Afro Deli: The Tour

If you want to know what Minnesota looks like -- truly looks like -- post up at the West Bank Afro Deli at lunch hour. Here, hungry college boys in weather-inappropriate flip flops meet Korean exchange students meet women in colorful hijab meet Somali families meet Latino guys asking to double up on their hot sauce. They all stand in wait, in the spice-rich air at this tiny fast-casual cafe, where Kahin has taken the most American of all food-service styles -- fast and cheap -- and repackaged African food to suit the Midwest. They come for the headiness of the stews, the abundance of spice (spice-o-phobes, this place is not for you), the equally abundant portion sizes, and the minuscule prices. We can see why they line up out the door on campus: A portion of anything costs around seven dollars and hefts so massively in a to-go bag you're liable to get an elbow injury if you're not careful. It's a venture, it's an adventure, it's a trip. It's familiar and it's not. Get to know yourself a little better by stopping by. It feels and tastes fantastic. PHOTOS BY ALMA GUZMAN