenings smoking hookah, playing cards and watching Arabic music videos.

Now I have my own preferences for Middle Eastern food and was slightly miffed that the bread my Shawarma was wrapped in was a little more sourdoughy than I’ve ever found in the home country, and the sacue was more yoghurt than tahini, but I’m sure that there are those that enjoy it that way. Here’s a little secret, no two Arab recipes for the same dish ever come out the same. Don’t ask me why. And when you do finally come across two dishes that taste exactly alike, they have different names.

The scene picks up a bit after about 730 to 8 in the evening. I was surprised at how many women dropped in to savor the cuisine. There may be hope after all! I had fun watching the staff teach themselves poker, without chips, while watching ‘Maryana’ dressed in nothing but a large blackout on which was written “Censored” dancing away on the flat screen. Social statements come gratis.

(Matam is Arabic for restaurant, a language that has yet to codify the letter ‘P’)

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