It’s been so long since I’ve had a piping hot, home-cooked West African meal now that I don’t live with my mother anymore. And for many children of immigrant parents, I’m sure we also share the same struggle. It can take a lot of effort to prepare African dishes at home, especially when I have to travel far to specialty stores to buy Maggi and other staples that are present in most dishes from the continent.
But not only has Accra Restaurant in Harlem simplified my life with their take on authentic Ghanaian food, but they also took me way back in the land of nostalgia with their spices and recipes that remind me of my mother’s home cooked meals. Victoria and I had the pleasure of dining at the restaurant earlier this week and sampling a few of their fine dishes.
First off, it is located in Harlem by the 125 street station off the 1,2, and 3 trains. It’s not a tiny hole in the wall like the Ivorian restaurants in Harlem I’m used to eating at, but it still retains that family-owned vibe that is usually present at most hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The decor took me aback, with the walls covered with artwork and portraits of some of West Africa’s most notable presidents.
But onto the fun part. As a vegetarian, my options were limited, so I ended up deciding on waakye, a traditional Ghanaian dish of rice and beans, topped with okra soup and sautéed spinach simmered with crayfish.
In choosing a beverage to accompany my dish I settled on spicy, homemade ginger beer.
As the only omnivore in our group, Victoria had a wide range of options to pick from. She ended up going with Waakye, a spicy pepper curry to top it off, and a plate of dibi, traditional West African grilled lamb.
It was delicious. My spinach was steaming hot, fresh, and abundant with spices and seasoning. The waakye was perfectly fluffy and the beans were soft and chewy. Not to mention that the ginger beer had the perfect balance between sweet and spicy that is sometimes hard to find as it is usually made with way too much sugar. If that isn’t comfort food then I don’t know what is. Let’s help support our community and take some time to stop by Accra in Harlem and try a few of their mouth-watering dishes!