World Street Kitchen "Mashups": Eat Your Favorite People, Places, and Things


Besides food, Saffron and World Street Kitchen chef Sameh Wadi has lots of enthusiasms. But he's so very often working in the kitchen, how can he possibly indulge in them? Like any good artist, he figures it best to express his love of a thing (or a person or a place) through his art.

That's how mashups were born. "We just take something we like, and interpret it through a rice bowl."

See also: MF Doom Rice Bowl Debuts at World Street Kitchen


WSK Yum Yum bowls are one of those singular dishes that are at once so unique, so "why didn't I think of that?" as well as so satisfying, it seems improbable that they could be improved upon.

But then again, the sum of their parts are open to wide reinterpretation: a base of rice, a protein, some special sauce, and whatever the hell else you want to throw in.

Wadi is a fan of the cooking at Hola Arepa, so he did an Hola bowl back in January. A tribute bowl of Latin flavors: tamarind chile sauce, avocado creme, cumin, lime, and plantain chips.

Wadi is a fan of rapper M.F. Doom and the fact that his 2004 album on Rhymsayers Entertainment is called "Mm.. Food." Wadi could not resist. He paid homage to Doom with a representation of his upbringing -- a British Muslim by way of Trinidad. So pork was out, and instead he went with confit beef cheeks sautéed with Carribbean brown down sauce, habanero, allspice, ginger, garlic, soy, and habanero-pineapple chow over pineapple rice.

He says the special bowls have been by far his most popular menu items, and guests are demanding that they stay on permanently. Wadi says: "No way." The impermanence is part of the fun. As a result, he says one guy came in for the Doom bowl seven out of nine days in a row.

The March bowl is an R.T. Rybak-inspired one, because, you know, Wadi is a fan. "Rybak is a big fan of small independent businesses, so it's a really good fit."

The former mayor wanted his bowl to be spicy and healthy, and his favorite veg is beets, so all that stuff will make its way in, along with kale, and some Minnesota wild rice, "of course," with walleye fish cakes.

Do you have a favorite person, place, or thing that you just have to appreciate via the beloved rice bowl? Email WSK with your ideas. They'll choose the best one and it will debut on the menu later this year.

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