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Fatou & Fama - pretty disappointing (longish)

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Fatou & Fama - pretty disappointing (longish)

Julie | Apr 27, 2003 08:39 AM

After reading about this place both here and in weekly paper reviews, I went last night. "Eh." I had a fish with vegetables dish (sorry, can't remember the name but it was the first item on the list in the African side of the menu, advertised as the national dish of Senegal). The fish was a small steak (cod? swordfish?) and extremely dried out. Vegetables were cabbage and carrots, and the whole thing was cooked in an orangey, not terribly tasty sauce and placed atop about three pounds of pretty dry couscous. I was reminded of food I'd had on a bad river cruise in Russia. My dining companion had stewed lamb, which came with fried plantains and a salad. Both the lamb--nice and tender--and the plantains, which were a bit sweet and cooked with spices and onions, were tasty. The salad was a typical iceberg with French dressing thing. To start, we had an appetizer of deep-fried balls of black-eyed pea dough, which were actually quite nice and light, although the "dipping sauce" that came with them seemed to be just a ladleful of gravy taken out of one of the stew pots. This is probably culturally accurate (I'm extrapolating from my experiences eating local cuisine in Zimbabwe), but it wasn't that interesting.

We didn't get anything with peanut sauce in it, which may have been a mistake, but all in all I was quite underwhelmed by the food here.

One additional note: I'd read that the service at this restaurant was very leisurely, which in the event turned out not to be the case. I had made a reservation, which was indeed honored via the use of a scribbled Post-it note on the tabletop, and we sat right down at the one free table. Service was quite quick and efficient, and our water glasses were refilled several times with no need to ask for it. The one misstep was that we were never offered dessert (the check was simply put down as our plates were removed), but after that meal, I was pretty ready to go around the corner to Ben & Jerry's anyway.

If anyone has had better experiences here with ordering, let me know and I might give it another shot.

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