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Bissap Baobab

Original West African

In West Africa the Baobab tree is considered the center of "enlightenment" around which villages and communities thrive. Though no such tree grows at 3388 19th street in the Mission, Keur-Baobab restaurant/bar is there to provide culinary enlightenment for those willing to try something new and delicious.

Baobab's menu may seem to have a dearth of choices at first, but owner Marco Senghor, cousin of the legendary Senegalese poet and statesman Leopold Sengor, explains that by providing a limited selection of items he is able to perfect the dishes he does serve. This tactic definitely works, for each plate sampled was truly a tasty delight. For appetizers I recommend the fried plantains (cooked banana) and pastelle (fish pastries). The mafe (vegetables in peanut sauce on a rice) and the fish casamance (grilled Red Snapper served with Yassa sauce) are the most popular main dishes. The prices are inexpensive for such quality fair, ranging from $3 to $10.

The bar serves the regular assortment of cocktails, but it's much better to try the "special" cocktails made from homemade juices. From the aptly named flamboyant, a mixture of hibiscus lime and vodka, to the ginger margarita tooni, the unique drinks are alone worth a visit. So the next time you're hungry, take an escape from the usual and come "enlighten" yourself at Baobab.