There are 2 rules for dining at A-M Africa:
- arrive before you’re actually hungry.
- relax. I mean really. Relax. You’re in for a slow, leisurely evening.
Time moves kinda different at A-M Africa, and nobody rushes (or stresses) for anything. Fire in the building? There will be no panic, just a casual amble towards the door. Maybe hitting the kitchen first for another beer.
There are only certain people you can take the A-M Africa.
And most cravings, we just hit Vincenzo’s instead, which carries a couple of their dishes in take-out containers.
Yum yum zignie!
But we wanted to get out of the house, and still technically being Vacation Time, were in no rush. The place was dead when we arrived. Completely devoid of any staff or real customers. There was one fellow sitting at the bar, who apparently was a friend of the owner. She’s stepped out, he tells us. But she’ll be back by 5.
Its 5:30 now.
Well then. Uh.
He has a cell phone number, and tries it a couple of times. He finally gets through to her. She apologizes. Kids, soccer game at Victoria Park, whatever. We’ll wait, despite my fatal mistake of arriving hungry. In the meantime, we peruse the menu.
African food involves a lot of curry-like dishes. Beef, lamb, goat, vegetables, stewed in thick savoury sauces. They bring out a large platter that’s been lined with Injera, a fermented, spongey flat bread. The various entrees (2 or 3 per platter) are then spooned out on top of the Injera. You can use cutlery if you want, but its more fun to tear off a piece of the bread, and use that to scoop up bits of meat and veggie. Expect your fingers to be dyed orange by the end.
We asked for the Zil Zil (beef simmered in butter, red wine and spices) and Alicha Beghi (lamb in thyme, scallions, green peppers and onion). They were out of Zil Zil, so she substituted the Zignie instead. Zignie is beef in a red pepper sauce. Very good. Very spicy. Unfortunately, its also what we always get at Vincenzo’s, and I was rather looking forward to trying something else.
The Alicha Beghi was okay. The meat was tender, but the sauce was no where near as flavourful as I had expected. Also, it was bone in. Rainbow Caribbean does the same with their goat curry (which I like to get wrapped in a roti), and it drives me bonkers. Like leaving mussels in their shell in soup or paella. >_< Finger foods shouldn’t be saucy. And yes, I am a spoiled princess.