I’ve driven past Bawadi (formerly Samedi Sweets Cafe) many, many times in the past, but have never been in, so I thought it was high time I scoped out the scene.
When I opened the door, I was greeted by an automated recording triggered by the door opening. Presumably this was a one-sentence greeting, but I was joking to myself that it was really saying, “If you don’t understand this, then turn around and get the hell out of here!”
I walked straight to the sweets counter, but couldn’t help noticing the somewhat meager lunch buffet. However, I peeked inside the food warmers, and a lot of the things looked really good – there were, for example some plain grilled meats to go along with traditional stews – perhaps a dozen things in all. I asked the lady behind the sweets counter, and she said the weekday price is $9.95, and from what I saw, that was definitely a bargain.
I ordered two things to go: a Kanafeh and a Nammoura, and although I don’t know the price, the total came out to something like $7.78 – I just gave the lady $9.00. She thoughtfully packed the sugar syrup for the Nammoura in a separate tin, and I didn’t even put it on until the next day (Nammoura is the Lebanese name for this extremely common Middle-Eastern treat, and I’m not sure I’ve ever had a bad one – especially when it’s doused in orange-blossom or rosewater syrup).
Unfortunately, the Kanafeh (the one that looks like it has shredded carrots on top which is actually shredded, toasted wheat), is a cheese-based dessert, and the cheese at the bottom of mine was not the freshest. While not completely over-the-hill, it was not as “new” as I would prefer, and after eating half of the dessert, I flipped it over, took a whiff, and decided not to finish – it wasn’t *bad*, mind you; but I’d had my fill, and I’ve had this dessert many times when it was just compelling; this just wasn’t worth the considerable calories given that it wasn’t outstanding.
On my way out, I opened the door, and got a different greeting, one which I imagined to be something like, “And stay out, white boy!” I smiled, got into my car, and drove down Route 7.