2323 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
www.bissapbaobab.com/main.html - (415) 826-9287
Bissap Baobab San Francisco Reviews
Dec 29, 2007
Bissap Baobab is an excellent Senagalese restaurant in The Mission District of San Francisco. When I first walked in, I could see that it was very West African which meant I had to lower my customer service expectations and maintain a good sense of humor. We walked up to the host who said the main room was packed because of a large birthday group. He said they were setting up an overflow room and that it would be a five minute wait. He suggested that we sit at the bar and have a drink while we waited.
So we did. I ordered a "Flamboyant"- tamarind juice, lime and vodka. My friend had a "Rose" which was a combination of ginger, cranberry juice and vodka. Both drinks were great, very fresh and refreshing. Ten to fifteen minutes after we sat at the bar, it looked like the host was on his way to seat us. But then he saw some people he knew and started chatting. He looked up and all of sudden seemed to realize he was at work and came to get us.
He led us through the main room, through a dark hallway, through an alley and around the corner to a room with a plastic roof and heat lamps. The walls were decorated with Senagalese fabrics. On top of something that was covered with a woven mat was a small CD player, aka "the DJ". It was playing highlife (West African party music) and it stopped after awhile. When the host returned to a music-free room he said "What happened to the DJ?" He looked around and waited for answers before getting another CD to put in. There was a more pragmatic waitress who was also working in the back room. Every time she came in, she lowered the DJ volume and when the host came in, he always raised it.
I had a dish called Dibi, grilled chicken with an onion sauce. There was a choice of different kinds of meats. Many of the dishes have an option of chicken, lamb, beef, fish, shrimp, and tofu so there is something for everyone. They charge accordingly. My meal came with a green salad with a great spicy dressing, rice, and fried plantains. Everything was delicious and the chicken was really tender and flavorful.
I really loved the atmosphere of Bissap Baobab. I'll definitely be going back and I can't wait to check out their other locations, Little Baobab and Taxi Brousse. Service can be slow and disorganized, but what it lacks in service, it more than makes up for with friendliness, charisma and terrific food.
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