Restaurant offers glimpse into Haitian culture

The Woulibam Restaurant is a family-owned eatery in Maplewood that serves Haitian and Caribbean Cuisine, which offers a unique perspective to the community, according to restaurant owners.

Merinda Gruszecki- Digital/Social Media Editor

The restaurant is owned by Marie Philemos and her family. “My mission for the restaurant is to really show all the different kinds of dishes that Haiti has to offer and our culture,” Philemos said.

In line with the family’s mission, the restaurant serves dishes which are unique to Haitian and Caribbean culture, Philemos said. More specifically, she said, the focus on Haitian culture and foods is something not seen much in the surrounding communities otherwise.

Some of the signature dishes include oxtail, Tasso de Chevre (a fried goat dish) and Caribbean jerk chicken. Philemos said that oxtail is one of the dishes that various cultures look for and is one of the more unique dishes. In addition, the restaurant offers a variety of chicken, beef and seafood dishes.

According to reviews featured on the restaurant’s Facebook page, customer feedback is mostly positive.

In particular, diners highlighted Woulibam Restaurant’s ambiance, use of spices in the food and genuine representation of the culture. However, restaurant owners aim to make an impact beyond their culinary contributions.

The restaurant also prides itself on being involved within the community. For instance, they participate in the community food bank, called “Feed a Family.” For the purposes of conservation, Philemos said, the restaurant also does not serve any plastics such as plastic straws and other items.

Kerry McGrath, a sophomore biology major, discussed how she would consider going to this restaurant.

“I am trying to be a more adventurous eater,” McGrath said. “I usually go to the same restaurants and order the same food, which recently has become boring.” She added that she is willing to try something new and Haitian food is something she has not tried before.

Zain Khan, a junior business and IT major, said he has a connection to both the cuisine and culture. “I’ve eaten Haitian food before,” Khan said. “In fact, my apartment is located in a very Haitian community.”

The restaurant is located on 1878 Springfield Ave. in Maplewood. In addition, they are offer dine-in, take-out and delivery services. It is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Daniel D’Amico can be reached at daniel.damico@student.shu.edu.

Author: Daniel D'Amico

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