African

580. Baobab Fare – September 14, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Delicious Baobab Fare! The restaurant on Woodward Avenue in Detroit serves up flavorful East African fare in an artfully designed, welcoming setting.

Baobab Fare is owned by husband-and-wife duo Nadia Nijimbere and Hamissi Mamba, who originally hail from Burundi. According to Baobab Fare’s website, their intention is for the restaurant to “serve as a safe space for other immigrants and Detroiters alike, knowing that it is a meeting place where all are welcomed and embraced. Baobab will help to fill a gap as it relates to African fare and culture in the city.”

That’s a mission I can get behind – especially when it’s being so deliciously done! The meal I had last month at Baobab Fare, the Mhogo, was SO tasty. It’s a dish Baobab Fare only serves on Wednesdays. It consists of chicken that’s been pan-fried, shredded, and infused with a mustard-onion sauce, yuca root, and the choice of either yellow beans or peanut-stewed spinach (I opted for the latter). I ordered a side of plantains to accompany it (because plantains are EVERYTHING to me), and an African tea with oat milk.

I cannot stress how wonderful this meal was! The chicken and spinach were rich and flavorful; the yuca, buttery, starchy, comfort-food goodness. The spinach especially had me exclaiming. How could something as innately banal as spinach be transformed into such tastebud-thrilling fare??? I don’t know the answer to that question – but Baobab Fare does. The accoutrements to the meal – the spiced African black tea and plantains – were just as delicious.

Sitting in Baobab Fare’s beautiful dining room, chatting with a good friend whilst savoring this marvelous meal – on a workday Wednesday, no less – was such a treat. Here’s to new-place visits that elevate the everyday – especially when they’re visits to restaurants with purpose, heart, and a talented kitchen staff! Baobab Fare checks all the boxes there.

6568 Woodward Ave., Ste. 100

Detroit, MI 48202

www.baobabfare.com

503. Maty’s African Restaurant – March 20, 2021 – Detroit, MI

Mmmmm, Maty’s African Restaurant!

I had a phenomenal meal from the Detroit-based Senegalese restaurant back in March. I ordered its Mafee, an insanely delicious stew made from ground peanuts and tomatoes and spices, swimming with chunks of tender chicken and vegetables. It was everything I want in a dish: hearty, savory, spicy, and oh-SO-flavorful! The fried plantains I also ordered were addictive nuggets of caramelized goodness.

This meal from Maty’s was memorable not only because of its extreme deliciousness. I ate this carryout lunch inside my car, and Mafee is not a meal conducive to car-eating.

As I savored the stew’s luscious, peanut-buttery sauce, I also fought to keep it from oozing all over me and the confines of my car. This was no small feat! As evidenced by the above photo, Maty’s is not skimping on the portions; the Mafee was practically overflowing from its carryout container. Fortunately, I fared better than expected – and had a laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing (oh, COVID-era vehicular dining!). I’m grateful for the ample portions of Mafee and the rice that accompanied it, because they meant three mouthwatering meals for me.

Maty’s other offerings include Chicken Yassa, whole-fish dishes, and beef ribs featuring a house-made mustard-onion sauce. I’d love to return to Maty’s and try more of those meals – though I suspect I’ll be stuck on that Mafee for a while!

21611 Grand River Ave.

Detroit, MI 48219

www.matysdetroit.com