07 June 2003

two years after moving to my lovely apartment (complete with lovely roommates and lovely cats!), i've finally dined at Toham Africa, the nigerian restaurant just around the corner from my house. boy-roomie and i, after a, yes, lovely day at poplar creek forest preserve fiending after the picnic food at the parties surrounding us and our humble blanket, got home, changed out of our icky clothes and headed to Toham. the restaurant was empty and we were greeted with vague disinterest by our host/server/maybe cook. she brought out a menu for boy-roomie and we asked her to order for us since, well, we're clueless. she chose plantains, rice and spinach and pounded yam with spinach.

pounded yam. i have one totally food-lovin' non-kosher coworker and we talk for hours about cooking, eating and everything in between. sick, really. the coworker eats just about anything and with relish. so, when the woman at toham suggested the pounded yam, i shuddered for it is the only food that coworker cannot stand. she tried it once and couldn't even swallow it. eek! told me it had the consistency of room-temperature elmers glue. but, whatever, i'll try anything once...

...and the coworker was totally wrong. pounded yam, arriving tightly wrapped in celophane, was quite tasty with its tomato spinach sauce. that is, once we figured out that we had to remove the celophane wrap. yeah. yum! like mashed potatoes with a little umph, it felt like something i'd eat for a carbo-load meal the night before an athletic event. the plantains, rice, etc., also wonderful. if the service wasn't slower than a snail's pace, we would have stuck it out for a dessert: Puff Puff. maybe next time.

the overall experience was rather odd, though. maybe it was the three foot wide t.v. blaring "the price is right," the rather large and empty room, the sticky table, the totally inconvenienced waitstaff or the startlingly quick arrival of the food (a stark contrast to the pace of the overall service). but, i liked it! don't know that i'll rush back, but i'm totally glad i gave it a whirl. i mean, there are so many restaurants on devon right near my house--i really ought to be exploring them more.


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