Monday, 15 June 2009

Brunchie/Snackie (Food Review: Cote d'Ivoire)

After that wild Saturday outing - when you reach home at 3am - your belly full of beer; your pocket a few hundred dollars lighter after yet another unsuccessful run at the casino; exhausted after hopping from pub to pub, yet elated after the awesome drive from Cocody to Riveria and back (atleast twice!) and of course fresh from conversing with random officials of the Gendarmerie pretending to have known them forever - all you can think of is sleep!

And you inevitably wake up at that time on the following Sunday when it's already too late for Breakfast and is still quite early for Lunch.

Well you have reached the ideal stage which opens you up to the very Western Metrosexual concept of Brunch! While in India we loosely use the term Brunch for any meal which substitutes lunch and takes care of that breakfast you missed out on, in a city like Abidjan, it is a trend - If you are metro savvy, you would be having Brunch on a Sunday!

A round up of my favourite places in Abidjan serving Brunch and Snacks...

Pako Gourmanderie - a cafeteria, a confectionery (Patteseria), a bakery (Boulangerie), a Snacketeria, a Chocolatier and an Ice Cream Parlour (Glacier) all rolled into one, open from 6am in the morning to about 9ish at night, this place is a foodie's delight.
Pako offers exciting meals for the keen Brunch-maniac - Eggs cooked as per your choice, Sandwiches, Burgers, an exciting range of Breads, Hot and Cold beverages, Crepes and Beer...BURP!

Have to try: Chocolat Chaud, Crepes (Miel, Chocolat, l'Orange), Chausson de ananas (Delicate patties filled with tender Pineapple filling), Mini Beef Burger, Pain de Chocolate (Bread Rolls with a light filling of Chocolate), the Pizza slices and the Croissants.

Patteserie Abidjanaise
A French Confectionary where everything looks as good as it tastes, this place is colourful not only in decor but also in terms of the delectable food they have on display!
Located in a desolate lane off Rue de Marseilles, initially I used to be scared to drive up to this place in the dark...Silly me :)
From Cakes to Pastries to Chocolates to Candy, the place has everything one desires when on a trip to sate ones craving for sweetmeats.
One can decide if one wants to sit on tables places alongside the road (with local folk) or up on the terrace (with upscale French citizens) - the former totally beating the latter in terms of an experience!
The coolest thing about the place is that its open 24x7. Hurrah!

Have to try: Panini Poulet (Chicken Paninis), Pizza Reine (Mushrooms, Tomato and Onions), the Chocolat Milkshake, Chips de Crevette (Prawn chips - Calcuttans know what I'm talking about!), the Pastries and the Apple Pie.

Al Bakawat (Not Bagawat!)
Located on Rue de Marseilles, the place has a very Arabic feel to it.
Located across the Lagoon (which blows a constant breeze into the place) and with outdoor seating, the place always has exciting Lebanese music playing. Nearly every individual is puffing on an argeulih (Hookah).
Having spent numerous evenings at this hotspot, we came up with our famous Rating Scale Game here! (Boys can get in touch with me to know more about that!)

Have to try: Argeulih - Pomme/Raisin (Apple/Grape Flavoured Hookah. Warning: They like it strong!), Brochette du Poulet (Lebanese Bread served with Spicy Leb. Chicken Tikka), Kebe (Mutton Kebabs - Granular and Rugged) and the jus de Ananas (Pineapple Juice).

News Cafe - Why O Why did you shut down :(
The most awesome place we ever knew! It was more of a Bar than a Cafe - though we'd go there mostly for the Chocolat Chaud (Hot Chocolate) and the Donuts! Also, very very classy Frites (Finger Chips) and an exceptionally cold Pression. Perfect after the heated training sessions we were made to undergo!

[I dedicate the awesomeness of this place to UK - the place where Mani's curse ensured that our fortunes remained entwined for the next year or so! Cheers to when we left the ENMITY (:P) way behind, replaced it with competition and finally let kinship and camaraderie take over. And to Battrick - for the role it played and continues to play in our lives!]

Located in the ever popular mall Capsud on Bvd VGE, Debonairs and Steers were fast food joints from South Africa.
Debonairs serves the most awesome Pizzas and Steers is known for its delicious Burgers. With tables places on the mall floor, this was always a popular vantage point :P

Have to try: the Mumbai Masala Pizza (Chicken and Lots of Green Chillis), the Bacon Burger (Beef patty with strips of tasty tasty Bacon and Cheese), the Pression (again!), the Ice Creams (The only place where you'd get Carte d'Or Ice Cream bars like Vienetta - imported directly from South Africa)

Castle Fried Chicken

Ape-ing the Western concept of KFC, Abidjan boasts a franchisee of the South Africa CFC - but lands up falling seriously short of the awesomeness which the Finger Licking Good Stuff can make you feel!
The place serves nearly everything the other places in the list serve but is simply superb when it comes to the Manaiche it can prepare! A Manaiche is a Lebanese Paratha laced with Zaatar (A dry mixture of Thyme and Sesame Seeds, fried ever so lightly in Virgin Olive Oil - Try it now if you haven't yet!) or Fromage (Cheese).

Have to try: Apart from the Manaiche avec Zaatar, you have to go for the Tiramisu and the Chicken Cheese Burger available here.

Man! That was a mouthful :)

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