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Most of us board the light rail downtown after work or on our way to the airport and bury our heads in books and iPods

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Cafe Car: Olympic Express Is International Junk Food Paradise

lightrailfrontcafecar_picnik.jpg
Most of us board the light rail downtown after work or on our way to the airport and bury our heads in books and iPods until our destination. But look out the window and you'll discover that the thirty-minute stretch of train tracks is one of the most economically and culturally diverse in the city. At least if the restaurants surrounding each station are any indication.

So we here at Voracious decided to start riding to random stops, where we will wander around until something strikes our culinary fancy, treating the light rail as our own, personal cafe car.

The Stop: Othello

The Vibe: Good afternoon, Vietnam! The Othello stop is surrounded by tiny pho cafes tucked in between laundromats and jewelry stores in three small shopping centers, all adjacent to the light rail station. The options were limited somewhat in the evening thanks to early closing times. And having come for dinner I was getting a little discouraged, but then I saw a sign advertising gyros.

The Cafe: Olympic Express (7101 Martin Luther King Junior Way S.) is owned by a Vietnamese family, but the menu is a veritable culinary United Nations.

Vietnamese staples pho and banh mi are on the menu, though referred to as noodle soup and a sandwich respectively. And in addition to those gyros you can get chicken curry, fried rice, something referred to as a "China" egg roll, African-style sambosas (similar to its Indian cousin, the samosa), and a t-bone steak.

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Every country has something that will give you a heart attack and Olympic Express has most of them on its menu.
In order to get a broad sampling, I ordered the banh mi (chicken is the only option), an egg roll and a Thai iced coffee to wash it all down.

Fried food is totally delicious regardless of what country it comes from. And if my meal is any indication, Olympic Express is fully committed to making every bite you take totally scrumptious. The banh mi is served on bread so greasy it's almost a pastry, with a layer of mayonnaise inside. The egg roll had started soaking through the bag by the time I got to it. And the Thai coffee didn't skimp on the sweetened-condensed milk.

Riding the train back downtown my stomach felt a little multi-ethnically bloated, but my taste buds were dancing with joy.

 
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