This weekend my brother and I were cruising through 17 Ave SE, or ‘International Avenue’ as they’ve rebranded it, and happened to drive by a distinctive sign proclaiming an African restaurant. Both of us being new to African cuisine, we promptly went in, and thanked our lucky stars that it was open on Sunday as so few places seem to be. Really for a large city with metropolitan pretentions, Calgary often lacks the cultural delights that other cities have, like late night dining, Sunday eating options or a vibrant core.
We went in and were able to grab a table near the window, which is awesome, because taking photos in a dimly lit restaurant really sucks. For the photos anyway. The menu is short and sweet, a breakfast section, mains and beverages. We started off with mango juice which seems to suit every meal it’s served with, but I was sorely tempted by a beer also. The interior is dusky, with a good selection of tables seating at least four, which is great, because I hate two-tops and find them cramped and uncomfortable. There were also plenty of locals inside, which is a decent sign of authenticity. Several families were sharing plates of food and several tables just hanging out.
Most of the dishes consisted of beef or lamb, cooked in a variety of ways, none of which I was familiar with. Yet the lamb spareribs at the bottom of the menu sang a siren song and to balance it out we got the sole veggie dish at the recommendation of our waitress. The food took a while to arrive, but was well worth it when it appeared.
We were both waaaay too full for dessert, and couldn’t even finish the entire order, getting some leftovers to go. The dishes would handily serve three, or two voracious appetites, which we typically bring. Overall my impression is that I’m not dying to go back, but if I was in the area and someone else expressed an interest in a meal, I’d be tying my bib on right quick.