In a time of uncertainty for our ethnic and immigrant neighbors, 7th Annual Plate of Nations urges vote of support with forks, fingers, and chopsticks March 24 – April 9th, 2017.
Recent events in our country have shone a light on our ethnic and immigrant neighbors, inspiring us to find creative ways to support them. Taking to the streets and hopping light rail with chop sticks, forks, spoons, and fingers to the Seventh Annual Plate of Nations in Rainier Valley is a fun, delicious, and meaningful way to show support for businesses owned by these communities.
Now in its seventh year, the signature dine-around event of the MLK Business Association runs March 24th – April 9th at restaurants along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in culturally rich Rainier Valley. Eleven local venues with global menus offer $15 or $25 meals to share with two or more people, showcasing some of Seattle’s best cultural and ethnic cuisine.
This year diners can experience a wide variety of traditional and vegetarian culinary delights including savory chicken shawarma at Bananas Grill, Misir Wet (split red lentil cooked with sauteed onion, red pepper and tomato sauce) at Cafe Ibex, Central Vietnamese specialty noodle soup Bun Bo Hue at Bun Bo Hue Hoang Lan, Black Pepper Beef at Foo Lam, Northern Vietnamese-styled eggplant hot pot at Huong Duong Sunflower, Eritrean lamb and fish tibs at Momona Cafe, Asian-styled Halal lamb curry at Olympic Express Halal Restaurant, traditional Vietnamese shrimp and pork papaya salad at Rainier Restaurant & BBQ, and old skool east coast field roast subs at The Original Philly’s.
New this year, Amazing Thai joins the event with Khao Neeo Dahm (Black Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk), and seasoned caterer-turned-restaurateur Seasoned in Seattle offers up dishes like the mouth-watering MLK Mash-Up (smoked mozzarella polenta, wilted greens, sun-dried tomato cream).
A passport to venues is offered, encouraging diners to collect stamps and qualify for prizes like gift certificates from participating restaurants. Contests roll out on Facebook throughout the event, with large prizes awarded according to passport stamps and drawings at the end of the event.
Last year, the event drew 2,500 diners from 42 Seattle neighborhoods, and 35 cities within Washington, selling thousands of specials and bringing tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue into Rainier Valley. Business for one restaurant was up 40% over average sales.
Eritrean refugee and owner of Momona Café, Letina Tewolde, said, “Plate of Nations is excellent for my business!”
Plate of Nations was launched in 2011 by the MLK Business Association to create a festive event where MLK restaurants can showcase some of their favorite dishes with special menus that invite customers to experience their cultural traditions.
Photo/Café Ibex dinner special