Mitsitam Cafe, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian

For the first time I’ve ever seen, Mitsitam Cafe was off its game yesterday. For a late lunch on Christmas-Eve Eve (as my son called it, with anticipation), it was a ghost town along with the rest of the city. An entire side of the cafe wasn’t even open.

I’ve always felt it was a tragedy to come here and order chicken nuggets and french fries (which so many people do) because the really exotic (or, maybe “non-exotic” is the better term) items here are done so incredibly well for a museum cafe.

Nuggets and fries are served in the Great Plains section which I’ve always found to feature the least interesting fare. Buffalo chili, burgers, et cetera, are nice, but you can do a lot better at Mitsitam.

Or not. A Pulled Buffalo Sandwich ($9.75) was delicious – a heaping tongful of shredded meat, pre-sauced with a kid-friendly moderately sweet and tangy tomato base, loaded atop a standard whole wheat Kaiser roll, topped with chayote squash slaw. The bun served merely as a delivery vehicle for the meat itself.

While I don’t recommend flocking to the Great Plains station, if you do, you may want to consider this sandwich.

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