by Ian Froeb
Driving down South Grand Boulevard not too long ago, I noticed that...something...was happening at 3445 South Grand, north of the intersection with Gravois Avenue. Without any fanfare or signage -- except, that is, for a No Smoking placard on the front door -- a restaurant appeared to have opened in this dowdy storefront.
Well, that restaurant now has a name: Nasiib Restaurant, serving Somali food.
As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I'm wrong), this is the first Somali restaurant in St. Louis.
Yup. I was wrong. There was previously a Somali restaurant on Vandeventer. Read Jill Posey-Smith's RFT review from 1999.
My knowledge of Somali cuisine is cursory, at best, but Nasiib's menu suggests a wide of range of techniques and influences, with an emphasis on meat: sambusa; curries; pasta; fried goat liver; sukhar, a beef dish; kingfish; a cornbread-esque bread called moofu.
When I stopped in Nasiib today, an employee told me the restaurant is in a soft-opening mode, hence the lack of a "Now Open" placard or similar signage. (As a rule, I don't eat at restaurants during their soft openings, which is why I don't have a more in-depth report on the restaurant's food for you. Yet.) However, according to its menu, Nasiib is open every day for lunch and dinner.