Ostensibly, Kaffeine231 is a casual neighborhood coffee shop, but despite the name, you’re not here for caffeine. Arrive around noon and you’ll be greeted by the sights and smells of Samarkand Plov, the quintessential Uzbek street foods, simmering away in a pair of enormous drums. Depending on the weather, you’ll either find this vendor set up in front of the shop, or just inside the door. Choose from lamb or beef over rice, served with melted, cumin-laced peppers and onions. Each order comes gardenish with a hard-boiled quail egg, a whole head of roasted garlic, and a fresh, herby salad. Get there as close to 12 as you can because they will sell out. You can also get a variety of Uzbek pastries from the front window of the shop, including a formidable pumpkin samsa. On the sweet side, make sure to try Kaffeine231’s pistachio cake layered with fresh berries and whipped cream.
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