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B & B African American Cuisine

h
HLing Jun 21, 2009 11:41 AM

165 west 26 st, btw 6th and 7th ave.

On my rare night out wandering the street I've eaten my home made oat & sprouted purple rice crackers and my apple. Still can't go home, yet. Hungry. On the verge of breaking the no eating out policy....R.U.B. was out of the Burnt Ends. In the rain i let my feet take me, trusting somehow....
Came upon this steam table self service place.

It took some courage to go in without feeling I'm intruding. I did anyway, checked out the selections. with the help of a friendly man getting his food I learned that it's West African cooking, with just one selection of Caribbean curry chicken at the time. Many were the other unfamiliar selections that i later found out the names of:

Sauce Graine Poulet ou Viande (Palm Nut sauce with chicken or lamb), African Ragout, Sauce Arachide Viande & Poulet (Peanut stew with beef and chicken), Sauce Gombo Sec poisson et viande (what I got was the lamb with okra-delicious), boulette de poulet (chicken meat balls), Sauce Feuille patate/manioc/epinard (Beef potato or cassava or spinach leaf sauce), sauce Claire, Sauce Oseille (sorrel sauce with beef), soupe Kandia (lamb & fish palm oil sauce)....etc.. There were so much more...Also a cow feet stew that I almost thought was pigs fee, but later realized that this was a Halal restaurant...so yeah, cow's feet. Tasty. Also i liked their crushed rice dishes, which the man explained to me that they get that way from being rubbing against each other and rinsing in water.

I sampled little of a lot, (lots of bones, which makes it tasty, but maybe not for those who are used to boneless everything) and it cost me just $5. The nice man offered to sit with me amidst the African diners talking and enjoying their food.

I feel fortunate I got to taste something new to me, despite the infrequency of chowhounding these days.....thanking my chowhound stars.

  1. r
    racer x Sep 1, 2009 12:17 PM

    I went by this afternoon looking for all those African dishes but mostly found African-American and Caribbean fare: mac & cheese, braised oxtails, curries, rice & peas, various American-style stews.

    1. c
      cimui Jun 21, 2009 03:37 PM

      A beautiful review, HLing. Going on my list of places to seek out.

      1. c oliver Jun 21, 2009 12:14 PM

        This sounds fabulous. But what was the *American* part? Was that the one Caribbean dish? And were the customers Africans or African Americans? If it's a restaurant, why would you have felt like you were intruding? I'd like to try this place but would like a little clarification please.

        1 Reply
        1. re: c oliver
          p
          Peter Cherches Jun 22, 2009 02:55 PM

          A lot of African restaurants seem to call themselves "African American"--that's what the sign at Florence's said.

        2. d
          david sprague Jun 21, 2009 11:45 AM

          wow, what a great tip...i have occasion to be a couple blocks away a couple times a week and will so have to make it over. thanks!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: david sprague
            h
            HLing Jun 21, 2009 03:04 PM

            David, I bet you'll be able to give a more informed assessment of the food. Looking forward to hearing your comments.

            C Oliver, maybe the "American" part was some fried chicken? On their card it says "Halal Restaurant" but on the awning, it said African American Restaurant. At the time I went, which was aroudn 9:30 PM, it was mostly African, but I hear during the day, the near by 9-5ers go there for lunch. When I was just outside the door, there was a line of people at the cash register getting their food weighed before eating,so at first it appeared that they're almost blocking the entrance... and on the side, there was a rug on the floor where people prayed. Over all though, it was calm and easy going. It was mostly my self-consciousness and having been like a hermit for a while that I was feeling like an intruder.

            1. re: HLing
              c oliver Jun 21, 2009 03:53 PM

              Well, I can understand your reluctance if people were on prayer rugs :) And I was thinking the Caribbean dish as in The Americas, rather than fried chicken but that works also.

              As cimui wrote, a really good review. We'll be back in NYC after the 4th and hope to check it out.

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