A Tribute to the Joloff Restaurant
A Taste Of Senegal...Made In Brooklyn
I was a big fan of Senegalese cuisine after my very first boyfriend took me to Joloff on our second date. When I went through my vegetarian stage I was still able to go to Joloff because they have lots of great tasting vegetarian dishes. In college I went straight vegan, no deviations. Joloff still offered dishes I could eat. Now I’ve come full circle and am eating fish and some meat. No problem, I can enjoy all that Joloff Restaurant offers from their vegetarian entrees through their fish, meat, and poultry entrees. I recommend the restaurant to friends when they visit New York City. You need to go to Brooklyn, I say and eat at least once at Joloff. If and when I get married I have always said I want them to cater the wedding dinner. So, yup, I’m a fan all right.
Now you can understand that when I was browsing online through domains that were for sale and discovered joloffrestaurant.com was available, I first freaked out thinking the restaurant had closed. But a quick search for Joloff reassured me they were alive and well. IN FACT they just celebrated their 20th year anniversary. Has it truly been that long?
They have a new website (joloffjoloff.com/) and a new location for the restaurant (1168 BEDFORD AVE. BKLYN, NY 11216) When I realized I could buy the domain of the old Joloff website I didn’t hesitate. And now that I have it, I am going to create a tribute to the restaurant and its tasty food by getting content from the archives of the old site as well as from other sources.
The April 12, 2012 archives on the Joloff Restaurants home page show this headline:
Welcome to Joloff Restaurant!
CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE
AND OUR NEW LOCATION
1168 BEDFORD AVE
BROOKLYN, NY 1126
Papa K. Diagne opened Joloff Restaurant in Clinton Hill, with the support of his wife, brothers and sister in 1995. Prior to that, he was running a successful catering business from his apartment in Brooklyn. Since that time, Joloff Restaurant has become well known as a the local SENEGAL, making all of our clients
In November 2006 Joloff Restaurant reopened its doors to our loyal customers after a two months of renovation and menu overhaul. Higher tin ceilings; fresh yellow, blue, and brown interiors; recently imported table cloths from Senegal; native artwork along the walls; and a new lounge area give this local favorite a special cozy ambiance. For over a decade now, Joloff Restaurant has provided a place where people from different nationalities meet over the specifics of Senegalese food and music, creating a global community in Brooklyn.
Come join us to enjoy a plethora of healthy West African food: the restaurant's famous thiebu jeun, yassa ganar, mafe tofu, bissap, ginger, thiakri, and numerous other meat or vegetarian specialties, drinks, deserts, and the pleasant company of the owner, Papa K. Diagne. Every other Friday, attend the music and artistic performances of the Joloff Lounge Series.
I can’t wait to visit the next time I am on the east coast. I wish I could have made it to their Joloff Restaurant 20th Anniversary celebration.
930 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
1168 Bedford Avenue<
Broolyn New York 11216<
Open: Mon-Wed. 1pm-10:30pm |Thurs. & Sat. Noon -11pm | Sun Noon -10pm | Fridays 1PM-11PM
If you are not familiar with the history of this West African restaurant and the founders, here is some archived content. I only wish there were archived versions of the pictures from the old site. I did notice that the artwork of the Senegalese women with the cooking pot in her hair wrap was re-imagined on the poster announcing the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Joloff Restaurant.
"It is cozy and incredibly mellow, and the hearty food is the kind that makes you want to sit back and tell Mom your problems." Tara George, The Daily News.
Tech Talk and Outstanding Food!!
A team of us from the company I work for were in Booklyn working with a large organization helping them with their Salesforce CRM. We're all techies. Our job directive was to customize Salesforce's functionality for this company by coding new modulesfor both their business logic and other front-end components. We had just finished the initial stage of the job and wanted to celebrate. One of the company's IT guys suggested Joloff. He said "Going to Joloff is like going home -- even if you're not from Senegal" None of us had ever had Senegalese food so we were all in for the adventure. So while we ate some amazingly good food, we discussed the ins and outs of Salesforce's programming language, APEX and how with APEX we can create custom code that will perform functions to update fields, create records, perform calculations etc., as well as discuss Salesforce's front end framework, VisualForce. Did I say we are techies. Hey, the food really out shined all our talk. We'll be back when we finish up the project. You can be sure.
“If you can’t travel to the motherland, Joloff Restaurant is the next best thing.”
“The food here is excellent if I could could go over 5 stars I would, my first time having senegal food prices are excellent and the food was well worth it, I had the blue fish with peanut sauce. I WILL DEFINITELY BE BACK”
9/19/2015 Yelp review
“We hadn't been here since we lived in Brooklyn in the late 90's, first time at this new location. Wonderful decor, it was a perfect day & a great way to celebrate Mother's Day! We are always in NY, but hardly ever make it to Brooklyn.
We ordered fried plantains- which were cooked perfectly, the fataya djeun & legumes (fish pastels were our favorite), very flavorful & the sauce was tasty.
We all ordered a mix of sorrel & ginger- which was bangin'. It's a BYOB so we picked up a few bottles from Moore Brothers Wine. Gotta love a BYOB!
Tiebuu Jeun (snapper) was awesome, perfectly seasoned! If your feeling adventurous- ask for hot sauce or sauce pimente- the perfect accompaniment to any Senegalese food- but use sparingly! Mafe Jeun was off the hook. The creamy tomato peanut stew is to die for with cabbage, yucca, carrots and joloff rice! I'm hungry thinking about it. Yassa Jeun was very good too. We had the Mafe Yapp- lamb stew in peanut butter sauce with okra - which is pureed in the sauce! It was soooo good with brown rice.
We thoroughly enjoyed the food, service & ambience. We won't wait so long to come back!”
5/11/2015 Yelp review
About Joloff Restaurant
We are a West African restaurant that specializes in Senegalese cuisine. Our most popular dish is the Senegalese national dish called Tiebou Jeun (baked fish, joloff rice, and veggies). What makes this dish special is the way the rice is cooked: it is a "broken" rice, with a jasmin flavor, cooked into a deep tomato sauce. This is what we call the "joloff" rice, which is also the speciality of the house. All our dishes are made daily upon request. The juices are all homemade and freshly made. In order to be a cook at Joloff Restaurant, you have to love cooking. This is mostly what distinguishes our cooks from those in other restaurants.
We are also one of the few West African restaurants serving vegetarian food. Our vegetarian food is also vegan. Originally, the recipies were developed in order to feed Papa's Rastafarian friends, who were vegetarians. Later on, Papa realized that there is a huge need for vegetarian food, especially in Brooklyn.
Since 1995, Joloff Restaurant has been visited regularly not only by the local community but also by a number of celebrities. Some celebrities who have been regulars at Joloff include: Eryka Badu, M1, Kevin Powel, Sizzla, AKON, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Isac Debancole.
The restaurant was featured in the New York Times, the Daily News, the New York Amsterdam News, in Eat, and OCSNews.
"When I see people come and enjoy themselves eating Senagalese food, I feel very good because this shows that Senegalese food can be eaten and accepted by anybody anywhere in the world," notes Papa. "As a Senegalese food maker, I feel that I have to represent my country one way or another. The restaurant helps people discover not just the food but also our way of living, our culture. The Joloff Restaurant is also a preview before going to Senegal: my customers are not just Senegalese, they are a mix, they come from different nationalities, and so we are a melting pot on a small scale. Senegal is a very welcoming country: by coming to the restaurant you can get a taste of how welcoming my country's people are.
" I learned how to cook here because I didn't want to eat junk food," says Papa Diagne, the owner of the restaurant. He started cooking himself, for the catering business he developed, for several years. Then, he got together with several siblings, found a convenient corner location, renovated it inside and commissioned an artist to do the African mural outside, and started the Joloff Restaurant. This was back in 1995, when Biggy Smalls was on the rise and when the Clinton-Washington stop on the A and C trains was considered part of the dangerous BedSty, now the trendy Clinton Hill.
"The logo represents a lady, because we always consider Africa as the motherland," says Paga. "But, specifically, the restaurant and the logo are dedicated to my grandmother, "Mami" Diallo, who kept our family together. The cooking pot that you see on the hair wrap, which is also in the middle of the map," explains Papa, "is the traditional way of cooking: there were no stoves, just wood."
Directions by Subway
Take the A or C trains to Franklin Station or Nostrum Ave Station
Need to walk to Bedford Ave.
I am thrilled that Joloff Restaurant is still feeding people the best and most authentic Senegalese food you can get, certainly on the east coast and perhaps the best within the US. Take a trip out to Brooklyn to the Joloff Restaurant. You won’t be disappointed!