Cheap Eats: The Horn Coffee — Beef Sambusa — $1.99

Two sambusas and a nafaqo

Food is an important and often undervalued way for people to share their stories and connect with their neighbors. The Sayid family, who opened The Horn Coffee on Murfreesboro Pike in 2014, has many stories to tell. They came to Nashville by way of Kenya in the 1990s as refugees from Somalia, looking to escape a brutal civil war. In their warmly lit cafe, they offer many delectable foods, including a savory pastry called the sambusa, a Somali variation on the Indian samosa. 

The Horn’s sambusa is a fist-sized triangular dumpling fried just to the point of being firm, and you have your choice of four fillings: chicken, fish, vegetables and my favorite, a tender and flavor-packed beef curry. It’s light enough that you can have one as a snack — bite off a corner and pour in the just-spicy-enough mango-jalapeño sauce that’s offered with it — but two or three will make a hearty meal. And even if your budget is tight, you’ll have plenty of coin left over for one of The Horn’s desserts or drinks. I had a cinnamon mocha latte on my visit (sweet but nicely balanced so you could really taste the cinnamon), but I’ll be back for one of the much-loved Somali chais as soon as possible.

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