Cool Runnings Café

4110 NE Fremont, 282-2118

A mix of Jamaican, Caribbean, and Cajun food, Cool Runnings' fare is prepared with care, skill, marvel, and big serving spoons. They offer gumbo, jambalaya, blackened catfish, collard greens with black-eyed peas, delicious Cajun breakfasts, ribs, salads, and even a blackened tofu sandwich. They also offer exotic meats like the delicious lamb-like goat in a creamy curry sauce, and crawfish tail or gator po-boys served on a crispy baguette; although the more standard oyster poy is my favorite. Cool Running's specials--quite often fish related--are always worth eating, so don't be shy of trying something new. In the summer, they have a couple tables out front that provide excellent people watching if you can stand the traffic on Fremont. KS

Long Island Cafe

1012 SW Morrison, 274-0628

While the name of this joint makes me think big slice of pizza and a soda, it offers a lot more. The pizza is great, mind you, and can be bought and eaten on the fly. It should not be overlooked, however, that the LIP also serves huge falafels in fresh pitas, and a Mediterranean plate that's just as good. The plate comes with five falafel balls, tabouli, dolmas (rice stuffed grape leaves), baba, and all elements are executed with care and skill. The baba could be a bit more chunky and bitter for my taste, but I'm one of those people who likes everything as bitter and sour as you can get it, and my dining partner loved it. Try this place out. The people are super nice and you can get dinner for two for about $12. KS

Anna Bannanas

1214 NW 21st, 274-2559

Anna Bannanas' Doot-de-Doo is hands down my favorite coffee drink in town. Sure, to the overly self-concious consumer, these three syllables might be hard to say, but trust me, it's worth it. This perfect melding of Chai tea, espresso shots (one or two), and milk is delicious served hot, but is awesome cold in the summer months, while still delivering the maximum amount of caffeine to your system. It's what Dale Cooper calls a "gift to yourself." KS