Jul 10

Teranga, Senegalese Dining in the heart of the South End

Teranga offers welcoming tastes of Senegal. Located in the heart of the South End, Teranga is Boston’s first Senegalese restaurant.

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Teranga literally means hospitality in Wolof, a Senegalese language. In Senegal, hospitality is more than an art and culture; it’s a way of life. Teranga is the spirit of camaraderie, tolerance, and acceptance of one another. In the Senegalese culture, they strongly believe in taking care of anyone who crosses their path, especially guests. At Teranga restaurant we they mirror the Senegalese culture and invite guests to do the same.

Senegalese cuisine is a melting pot of diverse cultures including French, Asian, Arabic, and African. The exposure to different cultures has allowed to harmoniously blend together all the varied tastes to create a unique cuisine. At Teranga restaurant, they revive the distinct qualities of Senegal’s cultural influences, adapting and incorporating local, regional, and international ingredients into authentic culinary creations.

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I first worked with Teranga’s owner and chef Marie-Claude on two big (100+ people) catering orders for my office in 2010. Although I coordinated both events I did not get to try the food, but wish I had as everybody raved about it for months. Since then I’ve been to Teranga twice, including my most recent visit for my birthday dinner.

Teranga’s menu is almost entirely gluten free. There are only three things on the menu that do contain gluten: Croquettes de poisson (pan fried fish cakes), Fataya (stuffed pastry), and the Moroccan couscous.

The menu makes great use of fish and lamb, cassava, sweet potatoes, onions and rice. There are also many vegetarian options available.

What I ate:

Vegetarian Nems ($6): Spring rolls stuffed with rice vermicelli, chopped green & red peppers, grated carrots, scallions, and dried mushrooms, served with nuoc mam dressing. Wrapped in rice paper, it’s fried so it’s still chewy but crisp on the edges. You can also order them filled with chicken and beef. The spring rolls are slightly sweeter than traditional Asian spring rolls.

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Salade de la Teranga ($7) with mixed greens, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and chopped mango served with a house made vinaigrette. The salad was light and fresh.

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Every entrée dish sounded delicious so making a decision was tough. We were told the michoui ($16), lamb shank, was the best dish on the menu and had to try it. So we did. The roasted shank with herbs, caramelized onions, and Moroccan couscous, which we subbed for rice, was absolutely delicious. The meat was tender and juicy and fell right off the bone. It was by far the best dish on the menu, and one of the best lamb dishes I’ve had in a long long time, at such a reasonable price too.

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Brochettes de Poulet ($15), grilled skewered cubes of tangy chicken breast served with fried sweet potatoes and onion and sriracha sauce. The flavors were incredibly, but the chicken was a bit dry.

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Thiebou Djeun (National Dish $13), herbed stuffed white fish cooked in tomato stew and served with cassava, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, and pumpkin. The rice is SUPER spicy, hence why it’s served with a lime.

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Since it was my birthday, Marie Claude was kind enough to make me gluten free dairy free plantain and cinnamon cakes with fresh fruit, along with three sangria shots, one for each of us.

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Drinks are also creative and delicious.

Teranga Supreme: Fresh ginger juice, lime, passion fruit, bissap, sake, and cana.

Teranga Supreme: Fresh ginger juice, lime, passion fruit, bissap, sake, and cana.

I highly recommend Teranga. You can’t find anything else like it in Boston. From the food and drink to the incredibly hospitality, you will surely have a great night!

 


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