At home on a corner along the widest boulevard in the Bronx is Papaye, a restaurant that advertises the food of Africa and the Caribbean but can be better narrowed down to a specialist in the cuisine of Ghana, a country in West Africa that has the same size as the United Kingdom.
By now, Papaye is well known in New York City and you can come here with blank looks and a lot of questions and still receive wonderful smiling service. The staff is endlessly helpful.
The spacious restaurant is a casual dining room. Usually you order at the counter and sit down, although our big group sat down and was offered menus. Either way, someone will answer all your questions and the food arrives quickly.
No matter what, start your meal with the delectable goat kebabs ($2 each, above). Technically everything can be shared here, but this is probably the only plate that can be done so easily.
You must be prepared to eat with your hands. For a better explanation on how to go about eating your fufu and other starchy staples with sauce, please refer to my post on Nigerian Festac Grill. They of course will give you a fork if you ask, but to really experience this type of eating, try to do it the proper way.
The menu seems limited, but comes with menu options once you select your main starchy staple of fufu, banku, yam, etc. There is a really good variety here, and it is all fresh and ready to prepare.
The place goes through phases, but sometimes the rest of your diners are groups of men watching CNN and speaking in an Akan language you do not understand, and sometimes there are groups of adventurous eaters from more southerly parts of the city.
Some combinations our group tried:
Spinach stew ($12)
Fufu with goat in light soup ($10)
Fufu with goat in peanut soup ($10)
Banku with egusi soup ($12)
Unwrap or dig straight into your starchy staple, grabbing bits of meat and soup and have fun. The waakye is definitely worth a try for its uniqueness, a plate of rice and beans served with fish or goat and covered in the spicy shito sauce. Oh, and a glob of spaghetti.