Dundu

http://www.dundukitchen.com • 914-930-7470

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African cuisine is pretty thin on my blog, but to be fair, it’s kinda thin in the United States in general. In fact, even in a city as culturally diverse as New York, there’s no Little Africa like there is a Little Italy, Chinatown, Little India and Koreatown. But the thing is, African cuisine can be so many things sort of like “American.” For example, food in Morocco or Egypt might be considered more Middle Eastern, where as Ethiopian is almost a thing unto itself. And then there’s the contemporary cuisine of a country like South Africa and the exotic game of places everywhere in between. And finally there’s the almost Jamaican-like fare of West Africa, which is where Dundu comes in.

The dish I went with was the pepper chicken with rice and plantains, served with a cornmeal cake and coleslaw. Now, with the exception of the coleslaw, if I had said this place was in Montego Bay you probably wouldn’t even question it, which poses a very interesting question, why do Jamaica and West Africa have such similar cuisines? Well, you can thank England, because back in the mid-1600’s the British took Jamaica from the Spaniards turning the island into sugar plantations, which were run on slave labor sourced from, you guessed it, Western Africa.

But enough with the history lesson, albeit the most interesting part of this review, and let’s get to the food. The chicken is dry and not all that “peppery.” The rice is dry as well and the plantains aren’t very sweet. Even the cornmeal cake was dry. In fact, the only thing that wasn’t dry was the coleslaw. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, however, I only ate from their stand in Herald Square. Not giving them the benefit of the doubt, there is no restaurant. So it’s either a stand or catering, which means my sampling was at least 50% accurate and enough to know not to use them for catering should I ever decide to go back and get a Bar Mitzvah.

1 tooth

Vaccaro’s

222 Albemarle St. Baltimore, MD 21202(410) 685-4905vaccarospastry.com

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If you’re looking for an éclair the size of Warren Sapp’s femur, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, pretty much every dessert in this place is so massive it’s like a weeks worth of calories per pastry. I’m guessing they never got the memo on the whole diabetes epidemic.

All that aside, I still urge you to go. It’s an immoral imperative, easily checking off the gluttony box on your bucket list of seven deadly sins. But it’s not just a gimmick, the sweets are actually pretty sweet. It reminds me of the Royal Canadian Pancake House in New York, circa 1993 (RIP). They used to serve pancakes the size of manhole covers, but I digress.

Other stars to look out for are the cannolis (pictured) and the almond cookies. Just be sure not to book a blood sugar level test any time too soon.

3 teeth