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Downtown / Lower NW >
Middle Eastern >
Mama Ayesha (Calvert Cafe)
Posted by Anna on 05/05/2009
The food, atmosphere and service is fantastic! I am never disappointed and always love eating here.
Posted by Louis on 03/29/2009
I was there last 30+ years ago before it and this whole neighborhood upgraded. Quintesential DC. I'd eat there again and again in a minute.
Posted by Anita on 11/20/2007
White tablecloths and flower vases have replaced the old booths and jukeboxes, but it is still a classic gathering place for friends and family. One of my quintessential childhood memories is of Mama Ayesha herself presiding over the restaraunt from her corner table, as my sister and I pestered our parents for quarters to play songs from the selections we couldn't even read yet. One thing that has not changed is the quality of the food. The cubes of lamb on the kebab are just as I remember them: tender and red on the inside with a slightly charred and smoky exterior, flavorful from the marinade I have never been able to sucessfully reproduce at home. The aromatic lamb couscous, which was my Grandma's favorite, is still a perfect balance of sweet and savory complex flavors. Be sure to get an appetizer platter so you can sample all of their dips--the ones from MA's are the standard against which I judge all others! Also try the stuffed grape leaves. Classic.
Posted by rehsif on 11/18/2006
This is probably DC's oldest middle eastern resturant and consistently has served good food. We have enjoyed our dinners there since the 60s when it had the look of a seedy dive in a foreign sook. In recent years the atmosphere has significantly improve to first rate but it is always the food that brings us back.