Africa Awaits Its Diners; Here’s What to Order


Maybe there’s a more hidden-in-plain-sight dining subculture in Chicago than African food, but we can’t think of one. Especially around Rogers Park and Edgewater on the north side and 79th on the south, there are numerous African restaurants, little known to their neighbors, enough that we’ve tried a number of them (one just last week)— yet five of the six in an article today would be new to us. That article is by Bill Daley, who skips past the most familiar African cuisine in Chicago (Ethiopian) to introduce us not only to Nigerian, Ghanian and Senegalese, and more than that, to dishes like “Yassa red snapper, a whole grilled fish marinated in spices and served with sauteed onions and fluffy cassava,” “ruddy-hued jollof rice, or a dark rice studded with black-eyed peas,” and “ogbono, a rich, meaty stew made with ground mango seed.” “It’s slimy,” the owner of Qaato warns. This piece is actually a sidebar to Daley’s main article talking about the rise of African cuisine in America, focusing on a new book about African food by Evanston-based Jason Schonwald, called Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches From the Future of Food, which posits that novelty and immigration will lead to an African food renaissance in the near future. Check both pieces out. [Tribune/Tribune]