Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cazamance

A friend and I went to the Senegalese trailer, Cazamance, last week. Raise your hand if you've eaten food from Senegal before? Uh huh. Thought so. Well, this charming trailer and it's equally personable owner Iba, will make you venture over to Rainey Street and attempt to find parking just so you can eat there. 

Cazamance has a nice corner lot, a stone's throw east of the Gara'j Mahal Indian food compound. They're got ample seating, some of which is under a shade awning, all of it under some twinkle lights. We started with the hummus, olive and cheese plate; perhaps not authentically Senegalese, but a good vegetarian beginning. (The picture was saved landscape-style, and I've reposted it like 5 times now, and I can't figure out why it's posting portrait-style. So just turn your head to the right....)

For our main dishes, we got the roast curried vegetables in a coconut milk reduction (on the left), the lamb sausage with tomatoes and harissa, served "bunny chow" (in a bread pocket), and a side of plantains.
 
The curried vegetables were fantastic; the sauce had great coconut flavor, but wasn't predominantly so. The lamb sausage was a little dry, and it comes with a lot of bread, but it's an interesting concept. For items on the entree menu, diners actually have their choice of how they would like the dish served -- over rice, in a wrap or bunny chow-ed.  It is nice that you can pick how you'd like it. The plantains appeared to have been cooked on a flat-top griddle, and had nice flavor; they are one of a few side dish choices.
It was a nice night out, and it was pleasant to sit outside with a bit of a breeze. It was also nice to see the place fill up with customers of different ages and ethnic backgrounds. Rainey Street may have enough of that funk to keep things interesting over there, and not get too homogeneous. Iba and his crew made it welcoming and comfortable -- reason enough to return!

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