Urban adventurers and global foodies! Hankering for simmering Somali goat stew or Lao papaya salad with Blue Crab? What about Vietnamese Claypot fish and Ethiopian dry-cooked lamb? Or how about Okonomiyaki Japanese cabbage pancakes with hazelnut risotto cakes? MLK Jr. Way South, home to some of Seattle’s best, independently-owned ethnic eateries, has all of these exotically tasty dishes and more to offer during the Third Annual Plate of Nations event. From March 24 to April 6, ten MLK restaurants will offer special $15 and $25 meals to be shared by two or more people.
2013 participating restaurants include:
• Bananas Grill (Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern Halal)
• Café Ibex (Ethiopian)
• Deo Valente Café (Little Italy)
• Joy Palace (Cantonese)
• Karama (Somali)
• Olympic Express (SE Asian Cham Halal)
• Original Philly’s (US East Coast)
• Rainier BBQ (Vietnamese)
• St. Dames (Global Vegetarian)
• Thai Palms (Thai & Lao)
This year a Plate of Nations “Passport” has been added to encourage diners to eat at and collect stamps for all ten participating restaurants, and share photos of their passports throughout the event to win prizes. Additionally, the event offers a number of opportunities to enter contests and win prizes through its Facebook page throughout the event.
Last year the event drew visitors from 20 Settle neighborhoods, nine Washington cities, eight states, and someplace called “Canada,” 90% of whom said they came to the Rainier Valley specifically for the event, generating tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for the area.
This event is a natural for the MLK area since immigrants from across the globe have long settled in the Rainier Valley, and started restaurants that provide favorites to ethnic communities looking for a taste of home. Plate of Nations, with its preset menus, is a special opportunity to share these prized cultural delicacies with a wider community that may not be familiar with exotic dishes offered, or even how to order them. Restaurant owners take great pride in showing newcomers the way, and an opportunity to warmly show off traditional cuisines. Khadija Moga, owner of Karama, was thrilled to learn about the Plate of Nations program because she wants to develop her presence in the community, and share her love of Somali food and culture with a broader audience. She says wistfully, “One taste of my simmering goat stew will transport you to Somalia.”
Plate of Nations 2013 is sponsored by the MLK Business Association, City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Vulcan, Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, and HomeSight.
For more information and full menus, visit the Plate of Nations website at: www.plateofnations.com and Facebook.