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Yolele brunch report

Lambretta76 | Jan 31, 2004 09:05 PM

This morning I had the pleasure of dining at the new Senegalese (and African in general) restaurant in Bed Stuy, Yolele.

After checking out the menu (at the link below), I was intrigued enough to venture out there.

Unfortunately, on the weekends, they serve a (somewhat limited) brunch menu. Among standards (french toast, eggs benedict), we chose the lamb-sweet potato hash and the kefta. ($7 and $5.5, respectively; other dishes range from $4 for the french toast to $8 for the eggs benedict.)

When we were served our water, the pitcher had a large woven root in it. The water had a strange taste of somewhere between horseradish and potato skin, and at first I couldn't get into it. Four glasses later, I was really digging it. The waiter (and owner) informed that it was cheb (sp?), which helps aid digestion. (I'm new to Senegalese cuisine so this was a first for me.)

As for the food, it was quite tasty. The kefta, five balls of ground beef on skewers flavoured with a spice like harissa and a healthy dose of mint, was very light and full of flavour. It's served with a poached egg benedict style and a heap of potato and sweet potato fries.

My sweet potato-lamb hash was also quite a treat. Closer to mashed sweet-potatoes w/ big pieces of lamb sausage (I'm guessing merguez) cut up in it, it had two poached eggs, again receiving the benedict treatment, on top. Don't know how African this dish was, but it was fantastic. Sopped up every last bit with the bread provided. (Standard French baguette - good, not great.)

The meal was very good, and a great option for the fairly tired brunch spots I'm used to. I can't wait to go back and try it during dinner or lunch. Also, for those interested, both owners are from Senegal and will be showing most of the African Nations Cup Football tournament live, so if you're in the neighborhood at 3 am...

As for the room, it's a very nice, bright space with high-ceilings, an open-kitchen, and African carved-wood furniture mixed in with the standard stuff. Check out the tables in back - they weigh about 60 or so pounds each! It's a very friendly place and a welcome addition to a somewhat starved stretch of Bed Stuy.

To get there, take either the C train to Franklin, or the shuttle from the Q train. It's 1108 Fulton (is it Harriet Tubman Blvd. yet?) just off of Franklin.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has made it there.

Link: http://www.yolele.com/dsp/index.php

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