Moussa Doualeh has worked in several kitchens in the Twin Cities, but on April 5 he opened his own restaurant, Goda Cafe, at 34th and Nicollet in the old Joy's Kitchen space. It will offer both American and what's he's dubbed Afro-Djib cuisine, in an effort to please both the tastes of the neighborhood and the flavors of his East African roots.
To assuage his neighbors, he's got $4.20 quarter-pound cheeseburgers, $2.99 grilled cheese, and $5.59 gyros on the menu, in addition to other straightforward stateside sandwiches. For larger plates, there's salmon ($8.99), chicken ($7.99), and tilapia ($8.99) entrees that all come with vegetables.
But the real draw here is a chance to try the goat.
Next to a walk-in wing joint, Goda Cafe is surprisingly serene inside, with plenty of table seating and a pleasant orange paint job. For now, it's best to check in at the counter and let them know you are there so you can place an order. The American eats are listed on a printed menu, but for now the goat and kk are also available, as long as you know to ask for them.
|Afro-Djib cuisine is promised...|
Of course, the Hot Dish was intrigued by the goat. It came out of the kitchen on a sizzling fajita plate with onions, peppers, and broccoli, plus a dish full of rice, olives, cucumbers, lettuce, and vinaigrette. Everything was quite fresh, and the goat, which was Halal, per Doualeh, was bone-in and long cooked.
The huge portion came with a chicken soup filled with onions and celery, all for $8 while the Goda Cafe is still in the early days. He plans to raise the price to $10 once he gets a larger customer base. However, rumor has it that he gave out some free tastes of his cooking to guests who showed up last week. He will expand the Djibouti-inspired menu if there is demand for it.
|Get up close with your goat.|
The young folks in front of me gave great reviews of his alfredo noodles, and another man enjoyed his chicken soup and goat. Doualeh, who is originally from Somalia but has been in Minnesota for many years, hopes that these are good signs for the future of Goda Cafe.
3400 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis