Address: 711 Douglas St.
Phone: (250) 380-3705
Price: ~$10 for a meal
Notes: Homestyle, Sengalese dishes packed with flavour
Le Petit Dakar opened up in the fall of 2011, just past the Crystal Gardens, across from the bus depot. The space is pretty small, mostly because the counter area is pretty dominant feeling. I suspect most of their traffic is take-away at lunch time, and there was plenty of outside seating in the sun on the day we visited (your mileage may vary!).
Our first visit was for a late-ish lunch at 1/1:30 on a Friday, and they were sold out of most everything by the time we place our orders, so add this to your list of "go early or go hungry" lunches. The menu is quite large, but apparently you can ask for a combo plate to let you sample the different options. You can see the colonial influence on the menu, especially with takes on beef bourguignon and risotto. Everything is made fresh and from scratch, and I loved the pride in the owners voice when she told us this. There are plenty of options for people with special dietary needs - plenty of dishes are gluten free and vegan.
The table next to us was also trying the restaurant for the first time on my first visit, but unlike us (no prior experience with West-African cuisine) they had grown up eating the dishes. They were raving just as loudly as we were, and simultaneously comparing the restaurant to other African/Caribbean/Jamaican places in town. My favourite part of the conversation was "she does it right here, unlike some places where they try to make roti but don't know how to feel when it's right. You kind of have to grow up making it from when you are small. It's mom food."
July 12, 2012
July 12, 2012
There was a little hiccup in our ordering (our order got lost between the till and the kitchen) but the owner was so friendly and chagrined and apologetic that we didn't mind at all. She literally came out 2 minutes after we had settled ourselves to apologize that we hadn't already received our food! Super fast service. Plus, as I said above we were pretty late in the lunch cycle and it was sunny outside, so it was all good.