The Safari Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“The wild dogs cry out in the night As they grow restless longing for some solitary company I know that I must do what’s right Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become.” ~ Africa by Toto Shrouded in mist and steeped in myth and mystery, Mount Kilimanjaro attracts visitors from all over the world. Often called “the roof of Africa,” the towering, snow-capped, conically-shaped…

Karibu Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

During the dry season in Africa, the protective shade of majestic trees casting their cooling shadows are prized–and not only for their impressive and assiduous statures. For generations, the “palaver tree” has served as a meeting place in which the community comes together to discuss issues of common interest, listen to stories and resolve problems and conflicts. Unlike many of the conference room melees…er, meetings of contemporary work life, meetings under the palaver tree are conducted with the utmost of…

Talking Drums – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“There is strength in Africa. Not the crushing brute strength of the bull elephant. Nor the rigid, unyielding strength of the Kilimanjaro. But a calm, enduring strength, the kind of abiding strength that will not waiver in the face of adversity, loss or hardship. It is the quiet strength of the African woman.” Quiet strength. That uplifting affirmation, inscribed on a framed poster, hangs on a wall at Talking Drums, Albuquerque’s very first African restaurant. It provides inspiration to and…

Jambo Cafe – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Growing up in the 60s–the dark ages before the Internet was even a glimmer in Al Gore’s eyes and google, then spelled “googol” represented an very large number (currently being approached by America’s budget deficit)–even precocious children like me derived most of our knowledge of Africa from National Geographic magazines and Tarzan movies. We thought Africa was one large monolithic country comprised solely of stark, expansive deserts or lush, mysterious jungles. Africa’s indigenous people, we believed, had to compete for…

Kasbah Mediterranean – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind Had to get away to see what we could find Hope the days that lie ahead Bring us back to where they’ve led Listen up to what’s been said to you Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakech Express Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakech Express All on board that train – Crosby, Stills & Nash For decades, Hollywood has portrayed the ancient Moroccan city of Marrakech as a…

Rafiki Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“Let us break bread and celebrate our diversity.” ~Desmond Tutu Peruvian cuisine…been there, done that!  Moroccan meals…that’s so yesterday.  Persian food…it’s had its day.  Pan Asian dining…erstwhile eating.  Never mind Italian regional cuisine and Spanish tapas.  Once fresh and nouveau, they’re now practically prehistoric.  Who would have thought ten years ago that the Duke City would become so cosmopolitan, so open to multicultural culinary elements from all over the world?  Who would have guessed that cuisine once considered exotic and…

Cafe Lalibela – Tempe, Arizona

One of the first things that caught my attention during a 2006 visit to Cafe Lalibela were beautiful, brightly painted depictions of revered Christian events such as Christ carrying the yew hewn cross to Calvary. The art shouldn’t have surprised me. Ethiopia’s (especially the city of Lalibela’s) historical ties to Christianity span several centuries. Lalibela, the city for which the restaurant is named, is one of modern Ethiopia’s holiest cities and a center of pilgrimage for much of the country.…