Walking into the Horn is like walking into someones home, and feeling welcome. Theres crafted sreenprints of animals, when combined with the hand painted ceiling adourned with clouds, and budget mood lighting, this lends the Horn an atmosphere of lucid dream like quality.
Mohamed and Khadija Yousuf started the Horn of Africa on March 5, 1994 at the Portland Saturday Market. They did well, and a short time later started ther restraunt on 3939 NE MLK, and Shaver st. here in Portland.
My partner Becca's a vegan and I am a vegitarian, Mohamed and Yousef's family is mostly vegiterian for reasons of health and beliefs.
Last night we ate, and both enjoyed an appatizer called the "sambusa and bajiya combo" the sambusa is a triangle shaped pastry filled with a lentil pilaf. I don't know how to describe it, I anticipate it's aroma before it's taste, and am left feeling lonely for it when it's gone. The bajiya is kinda like a filafel rolled into a patty, it's different in some major respects first it tastes like it's made from fresh ingredients. I'm often dissapointed when I order a filafel somewhere because the texture is too crusty and dry, which sometimes causes me to choke. Thier Bajiya is like the opposite of that. It's green, crispy, and moist inside. I think it's color comes from bieng seasoned with freshly choped cilantro and it's a medium on my spicymeter. It comes with what my uneducated mind would venture to call a salsa that is not for the faint of heart. The sauce I'm told is made with a kind of pepper that is uncomon here. It has a smoky zingy quality that is enough to make me want more than my body can handle.
That's allright though cause the restruant is partitoned to double as an african grocery where you can buy mango juice free of artificial flavors and colors by the case. In fact they sell boxes of the stuff cheaper than the cost of a couple glasses. We usually get two.
When we got the foul, it's like the essence of comfort food. I'm told it's spice includes the finely ground powder of roasted flaxseeds, it' s got beans, green pepper, and yum. The bread is the best african spongy bread in town. It all comes with a plate of saffron rice. When we were done eating and chillin to the sounds of fela kuti, they hooked us up with a plate of homade cashew brittle, and organic abricots, drizzled with date surup. I think they were testing it on us cause the lady said that Mohamed usually makes it with more oil but this time he decided to make it with water instead, and she likes it better, and had been eating it all day, We washed our hands with rosewater, and departed for home to sleep.
for more info see thier website @