MLK Jr. Way South is home to some of Seattle’s best, independently owned ethnic eateries. Hankering for some Halal Asian curries, Southern soul briskets, or Somali goat shawarma? MLK has it.
Come taste the rich flavors these local restaurants offer at the second annual Plate of Nations event. From March 25 – April 7, Plate of Nations will draw food lovers and urban adventurers to sample the authentic international cuisines offered by some of the best restaurants in the heart of the Rainier Valley, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country.
During this two-week event, ten MLK restaurants will offer special $15 and $25 group meal deals. Participating restaurants include the Original Philly’s (American East Coast), Café Ibex (Ethiopian), Bananas Grill (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern), Rainier BBQ (Vietnamese), Karama (East African), St. Dames (global vegetarian), Thai Palms (Thai), Olympic Express (Southeast Asian Halal), Rose Petals (American Southern), and Venus (Chinese).
Plate of Nations was launched in 2011 by the MLK Business Association to create a festive event where MLK restaurants can showcase some of their favorite dishes on a sampler platter that invites customers to experience their cultural traditions. Farah Ismail, owner of Bananas Grill which opened in 2011, is excited to participate in Plate of Nations to “share our passion and love of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with new customers.”
Plate of Nations offers a culinary tour of several continents. Khadija Moga, owner of Karama, talks about the blend of African, Indian, and Middle Eastern flavors in her dishes. She says wistfully, “One taste of my simmering goat stew will transport you to Somalia.” Al Les, owner of Olympic Express, has for 20 years prepared Halal food from many cultural traditions – including Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. His special plate this year will feature a customer favorite – Asian lamb curry.
Plate of Nations 2012 is sponsored by the MLK Business Association, City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Vulcan, Chase, Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, and HomeSight. Seattle’s Office of Economic Development’s funding is through the Only in Seattle initiative. “Engaged, vibrant communities are the backbone of our region,” says Pearl Leung, Community Manager at Vulcan. “We applaud the merchants who took the initiative to bring the neighborhood together through this Plate of Nations event.”
The MLK Business Association (MLK BA) is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to serve the businesses along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in Seattle. Its vision is to “build a strong, vibrant, and culturally diverse business community that is a destination second to none in the Pacific Northwest.”
Read more about Plate of Nations in the Seattle Weekly.