…I’m told. The restaurant is called Shaibani; the fish, Mahkbaza, plucked from the Red Sea, and grilled with cumin and pepper. The tea is Adeni (from the southern port city of Aden — you can taste India in it). The bread is soft and unbelievably tasty. Apparently Senator Clinton sat in Shaibani and enjoyed this same meal in the late 90’s, when she was here for an emerging democracy conference. This is the family room, though you can’t tell from the picture. Lots of Yemeni restaurants have private rooms for families, and we were originally sent to another one further in the back, where we found a man trying to turn on a hard-to-reach light switch with his Kalashnikov.
Lots of Yemeni men have Kalashnikovs. I’m pretty sure they’re usually not loaded.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 12, 2004