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New restaurant to bring E.L. international cuisine

April 5, 2001

It’s going to be East Lansing’s newest flavor.

Raydan Café and Market, 317 M.A.C. Ave., an international cuisine restaurant that also will have fresh-squeezed juices, will likely open up next week, said Aminah Sutphen, who owns the café along with her husband Mustahil Akaak.

“We love the area and we love campus,” Sutphen said. “We love the food, and we are hoping we can make a go of it.”

Sutphen awaits a license from the city.

The café will have hot meals, such as curry served with hot bread and rice, as well as cold dishes such as hummus, tabouli and lebna - a creamy yogurt eaten with pita bread.

Sutphen said the café also will have a market area for hard-to-find international dry goods, like cheeses and oils.

“We also hope to have some common items as well,” she said. “Like if you run out of milk and toilet paper you can stop in here and get it.”

She also said the café will have a seating area and a carry-out service for people on the go.

Women’s studies senior Juanita Smith said she is a big cooking person who likes all kinds of foods and is excited about a new ethnic cuisine restaurant in the city.

“(The café) will be convenient to go to because it is right in town,” she said. “And I like to try different things.”

East Lansing Councilmember Sam Singh said there has been an increase of ethnic foods in East Lansing during the last three years because of the city’s diverse community.

“There are plenty of pizza and sub shops,” he said. “But when you can get a variety of food it adds to the mix of the quality of downtown.”

Rim Maddur, an advertising sophomore, agreed an ethnic restaurant adds to the flavor of the city and said she would definitely stop in to Raydan Café.

“It is nice to have the Indian restaurants we have (downtown),” she said. “It is something different than junk food or fast food.”

Maddur, though, said the location of the café might deter students from visiting it.

“It’s not a really good location,” she said. “There are not a whole lot of businesses around it that people would go to.”

Regardless, Sutphen hopes students and city residents will enjoy the café’s wide variety of international foods.

“Our food isn’t overly spicy,” she said. “If you can take a little heat it will be fine.”

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