Munchies with Max: Baby Got Baku's
By Max Gilbert '13, Staff Writer
I happen to be a very big fan of ethnic cuisines and was delighted to learn of Baku’s West African Restaurant on Route 116 in town. The menu is supposedly authentically Nigerian, and having never had the pleasure of experiencing Nigerian food before, I relied on the waitress for suggestions.

We started with an appetizer sampler of fried plantains and black-eyed pea fritters served with a thick spicy tomato dipping sauce. The fritters were very interesting and had the consistency of a fried ball of bread, but were not my favorite. The plantains were good, cooked soft and slightly sweet, but were also not the best that I have ever had.

For my meal, a friend and I shared yam foo foo with chicken in a melon seed soup and spicy lamb. Recalling the book “Things Fall Apart,” I had to try the yams. They were surprisingly white like regular potatoes, but we were told that they have the higher nutritional content associated with yams. The foo foo was served with a bowl of chicken in a tomato stew topped with a spinach and melon seed soup. The traditional way to eat this dish, we were instructed, is to pick up some yam with your fingers and dip it in the chicken. The yams were sticky and kind of bland, but the chicken was flavorful and spicy and delicious. The melon seed and spinach concoction on top was very good and unlike anything I have ever had. It was a very interesting dish and I am glad that I tried it, but I do not think that I would get it again.

The lamb, on the other hand, was delicious. All entrees are spiced to order, and we decided to have the lamb pretty hot. The meat was moist, tender and flavorful, and melted in your mouth. It was served with the same tomato based sauce as the chicken, flavorful authentic African rice and string beans. I also tasted this dish with both beef and shrimp, and all were excellent.

While some of the more traditional foods didn’t really strike my fancy, the meats, sauces and rice were all very good. Baku’s is a BYOB and has a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Students with an adventurous palate should certainly take the short walk over to Baku’s to give it a try.

Issue 05, Submitted 2010-10-08 07:37:06