My friend, Bethy, took me to a restaurant in Brooklyn my first night after the Middle Passages Conference. I was very excited because my head hurt from trying to wrap it around the really important conversations that had taken place during the day.
The resto, called Koumbit, after the wonderful African tradition of neighbors working together to complete a task–whether planting gardens or building houses–was a nice space. The woman who works there was gorgeous and had a lovely personality (a trait I found severely lacking in a Haitian resto where we had gone for breakfast that morning–the woman wouldn’t even say good morning!!).
I can’t say that the food in Koumbit was all that impressive. I had the tassot with some beans and rice and fried plaintains. I was reminded of the first time I had tassot. It was my first time ever in Haiti and it was carnival time. As the huge procession made its way down Delmas it started pouring rain. The person I later married 🙂 and I ducked into a little hole-in-the-wall resto and I ordered the tassot.
I had never had meat that had been so seasoned and fried in my life!It quickly became one of my favorite things. Tassot with some fried plaintains and pikliz–can’t go wrong!
American beef just doesn’t cut it. It’s too soft to be fried up the way Haitian beef can be. Also, rather than the haphazard Haitian method of serving pikliz on, around and under the meat and plaintains, the condiment was served in a very small metal cup. Forgive me, but something gets lost when the juice of the lime and the piment hasn’t had time to saturate everything on the plate.
We had drinks called “Port-Au-Prince” or something. They apparently had 5 star Barbancourt in them. They succeeded in doing little more than making me really sleepy.
We had a really good time, nonetheless and I slept really well that night:)