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Best African Restaurant in the city?

  • l
  • LRS Sep 14, 2007 11:34 AM

A foodie friend from abroad is visiting NYC and other cities in the US. He wants to go to a good African place tonight that is NOT Ethiopian (or northern african). West African (Guinean, Senegalese, Mauritanian, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghanaian) will be great. Also Nigerian, South African, Angola or Mozambique will be great. I used to go to La Marmite in Harlem a lot. I have also been to Florence's and to 2 guinean in east bronx...Among those I think I liked La Marmite the most. Is there something better than that in the city?

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  1. I've read nice things about Treichville but haven't been yet. Maybe some hound has been and can comment on it...

    3 Replies
    1. re: gurmanda

      yes, I read Sietsema's review...How is it compared to La Marmite? I Know Treichville concentrates on food from Ivory Coast and La Marmite is Senegalese but which restaurant is better? Also, is La Marmite open at their new location?

      1. re: LRS

        I went to La Marmite recently, and it was closed down. I didn't realize that it had relocated? Where is it moving to?

        1. re: toum

          apparently on 7th avenue between 133rd and 134th streets but their phone number does not work anymore so I DON'T KNOW. Again...is Treichville good? maybe we should just head to Florence's.....are there any reccs on pastry place afterwards? Can I take stuff from Lee Lee's Baked Goods and bring them?

    2. Just to inform that we ended up going to Treichville (as in the town in Abidjan, Ivory Coast) on 118st between 1st & 2nd Avenue and it was nice. We had the grilled fish with cassava couscous, and the bouillabaisse (pepe soup) with attiéké, fried plantains (which were exactly as we cook them in the Caribbean) and homemade ginger juice. it was very pleasant, I have to say that I liked it more than Florence's and La Marmite (which I also like).

      6 Replies
      1. re: LRS

        I really love Florence and I'll have to check Treichville out. I read the Sietsema review and thought the address was a misprint, since it lands the restaurant more or less in Italian Harlem. In fact you could have a slice of Patsy's pizza for dessert since it is just around the corner. I spent several months down and out in Treichville when I ran out of money, maybe that story will amuse the owner.

        1. re: Brian S

          I love Florence too. The guys who wait on the tables are incredibly friendly, and they'll explain every item on the menu (including its purported corresponding health properties) and provide good conversation. It is always a nice time (and a very good meal) at Florence.

          1. re: merrymc

            Why has everybody but me had that experience? People on this board love Florence's, and I feel like a curmudgeon. The oldest of the family kids usually comes by to take our order, but only once she's torn herself away from the TV program they're all watching. She offers no guidance, and not knowing anything about the cuisine, we end up ordering badly. I've had some tasty things there (mmm...kelewele), but I'm not up for taking that risk again. More for all of you!

            1. re: rose water

              Okay, I've had that experience too.. I love Florence for the food (I was lucky and ordered well) and for the fact that everyone there is from Ghana and having a good time, so it's like being at a family gathering... or at any rate, observing one.

              1. re: rose water

                I've had a guy (early/mid 20s?) as a waiter, and he's the talkative one. I love the kewele and fufu (this is a very subjective dish) and peanut soups...but I've ordered things I don't like too! If you go when "Dancing With The Stars" is on, you will encounter a very family-like atmosphere, as everyone comes by to watch.

            2. re: Brian S

              Florence's is closed. RIP.

          2. Thanks for the info on Treichville, LRS.

            DaveCook had the most info on La Marmite that I've seen: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41873... Don't know if they've finally opened up on Adam Clayton Powell since July. FWIW, the website on their awning: www.lamarmiteresto.com leads to an error message, so no further info there.

            Les Ambassades expands their menu considerably during Ramadan, with different specials every day of the week. The sign listing their specials went up a couple days ago, so there are 3+ weeks left to sample their wares.

            1. There's also Aziza in on White Plains Rd. in the Bronx, which serves delicious food from Ghana. It's located in a restaurant counter/holistic pharmacy/African video rental service/convenience store. Don't be fooled -- it's great! The women behind the counter are incredibly friendly (one ended up sitting with me and we flipped through the Nigerian equivalent of "Paris Match"), and while there's no menu, they'll accomodate you with whatever you want. Each time I've had goat/fish stew with fufu (which is a pretty subjective food) and it was delicious (though the dish itself is bonier than I usually like).

              It's Ghanaian, but given that they get a good deal of Nigerian customers, I'm sure they can make Nigerian dishes.

              1. Here's a new contender. I'm not sure if it's fair to call it African but on thinking over I guess it is.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441856

                1. Has anyone been to Bennachin in New Orleans? Is there anything in NYC that compares? Was just down and had an excellent meal there... both the Vegetarians (myself included) and the Carnivorous folks at the table had awesome meals. I believe their menu is based on recipes from Gambia and Cameroon. It was delicious. I need to find something local that can nail those flavors because I can't stop thinking about it. Black Eyed Pea fritters, Spicy Cabbage, etc...

                  1. Not necessarily "the best," but let me throw in the name of South Beach Cafe, which I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere on Chowhound.
                    SBC is just a block south of the 2&3 subway stop, at 124th & Lenox (Malcolm X Blvd). I visited for the first time yesterday. Had a taste of two dishes - lamb mafe stew and sauce claire with lamb stew over white rice. Absolutely delicious. Complex flavors, strong umami taste. They also serve the typical dishes found at other restaurants in the neighborhood, like debe and thiebou djeun.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: racer x

                      I had SBC's soupou kandjia tonight. It's my favorite of the three dishes I've had there.
                      A friend from work happened to be dining there with a friend - they strongly recommended the tilapia, which I'll have to try on a future visit.

                      1. re: racer x

                        Nice rec - thanks. Is the African stuff what they do best? The menu also has Cajun and Southern touches.

                        -----
                        South Beach Cafe
                        100 W 124th St, New York, NY 10027

                        1. re: squid kun

                          I've only had their African dishes, so can't comment on the other stuff.