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Yolele (Bed Stuy African) report

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Yolele (Bed Stuy African) report

Lambretta76 | Feb 9, 2004 10:13 AM

Had a second meal there this past Saturday night (after a very enjoyable brunch the week before).

(Search for Yolele for that review further down the page.)

The four of us ordered two apps, four entrees, three coffees, and a dessert. The total, excluding T&T, was $75. Wine and beer may or may not be served, but we stuck to the cheb water. (The cooks and waiters were drinking wine and Flag beer, but the table next to us left after ordering to grab a 6 pack.)

Apps:

We had the kefta, billed as Moroccan spiced meatballs. 5 of these served w/ a side of roasted pepper salad. Tasty, with a light hint of harissa and heavy on the mint - very good. We also shared the acara, black-eyed pea fritters served in a paper cone. Pretty tasty, and perfectly fried, but nothing special. The dipping sauce was forgettable. (I guess so, since I don't remember it at all.)

Entrees: I had the "Moroccan-spiced" lamb shank with sweet potato mash. Very, very good piece of lamb perfectly cooked, but it was a bit low on the spices. Their mashed sweet potatoes are fanatstic. Others in my party all enjoyed their meals immensely. I tried the couscous royal, with a lamb shank, merguez, and lamb meatballs w/ vegetables on a bed of slighlty sweet, cinnamony couscous. Everything was cooked well and the sweetened couscous was if they combined two of my fave Moroccan dishes - a lamb tagine and b'steeya au pigeon. A salmon dish looked good, and the "fermented black bean sauce" that accompanied it reminded that diner of mole sauce. The free-range chicken on a bed of rice looked good, if a bit boring.

Dessert: had the chocolate cake w/ ice cream. (much fancier name on the menu.) Very good, though the ice cream used is Edy's. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

A note - it seems that they make everything to order there for the most part. Things take a while. Our dinner was just over two and a half hours, with a good 15-20 minutes between each course. Two dinners were served a couple of minutes after the other two were served. But the open kitchen shows that the food is prepared freshly, and it comes to your table as soon as it's done. (No heat lamps to dry it out.)

As for atmosphere, they had the Tunisia-Senegal match on when we got there, then a DJ came in to spin world beat (think Manu Chao and Baba Maal), though at a very reasonable level so that conversation was still easy.

All in all this has become one of my favorites in the area. I have not had Senegalese food elsewhere, and this may be an American interpretation of it, but everything I've tasted there has been very good to great.

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