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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Sat 11:00am–8:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards None
Reservations Not accepted

Mt. Vernon Square
613 K St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 408-1133
Delicious African food that does your body good

While Ghana Café bursts at the seams with pretty Adamsmorgansters and Senate interns, the Ghanaian cab drivers have retreated to Akosombo, a grimy cafeteria near the Convention Center. You can expect to eat out of a Styrofoam take-out dish at a rickety table, in the company of irritable voices, a ringing phone, and a television blaring the latest reality show, but you can also expect to eat very well.

For six dollars, you’ll get both sides of a take-out dish filled with any combination of meats, fish, beans, and stews, plus fried plantains and rice. The food is served cafeteria-style out of metal receptacles replenished throughout the day, and you almost have to beg the server to slow down as she heaps scoop after scoop of stews with a metal spoon into your dish.

Begin with the peanut soup, a thick, creamy, hazardous blend of beef trimmings, fish, blended nuts, and nut oil, and more than a fair share of hot chile oil. The hazard of the soup lies in the small fish bones bobbing on the surface and hidden in the murky peanut depths; unless you have a gullet of steel, we recommend deploying a slurping action to stop bones before they pass your lips and pass mercilessly down your throat. Luckily, the spicy soup is worth the risk.

The same advice holds for the whole fish dish; in this case, the cooks have removed the heads and prepared just about every other part of a basic white fish with spicy oil and garnished the dish with thin-sliced carrots. The flesh is soft but not overcooked, and make sure to eat the skin, which seems to have retained the grand majority of chile.

One of Akosombo’s most successful stews is made with large cubes of beef in a light but very spicy red sauce. The spinach stew has hints of the sweeter spices of Indian cuisine, and the plantains are of the smaller, sweeter variety and burnt crisp on the outside. Akosombo’s sole misstep is the chicken stew: the pieces of bird are mostly bone, and the flesh is overcooked and tough.

When you’re full, simply fold up your Styrofoam dish to carry home the leftovers; the flavors will blend together further for a treat the next day.

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