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New: Experience the hospitality of West African food culture at Yalleys African Restaurant

Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant

Full disclosure: My “research” on these restaurant blogs sometimes includes seeing Anthony Bourdain at lunch. Microwave leftover Jet pizza and watch Tony go to Myanmar.

I watched a no-reservation episode about Ghana in 2007 to cover Ghanaian immigrant Patrick Agyapon’s new Yarry’s African Restaurant on Kenmore Avenue. -Maple flavor in a bottle of “pancake” syrup. Sure, it’s fun to watch Tony telling his PG-13 jokes and sipping on indigenous drinks, but I couldn’t leave my sense of people and places.

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Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant
Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant

Conveniently, a big part of going to Yalleys is meeting people and learning a little about the culture. Communication with others is fundamental to West African food culture, but not necessarily part of restaurant culture. Go to Olive Garden and expect to talk with the hostess about the wonders of Parma and the historical significance of the Tour of Italy. You can not.

Food at Yalleys may be great, but more on that later, but rumors circulate about the restaurant’s cultural vibe, according to employee Olivia Arthur. What is Africa? When many people hear the word ‘Africa’, they think it’s just one big culture, one kind of food. “

Tropical décor and African art on the walls welcome you to the restaurant. On a lunch visit, I walked over to the counter and ordered a peanut soup with foo foo.

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Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant
Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant

My order was served with a fork, knife and spoon. But using utensils is not the traditional way of eating. After telling the server that I wanted to eat with her right hand (using her left hand is considered an insult), she brought me a basin and showed me how to use my index, middle and thumb as pinchers. I was.

“Grab a piece of fufu like this, pull it a little, dip it in the soup and swallow it.”

Dipping your fingers in hot soup definitely takes getting used to, but enjoying foo-foo this way was far more satisfying than going back to your trusty fork, knife, and spoon.

I ordered fufu which I found without reservation. Fufu is one of the most popular foods in West Africa*, along with jollof rice. But these dishes aren’t necessarily Yalleys’ best-sellers.

“I think a lot of people have heard about fufu and jollof rice, and I thought those were the most popular,” Arthur says. All dishes are popular.You might think that one dish will sell out quickly, but often the opposite is true.You can’t predict what someone will buy when they walk in.Many foods are It’s interesting for our customers and they want to try different things.”

Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo Credit: Yalleys African Restaurant
Yalleys African Restaurant / Photo x Brett Llenos Smith for Step Out Buffalo

Of course, there are also some African drinks, such as malt Guinness and soboro, a cold drink made from hibiscus, pineapple and spices. For the less adventurous, American Soft he drinks such as Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Orange Fanta.

Yalleys’ food and drink, as well as its friendly atmosphere and growing community, will keep you coming back for more. On my visit another customer came over to ask what I ordered. A few people also ordered takeaway donuts that weren’t on the menu. My experience may not have taken me to Ghana, but it did bring me curiosity and a spirit of cultural hospitality, something you don’t see in every restaurant.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to serve and talk to our customers,” says Arthur. “When they’re new to African food, we talk about what they’re eating and the ingredients in it. We don’t just take orders and serve food.”

Opening hours at time of publication (subject to change): Tuesday to Sunday 12pm – 9pm, closed Monday

Yaly’s African Restaurant

290 Kenmore Ave Buffalo, NY 14223 • $

Africa

north towns

casual table service

Welcome to Yalleys Restaurant Buffalo NY. Yalleys Restaurant is West African cuisine based on Ghanaian recipes. Yalleys offers authentic traditional cuisine…

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