>> Grin African American Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

08 September 2017

Grin African American Restaurant


I often get the sense that West African restaurants are not exactly trying to get new customers. They have a bit of a formula and telltale signs of this: darkened windows or pulled shades, a lack of menu or information on the outside, and a weirdly common "African American" moniker on the awning that would be deciphered completely incorrect by a unknowing passerby.

Before opening the door, it is often impossible to know what atmosphere you will find on the inside. On a sunny day, this is especially true as your eyes struggle to adjust to the dark interiors. At Grin in Morrisania, the interior could not be more different from what you see outside, as tables full of boisterous men are dining and laughing together.

These groups of friends are at least partly cab drivers, as the street in front is densely double-parked with green and livery cars. A third row of vehicles stops and jumps in to order takeout. These waves of people were on and off during the whole time we dined in, and various other couples and women with children filled the other tables. Even before taking the first bite it is apparent that Grin has something special happening.

You will get by here no matter what because everyone is super friendly, but if you know a French-speaking friend, bring them along as all the ladies speak French as in Côte d'Ivoire. A white board behind the plexiglass and counter serves as a way of advertising what dishes they are cooking on any given day, but by having a conversation you may find even more available.

The cooking styles here are simple, so dishes are listed mostly just as the animal that you are eating. Our server went through a good list of choices, including the lamb (above, actually goat) and chicken (below). Both are lightly fried and covered with a sauce of onion, pepper, tomato, and lemon juice. The magic here is the marinade though, as deep within the flesh there is always so much flavor in every bite.

Using the same style, the guinea fowl (above) was also a treat, but the fried fish (below) was possibly the most popular dish on the table.

All main dishes are priced at $15, include the choice of one side, and are vastly too much for one person to finish. Besides the cassava and salad below, the table also enjoyed fried sweet plantains and a heaping portion of rice.

The demographics of our dinner group spanned four continents, but everyone seemed thoroughly delighted with the meal. It is hard to quantify exactly how well everyone took to the experience here.

Do note that Grin is quite far from any trains and hills will be a part of any walk here. Check out the bus connections and/or plan on grabbing a cab if necessary.

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Grand African Amer Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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