Andrea’s View: My rear end is “uncomfortably numb” from sitting in a restaurant booth for what felt like an eternity. OK, it was actually just an hour and a half, but for lunch, that’s a really long time. Dave and I picked Jiallo’s on West 56th Street for this adventure. I had looked at some reviews ahead of time and most had stated that food leaves the kitchen very slowly so I was prepared for that. So we walk into a really large dining hall with a handful of patrons and we sat down. A beautifully dressed woman hands us menus and I order an iced tea. She walks away slowly. She comes back with the iced tea and Dave orders his drink. Again, she walks away slowly. She comes back with the drink and we hurry up and order before she can slowly disappear again. I ordered the tiebdjen, which is the “official” dish of Senegal. It is described on the menu as steamed fish with red rice and cabbage. The woman asked me if I had ever had it before and I answered, “No.” She gives me a strange look and tells me that it is tilapia and I said,”Great, Okay.” There is more questioning of my choice of food, some of which I did not understand, so I won’t bore you with it. Dave orders, and she walks away slowly. Much time passes, accompanied by the sound of a television I could not see or even locate, and shouting in a foreign language coming from the kitchen. Finally food arrives. It looks appetizing enough, but as I eat it, I am slightly disappointed. It’s not that it wasn’t good, it was just boring. The woman had asked me if I had eaten this dish like it was a dire warning. I should have told her, “Why yes, I have eaten fried fish and rice plenty of times.” I realise that I look like a prissy girl, but I will eat (or at the most, try to eat) just about anything. Dave and I finish our food, quickly I might add, because we are starving, and we wait for the woman to return with the check. And we wait, and wait , and wait. I go to the bathroom, Dave says that he asked for the check. And we wait, and wait, and wait. Dave says, “You’ve got cash, right?” Yes. Finally, a check. Finally, freedom.
Dave’s View: Uncomfortably numb: Again, a restaurant that has a menu, but they don’t have every item on the menu. I tried to order a Byssop, which is a drink made from the Hibiscus plant. They didn’t have it.
Uncomfortably numb number 2: I tried to ordered the Chicken Yassa. They don’t have any! What is going on here? I know what is it! Andrea’s Voo Doo from other restaurants has been passed onto me. Thanks Andrea.
Now since I got that out of my system, instead of getting the Byssop drink, I had to settle for the Ginger drink. I’m thinking it’s some type of ginger ale drink, but it was something totally different from what I was expecting. The drink comes in milk-like container. (Look at the picture. I’m in fifth grade again.) This drink is sweet and extremely zesty. When you swallow, the aftertaste in your mouth stays with and it kind of burns your mouth, but in a good way. Order the Ginger, you’ll like it!
Uncomfortably numb number 3: MY LIPS. I ordered the Jerk Chicken which was extremely spicy, but incredibly well made. The chicken was chopped butcher style with bone and all. It was very tender and the skin was crispy. It was served with red beans and rice, plus they threw in some plantains. The beans and plantains were typical fare, but the main item, Jerk Chicken saved the day.
Uncomfortably numb number 4: The owner needs to hire an interior decorator. Or better yet, just do it themselves. They could have local African artists place art on the wall and sell them for a commission. I felt like I was in a former BMV office. Devoid of any personality what so ever.
Uncomfortably numb number 5: The people here are extremely nice. To wait over twenty minutes to get your food is a nuisance, but if the food is prepared well and is excellent, I don’t mind waiting twenty minutes. On the other hand, if I’m done eating and I have to wait twenty to thirty minutes to receive my check, now this is a different story. No one should be waiting this long to leave, especially if the food was excellent.
Uncomfortably numb number 6: Giving out this tally. I was really cheering for this place.
Service: 2 Food: 8.5 Ambiance: 2 Total: 12.5 out of 30
$20-$30 without adult beverages. They do not serve adult beverages. Patience is a must in this restaurant.