When I got up and paid I finally asked the question about the origin of the food at this restaurant, and the friendly chef and owner told me it was Conakry, her hometown. I really liked this answer because without hesitation she did not suspect I needed a vague geographical reference. See, in this town, and probably throughout the country, most West Africans will tell you "West Africa" when referring to where they were born, knowing the listener most likely has no idea.
She also did not seem surprised when I asked if the food of Conakry was any different from the rest of Guinea, the country for which it is the capital. "Yes" she said simply and nodded before turning and heading back to the kitchen.
But back to the beginning... I headed to this address on the hunt for food from Sierra Leone, at the city's only restaurant serving such meals. Unfortunately this place called B.B. African & American has disappeared, but along has come this new winner. The dining room has eight tables and French news on the flat screen. The patrons are also speaking French, the official language of Guinea. Conakry is home to a quarter of the population of the country, and upon further investigation does indeed have a different cuisine than the other two geographical parts of Guinea. This food is found in coastal regions, Conakry being the port city of the country's Atlantic coast.
There are no menus here, so before sitting down head into the steamy back kitchen and order directly from the proprietor herself. She will give you a rundown of prepared foods they have that sound very much like any West African restaurant in the area: okra, cassava leaf, peanut sauce, etc.
I decided to follow the lead of two intelligent looking takeout customers who were ordering the chicken with jollof rice ($10, above), a massive plate probably sufficient to split between two. The chicken here is expertly baked and comes with an oily peppery sauce that has even a tartness of lemon in it. The dish is excellent and a great start for anyone not looking to sojourn into the offal aspects of West Africa.
Despite my disappointment with B.B. being gone, I think this chef is very talented and the new place is definitely worth a visit to Webster Avenue.