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Restaurants & Bars 3

taste of africa

solly | Mar 6, 200408:20 PM

Following up on Jim Leff's query as to Camaroonian cuisine in the Bay Area last week, I decided to go ahead and try A Taste of Africa, which during weekend afternoons is basically a green truck parked in the Ashby Flea Market. The restaurant proper is located on the corner of Ashby and Adelaide and serves dinner during weekdays.

We ordered the special of the day -- fried snapper -- a vegetable combo meal, a side order of fries and homemade ginger drink. Almost everything was great. The snapper was coated in cornmeal and criply fried. The plantains were tasty, and some of the vegetables -- sauteed spinach and gingered yams -- were memorable. The ginger drink was unlike anything I've had: really spicy and refreshingly sweet, but not carbonated. I wasn't terribly fond of the black eyed peas (my eating partner remarked that it would have benefited from some salt pork) or the okra (a little gooey). But for $18, the two of us ate happily to our satisfaction.

Some caveats: the woman who cooks (inside the truck) can be cranky, and the food takes a long time to prepare (everything is made to order; we spent an hour and a half eating). So don't go expecting to spend the same amount of time it takes to get a typical flea-market hot dog. And don't rush the cook. With all of the frying, the interior of the truck must reach subhuman temperatures; moreover, the cook is obviously a focused woman; let her do her thing in peace.

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