Bissap Baobab, great food and live music

The other night I had dinner at Bissap Baobab, a Senegalese restaurant at Mission and 19th. My Dibi chicken was great, kind of tangy and salty but not too salty; perfectly cooked, with onion sauce, rice, a very good salad, and fried bananas. Our huge table full of people got lovely, friendly, yet slow service (and from reading reviews of the place, I see other people commenting on the slow service — I’d advise you just plan for it and accept it, because the food is completely worth the wait.) We got a free pitcher of hibiscus margaritas with lime and ginger, and a ton of appetizers. My favorite were the fried things filled with marinated tuna, though I can’t remember what they were called.

Dessert was sublime; I tried everyone’s, with the excuse that I needed a wide range of experiences for good blogging. Yes, I used blogging as an excuse to stick my fork in other people’s plates. I had bananas flambe, which came in a warm cinnamony sauce that made me think of the juice that oozes out of homemade apple pie — but with a little more deliberate caramelization to it. Thiaky, which was Senegalese yogurt with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, raisins, and couscous; a bit like tangy tapioca. I’d order that again! Warm chocolate souffle, which didn’t quite live up to my expectations – not warm enough, and not souffle enough. If you want a tepid fluffy brownie, go for it. If not, then order the creme brulee instead, because that was fantastic, creamy, huge, speckled with tons of stuff on top, and it came in a chocolate shell.

You can tell I’m going back there just for dessert, right?

A lot of people seemed to be there just for the music and drinks, but they were missing out. I liked the music but it was loud enough to make conversation difficult – more appropriate for a dance club than for a restaurant with food this great.

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