Taxi Brousse Report
A few friends and I tried Taxi Brousse tonight--in Berkeley on San Pablo.
First, they do indeed have their liquor license for anybody still wondering.
It was a big hit all around.
To start, the pastelles filled with gombo saff (spinach and okra stew) were very flavorful. The crust was golden. The sauce atop the pastelles provided some decent heat (spicewise). If I'd been by myself, I'd have gotten the beef filling, which is what I'll do next time.
I think what impressed me most about our meal was its completeness, if I'm not being too philosophical. That's not to say you can't get a "complete" meal somewhere else, but the plate put in front of you is very satisfying in its variety. And beyond that, it all seems to belong there on the plate together. My own dish was the dibi chicken and it came with couscous, marinated onions, a large green salad, and plaintains. The chicken itself was the leg and thigh.
I really enjoyed the chicken. I've heard/read one or two complaints about the quality of the meat/poultry used, but none of that applied last night. Quite good. The flavor was less bold than I'd anticipated, but I don't know anything about West African food. I did find myself envying the lamb eaters. The plantains are really terrific. I rationed mine for individual bites throughout the meal.
The couscous was disappointing. A little dry.
My friends aren't the sharing kind, so I can't speak to anything else, except to say everything looked great and was generally applauded. From the looks of it, I'd say the fish specials deserve special consideration. Also, didn't have dessert, so...
Finally, it bears mentioning that our waiter might be the nicest human being upon this Earth.
If you haven't been, definitely worth checking it out.