It has been sometime since we have been on an urban culinary adventure with a group of friends to a BYOB restaurant, we were long overdue. Finally a group member got motivated and decided that this time we would try out some Senegalese food at Yassa’s on the South Side of Chicago [79th Street]. The invitation went a little something like this:
- EMAIL ONE: Lets go to Senegal! No, not here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senegal, here sounds tasty: http://yassaafricanrestaurant.com/
- EMAIL TWO: Assuming everyone will be hungry and ready to eat and drink after a long week, I’ll get a reservation for 7:00pm. Travel will be complicated but the upside is that we have no security checkpoints to contend with, as this portion of the country still believes in the liberty to travel as one desires.
- EMAIL THREE: Visas to Senegal – friday eat 7pm – Homeland Security has the following names on their list for leaving to Senegal…
- TEXT ON WAY: Running Late || Stuck in Customs suitcase filled with beer.
It was another fun event with the bill coming in with tip at $20.00 a per person. I asked the guests to answer a few questions to weigh-in with their thoughts on the dining experience. Here is what was said in a few words or one, and in no particular order:
1. Describe the atmosphere that you encountered at Yassa’s.
Local. A quirky mish-mash of restaurant, meets family lounge-room, meets music venue, meets gift store. Casual. Not your typical restaurant environment… tv on, empty tables – except for ours and the one where the employees sat and chatted, art & decorative objects all over, jewelry displays in the dining area.
2. Describe the service.
Friendly and knowledgeable. Our waitress helped us order, we loved everything she selected, although we ordered too much, she did warns us too. Warm & welcoming. Happy to have us there.
3. Describe the menu.
Laminated. Slimy film all over it, but lots of options and plenty of meat. Not large & overwhelming. Easy to order from, big portions, great for sharing.
4. What was your favorite dish?
Was there any goat? I think I liked that [note - there was no goat]. The chicken. The lamb with the dirty dark rice & the spicy ‘Yassa’ whole cooked fish. The plantains and the chicken with curry.
5. What recommendation and/or tip would you provide to friends about Yassa African Restaurant?
Beer & bubbles are a good option to go well with the food. Hungry Hound & Check Please have been here. Bring beer. Worth the trip to the south side. Good for a big group. Extra bonus: where else can you eat a big tasty meal for $20 and purchase a favorite piece of jewelry for about the same amount? Full service dining!