It has been quite a while since I’ve taken the culinary-passport to the African continent so today seemed like a good day to remedy that. Mama Gee’s had been on my radar for a while and since their Ghanain cuisine isn’t something covered before they fit the bill perfectly.
Mama Gee’s is a takeout place and while they have a counter with a few stools it’s for sitting and waiting not eating. When I walked in there were 3 other people there waiting on food and one guy running the counter. I could see some folks in the kitchen through a window. Overhearing the conversations of the staff and customers that came and went while I waited it was clear that the majority weren’t “from around here” and I’m guessing were from Africa. I figured it was a good sign for authenticity of the food. The guy working the counter was friendly and offered to answer any questions about the menu or food several times. The first thing on the men was jollof rice which I’d already had at another African restaurant so I just moved to item 2 on the menu, waakyea plate. It didn’t take long for them to get it together and I also picked out a drink I’ll address in a bit. Since it was takeout I had to smell it the whole 25 minute ride home and it smelled good.
If it’s not apparent from the picture there is a ton of food in this container. I actually weighed it because felt so full and it came in at 2 and 3/4 pounds of food. As the title suggested there would be leftovers. So let’s talk about what was included in this generous plate of food. The centerpiece, covered in a tomato stew was rice and black eyed beans. Surrounding this were a boiled egg, some gari foto (a casava root based dish), fried sweet plantains, spaghetti, more rice and beans with shito sauce and finally a fried chicken leg.
The rice, beans and tomato stew were really good and quite filling and will be good at least two more meals. The gari foto was odd to me. It didn’t have much taste and had the look of coarse bread crumbs but a soft consistency. It was a starch so it fit in with half the other items. The plantains were sweet and a nice contrast to the other foods. I’m not sure why the spaghetti was there but the tomato sauce went well with it. The shito sauce is the darker stuff in the top right of the picture and as I learned is made with spicy peppers. It was not too bad on the heat front but it did get my attention. The chicken leg had a very light coating on it and was fried enough to be done but not so much that it was dried out.
I ate until I felt full and it looked like I’d barely put a dent in the contents of that to go container. For $10 I’m not sure I’ve had a better value while doing this blog and it was tasty as well.
Now lets talk about the drink.
They had several non-standard options to chose from and I asked what bissap was and the helpful counter guy said it had hibiscus petals, ginger and other stuff. That sounded different enough that I had him ring one up. Notice I went for the low sugar option because you gotta cut those calories somewhere. In addition to the hibiscus and ginger there are “spices” and cinnamon and “flavours” on the ingredient list. It had a floral smell and the color was a very dark purple / red color. The taste wasn’t bad but it’s not something I want more of. The various ingredients are distinguishable but for my palate they didn’t mesh in a pleasing way. I’m glad I tried it but I’ll be perfectly content to never have it again, even the full sugar version.
As I was leaving the gent who I’d been dealing with made sure to give me a menu and invited me back soon. They have some other items on the menu I might want to try in the future.
If you’re interested in the waakye or Ghanaian music and stuff check out the Tell Me More page.