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  1. After reading Tim Carman's review of Pinks Cafe Afrikoko, my appetite and curiosity were whetted and I just had to try this place. It's tucked away in a small strip mall in Germantown, just a few minutes from my office. I went there, ordered three dishes, and came away thinking that someone had pulled a fast one on me. I ordered the chicken kebab ($5) to eat in while waiting for my take out orders. For $5, I figured I'd be getting a nice, lunch portion of something. What I got was two skewers of tough chicken that had been covered with a tomato based sauce and sprinkled with a dusting of spices. Nothing else. The chicken tasted like it had precooked and then popped in the microwave (what was that *bing* noise I heard just a minute before my meal was brought out to me?). There was no way the chicken had actually been cooked IN the sauce. Rather, it was just poured on. The sauce was blander than what I had imagined. The pieces of meat that were dusted with the spices didn't taste discernibly different from those that weren't. On top of that, I began to feel nauseous within 15 minutes of finishing and spent the next few hours in and out of the commode. For take out, I essentially ordered what I hoped would be enough for a nice dinner for two. I got a steamed vegetable stew ($7 - the menu said "with banku or rice") and then a beef and rice dish ($10). I was a little surprised to find that they had charged me an extra $3 for the banku (what DOES it mean when it says the dish is served WITH an item?). Oh, well...whatever. Got home to find out the vegetable dish was....frozen mixed vegetables (you can't mistake those machine cut veggies for anything else). They had been steamed and given the once over with a pepper grinder. For $7??? WTF? The one and only saving dish was the beef and rice dish (go figure - it's the one thing I can't remember the name of). While it was a little oily and the heat came predominantly from black pepper, the meat itself was very tender and the sauce had a flavour. It was great to dip some of the banku in the sauce. So - I (think I) got overcharged, got a bit sick, and went one for three on the meals. And yet, I'll still give them one more shot, seeing as how Carman was so positive on it. Maybe they knew he was a food writer and helped them with their decisions. I can't feel that we just didn't get our money's worth.
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