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100 Favorite Dishes: Dowjic at Babani's

As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2010, coming this spring, Hot Dish is serving up a hundred of our favorite local dishes. Send your own nominations to hotdish@citypages.com.

The most amazing thing about Babani's, the state's only Kurdish restaurant, might be the menu's poetic explanation of the love story between its owners, the Kurdish Jamal and Minnesotan Gail:

And as he had hoped he soon met Gail, a most beautiful young blond maiden. Much to his delight he realized that she had many of the qualities of the women of his great Babani tribe. Still, he was unsuccessful in convincing his parents of this face. And Gail's parents, Barb and Ed, were unimpressed by Jamal's tribal ancestry.

And the second most amazing thing about Babani's? Definitely the dowjic. This sunshine yellow soup is lemony tart, yet surprisingly not too sour...something that lemonade and lemon bars pull off only with the addition of sugar. Bits of chicken, herbs, and rice add depth to the soup, but the best thing about it is its addictive acidity--and the way it works wonders to ward off coughs, sneezes, and sniffles.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100: Volcano Salad at Tiger Sushi No. 99: Eclair at Butter No. 98: Moussaka at Gardens of Salonica No. 97: "Flappers" at Colossal Cafe No. 96: Bento Box at Obento-Ya No. 95: Sausage, salami, onion, and green olive pizza at Black Sheep No. 94: Crab Cake at the Kitchen No. 93: Passion fruit cake at Pardon My French No 92: Kafé 421 Signature Dips No. 91: Lutefisk at Landmarc Grill 90: May Day Cafe Croissant


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