October 2, 2018

Food for Thought

The cultural experience was the most memorable part of this restaurant for me—you can read about the excellence of their food from other Instagrammers I was with who are more knowledgeable about it than I am (especially @ethnojunkie who arranged this dinner for us ????). When I walked in, I noticed the empty area at the front by the window. I wondered why the space was unused—after all, this is Manhattan. Later, I saw a man placing a carpet and praying on the floor. It’s probably because some of the owners and the employees too use the space for the same purpose that they reserved the precious space. Apparently, what they share in common is not limited to food. The pictures on the wall are more indications of that. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is still a vibrant immigrant community in this gentrified Harlem.

ompare this with typical high end restaurants in Manhattan. The only members of such establishments who can regularly afford the very things they sell are the owners and the investors. The rest of them are serving the people they cannot even relate to. It’s not real; it’s make-believe like Disneyland.

Last weekend, I went to a high end Japanese restaurant (owners are not Japanese) whose sushi chef, according to the bio, lives in Jackson Heights and privately eats mostly Italian food. If he loves Italian food, it’s likely that he chose Jackson Heights not for food but for lower rent. His neighbors wouldn’t be his regular customers. This is what “alienation” is—a job lacking the sense of purpose.

You can take any of the dishes from Accra Restaurant, serve a quarter of the portion on a gigantic plate with a small dent in the middle, and garnish it with zest of yuzu. Voila! You would have a high cuisine. But that’s not what Accra does; they serve a real purpose in their community

#westafricanfood #ghanaianfood #africancuisine #harlemeats #nyceats #nycfood #nycfoodie #harlem #nycrestaurant #africanfood