Chris Rock Would Have a Field Day at Waid’s Haitian Cuisine and Lounge

Welcoming vibe not immune to a cringe factor.

"We should just love each other as human beings!" exclaims the man on the voice mail at Waid's Haitian Cuisine & Lounge. That welcoming vibe carries over into the Central District establishment. A smiling server called Jerusalem ferries drinks to the outdoor patio, calling patrons "honey" and telling those heading out to "Come on back and see us soon!" The kitchen serves up Haitian cuisine until 10 p.m., highlighting rich dishes like taso (marinated "goat bits" with onions, cloves, and peppers) and chiktay (salted cod), but Waid's stays open late with various events from reggae nights to hip-hop. On a recent Tuesday night, however, something seemed strange. The lounge's floor was loosely filled with awkwardly dancing white couples, moving to jazz and soul classics provided by a bored-looking girl sitting behind a laptop, while the bar area was abuzz with jovial, mostly black, nondancing patrons. Jerusalem shed some light on this bizarro scenario—which my drinking partner accurately observed would be a gold mine of material for a comedian like Chris Rock—letting us know that on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, Waid's hosts a jazz dance class. While the entertainment (and cringe) factor was high, the $7 to get through the door would be better saved for another, less offbeat night at the spot. 1212 E. Jefferson St., 328-6493, www.waidsplace.com.

 
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