My African journey began, unexpectedly, in a Center City parking garage. I overheard the banter of French behind the register, where the attendants’ conversation had turned to lunch. Of course, I couldn’t help butting in.So where was the best West African cooking in Philly, I wondered. A little fufu or jollof rice, perhaps a spicy mafe peanut and mutton stew? They gave me a startled look, then the cashier gushed: “Oh, there are soooo many! Just go to Woodland Avenue!”So I left the garage with my car - and a couple of new addresses scribbled on a receipt. The next day, I headed with my colleague and fellow fufu fiend, Rick Nichols, on a quest to the great Southwest, a neighborhood where I hadn’t spent nearly enough quality eating time. We turned left from Gray’s Ferry onto Woodland Avenue, and a world of diverse storefronts unfurled - Caribbean, Vietnamese, a rib shack, and yes, numerous African eateries.
In case you were wondering, the fufu’s awesome.