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Feb 27, 2010 08:55 AM

West African food?

I recently moved to Philly and am wondering if there are any places to find decent West African dishes. I lived there years ago with the Peace Corps and would like to introduce my wife to Yassa Poulet ( Senegalese) or a good peanut sauce (Mafi Tiga from Guinea).

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  1. I'd be really interested in this too, I heard about some Ethiopian places in University City but nothing concrete yet...

    1. Tastee D's opened up on (or just off of) South St last summer I think. Haven't heard much since. If you go, please report back!

      And yeah there are a wealth of Ethiopean places in West Philly but that is a different cuisine. There used to be a Senegalese place at 40th & Chestnut but it closed a little while ago.

      2 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        I just remembered about the West African community in Southwest Philadelphia. If you are brave, there are some restaurants down that way. Check out the OP on this thread:

        I think if you google the restaurant he mentions, you might find some more info, I remember it being written up in the CP, PW, one of the blogs or maybe even Rich Nichols.

        1. re: barryg

          barryg, it's Memdee's, reviewed by Craig LaBan in 2007. I remember reading the article. Memdee's is Liberian/West African. It's just a few blocks from Le Mendingue, which is included in the link you posted.

          *disclaimer: I am psurpcv's (OP) wife. I'll have him review LaBan's description to see if Memdee's includes any of the foods he's interested in.

          I'll also point him to Fatou and Fama's menu, which has Senegalese specials:

          EDIT: Fatou and Fama's dining room is closed and they seem to be open only for catering.

      2. I confess that I don't know whether the restaurants are West African, but check out Baltimore Avenue between 45th and 47th streets.

        1 Reply
        1. re: altachev

          I am pretty sure they are all Ethiopian.

        2. A restaurant with varied cuisine with West African roots is Geechee Girl Cafe in West Mount Airy.

          1. Thanks for all of the tips. My wife and I just came back from Le Mendinque, 6600 Woodland. The food was good and close to what I remember from ten years ago. I had some atcheki (a form of shredded, prepared cassava) that was very good. The people are friendly and due to few workers and an apparently thriving take out business service to start was slow but once we ordered the food came out quickly. My wife had dibi, and we both had servings of the ginger drink (also very good). On the whole I would recommend as authentic. The menu changes daily.