Take Me To Senegal

I somehow find a way to mention my birthday in almost every post without me knowing. It is as if I take a sedative while writing at night and do not catch things until the morning.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, because this story requires a slight indication of the b-word (birthday, not the naughty one) and we will get to that. First, we need to cut-scene back a few months ago, How I Met Your Mother style.

Sarath and I have always made/got each other little things for our birthdays these past fews. For 2013, she purchased a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant for me. I have wanted to try this place for the longest time, but never got around to it.

My old roommate (who is back in Boston now) and Sarath used to get crazy here late into the weekend nights. I, being the grandma that I am, thought that a nice early dinner sounded much better before bedtime.

This meal was very fun because it was completely new to me. I have never eaten at a Senegalese restaurant before. For the cartographically-challenged, Senegal is located in the westernmost tip of Africa. It is also a melting pot of cultures (Middle Eastern, French, African, etc) due to politics that are far too heavy for this silly blog.

It took us a few days of rescheduling but we finally made it work! Time to eat delicious food at Bissap Baobab.

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Who better to ask to accompany me more than Sarath herself? This is her doing an artsy pose.

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My pose was a little less creative. I honestly look the same in every picture. Whenever anyone tells me to do a funny face, it ends up being the smallest variation of this.

I can not complain because it is a step up than my old smile, The Chandler. My awkward stage lasted a few years longer than it should.

PS: I miss my long hair, I got a haircut two days ago and it is so short. 🙁

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Our appetizer, the pastelles, were a great introduction to this foreign cuisine. These deep fried pastries filled with marinated beef tasted amazing and I wish we ordered two! Yum.

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Family style is always more fun because you get the pleasure of eating two entrees without the guilt of feeling like you are going to rip your pants after. This decapod dish was marinated in garlic and cayenne pepper, served in a red curry with pita bread. The Baobab Gambas had a unique curry taste, tasting more similar to East Asian curry rather than Indian.

Marco, the owner, told us that he gets some inspiration from the South East Asian flavors from traveling in Bali and the surrounding areas. Sarath introduced us and I really enjoyed talking to him, it is always nice to see the vision behind the man in charge.

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Our other shared entree was the Niebe Thies, chicken and black-eyed peas cooked with vegetables in a spicy Senegelese sauce. Coincidentally, I was commenting on blogs the morning of our dinner and wrote that I never tried black-eyed peas before. Somehow the stars aligned and I knew that I had to try them! Love at first site, really. This was my favorite dish.

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The star of the night was the Banana Flambee, bananas sautéed in butter and rum, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A la mode always does it for me on a cool San Francisco night. Plus I love banana desserts, like fried bananas with green tea ice cream. Mm mm.

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I tried to take a picture of their sign but it was too bright for my camera. I love the little dancing man.

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In more recent news, Erin @ The Almond Eater and I officially met in person! Is she not the cutest little being ever? Our original plans was to grab beers and tapas but the restaurant was closed for a private event. Instead, we chowed down on delicious burgers and I gave her a small tour of the city!

PS: Do not ask why the picture is so yellow, I can not remember the lighting being so horrible. Also do not bring up the fact that I tried to hide my half coke half diet coke.

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What culture’s cuisine have you been wanting to try?

When you met your blogger friend, what activities did you partake in?