Appetizers show similar care. The pastry of the sambusa was light and flakey, and not a hint greasy. Folded inside the meat version was a smoky ground beef flavored with lots of red chili and onions. The veggie sambusa was stuffed full of seasoned peas and carrots. Another appetizer featured huge potato dumplings, with a fluffy, almost creamy, peach-colored flesh under its grilled exterior — which you dipped in a sour sauce. It came with a smaller dumpling, somewhere between falafel and a hush-puppy, seasoned with ample coriander.
Serving it all are a trio of women dressed in lovely bright-colors — the chef and two daughters it seems. They seem sweet and laconic — though with some regulars they seemed to really loosen up. It makes you want to become a regular yourself to see their easy banter with a party of five, who waved away their silverware to dig their hands into a huge platter of grilled beef, chicken, fish, vegetables, and rice. Al Huda cuisine is good enough to keep you coming back until you feel that comfortable.
Brian Duff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AL HUDA | Morrill's Corner, 1192 Forest Ave, Portland | Tue-Sun 11 am-9 pm | Visa/MC/Amex | 207.797.3833
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