Without a small word on Eating in Translation late last year, Addy's Barbeque is definitely a place I would have passed right by if ever driving down Teaneck Road. The window has neon advertising BBQ platters, burgers, and wings, not exactly the type of thing I need to come to Teaneck, New Jersey to satisfy a need for.
But the menu here has something of an extreme rarity, an East African dish known along the coastal countries from Somalia to Tanzania, halal beef and chicken where Muslim traders have settled. Before moving to London, Addy first hailed from Kenya, and is proud of his Indian heritage there. As many countries in East Africa that have an Indian Ocean coast, there is a long-standing influence from traders and trade with India, as well as a decent sized population.
We ordered a mixed meat mishkaki ($13.50, below), which combined the two options available into one sizzling platter. Chicken, the nicer of the two, comes out much like tikka and uses the red food coloring just the same. The meat of both is tender and moist, but the chicken marinade stands out. Dollops of a green chili sauce are added to both meats as they sizzle, and everything is served over a bed of grilled onions. A small salad with tamarind dressing and a bowl of rice (above) come standard with the plate.
Although we were trying to leave room for more meals in New Jersey, we found our bellies to be quite full from one shared platter and our own mango lassi ($3.50, below). Addy will ask you whether you want it immediately or with the food, we recommend the latter.
We were lucky enough to catch Addy when he was not so busy and discussed his foods and future plans. In a month or two, he wants to expand the East African menu and offer more options daily, something we will be coming back for to report about. The hospitality and good nature here is only surpassed by the oohs and ahhs that the delicious food create.