A few days ago, my dad and I went to New York City to visit my grandmother, and on the way we stopped for lunch at Red Rooster in Harlem. We have been there once before for a friend’s birthday lunch and really loved it. It’s owned by Marcus Samuelsson, an Etheopian-Swede who started the eatery in Harlem to mix some Swedish cuisine with the rich, “diverse culinary cultures of the neighborhood.” Before I describe the meal, you have to understand the atmosphere. It is a big space, with tables and a bar when you walk in, and more tables behind the bar with an open kitchen. All the way to the left when you enter, there is a huge colorful bookshelf with all sorts of little things cluttering each shelf from cookbooks to dice. I just thought that was a big part of their uplifting, colorful atmosphere. So, as a small starter, we shared cornbread with honey butter. It is warm and crumby, yet firm and was even better with a spread of butter on it. All of March, they are hosting a Harlem Lunch Month special that includes their Peanut Soup, Helga’s Meatballs, and a Devil’s Food Cupcake. My dad ordered that and I had a hamburger with spicy mayo, cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms and truffle fries which was all fantastic. I have always loved truffles and the truffle oil was a great addition to the fries. The burger was great too, especially the sautéed mushrooms and spicy mayo. After gobbling down my burger, my dad gave me his last meatball with some lingonberries. It was moist and savory and wouldn’t be as good without a few lingonberries on top. Finally, my dad and I shared the Devil’s Food Cupcake. I can’t even describe how good it was, so you have to go there to understand how “scrumptious” it was.

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