Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The third place?

A friend had just been lamenting the lack of a Starbucks-like place in Dakar (OK, there is Time's Cafe, but that is so smoky these days, and the pizza isn't much to sing about) when another friend bought me a Gazelle and filled me in on Fratelli's cafe in Almadies. This was the second recommendation I'd had in a week, so I scheduled in a lunch with Mrs Jiffler the following Saturday.

Fratelli's should do well from the staff at Ericsson nextdoor, as well as passing trade. There is a relatively hassle-free outdoor terrace and a vaguely Starbucksy indoor area that looks a bit unfinished. I've never gone in for the whole Starbucks 'the third place' ideal. It seems a bit contrived to me. Besides, I prefer my 'third place' to serve beer and peanuts.

Coffee is decent enough to linger over, far better than the usual salon du the fare. You'll find decent helpings of reasonably priced salads and sandwiches on the menu, making it a good option for a light Saturday lunch.

Route des Almadies (next to Ericsson).

Carre Vert
A less good option for a Saturday lunch is Carre Vert at the Dakar City shopping complex. If Fratelli's opened up here they would probably be the talk of the town, as in the right hands this location could be a little goldmine.

The offerings are similar to Fratelli's - coffee, salads, sandwiches. Unfortunately the coffee is unremarkable and suffers from the dreaded squirty cream treatment. Sandwiches are a little boring and salads would be fine if they didn't come presented in a weird parabola-shaped bowl which prohibits a sensible eating posture. The kitchen is open, so you can see that it is clean enough, but totally disorganised, with nothing prepped.

At the end of the day, you're eating in a slightly naff shopping centre. How depressing.

Carre Vert
Dakar City Shopping Centre
Airport Road

Restaurant News:
It's quite hard to get excited about new openings these days, since they tend to be a bit underwhelming. Dakar Sushi, on the airport road is the latest. Initial reports from a reliable foodie source are that it isn't up to much, but I'd like to give it a couple of weeks to get going. Meanwhile I hear that Mezzo in plateau has shut down. A shame, if only for their salty chocolate cake.

No comments: