Sunday, August 16, 2015

Eating African style at Jambo in Ludwigsburg...

I'd like to dedicate this post to fellow Stuttgart area resident and new Facebook friend Jennifer, who recommended Jambo African Restaurant to me.  She told me about this great place in Ludwigsburg months ago.  Bill and I kept meaning to go, but we were never in Ludwigsburg at the right time of day.  Except on Sundays, Jambo is only open for dinner.  We go to Ludwigsburg every couple of months or so, but we're usually there closer to lunchtime because we mostly go there specifically to buy beer at Heinrich's drink market.  Since Jambo typically opens at five o'clock for dinner, we're usually long gone by the time they start dinner service.  And we don't usually go to Ludwigsburg on Sundays because the drink market isn't open that day.


The sign is easy to spot on this main drag.

We had big plans to go to a local market yesterday, but the weather was kind of cloudy and we got up later than usual.  By the time we were finished with breakfast and our Saturday chores, it was kind of too late to hit the market.  I always like to do stuff on Saturdays, because that's the one day of the week most things are open and Bill is not working.  But by two o'clock, I was starting to think our Saturday might be a bust.  Then I remembered Jambo and Jennifer's suggestion that we try it.  I suggested it to Bill, who was definitely game.


We made a reservation online for six o'clock, but that turned out to be unnecessary last night.  When we arrived at Jambo near six o'clock, no one else was there yet.  We had our pick of generously sized two top tables.  We selected one in the back of the dining room, right by a window where I could see Jambo's small outdoor area.


Bill checks out the menu.  It was entirely in German, but I had already checked it out online using Google Chrome.  There are also many pictures, which makes it easier to choose.


A quick shot of the biergarten.  I noticed the proprietor putting up a large umbrella for a few folks who sat out there.

I was really getting into the festive African music playing over the sound system as I decided what I wanted to order.  The restaurant's decor is also very authentic.  There are carvings, paintings, and photos all over the walls.  I enjoyed the lighting, which was somewhat dim and kind of romantic, though the music made it seem more like we were at a party.


We ordered a lovely bottle of South African shiraz.  This one was priced at 18 euros.  It was very fruity and jammy and it went great with our meals.  Had we wanted to, we could have also tried some African (or German) beers.  There were three advertised at our table-- mango, pineapple, or banana. If I had seen that before we ordered the wine, I might have given one a try... probably the mango one.

Originally, Bill asked for springbok, which he had once tried and loved on a trip to London.  Jambo did not have any springbok last night.  There was a note in the menu that Bill missed.  What they did have was ostrich!  Bill's first taste of ostrich (Strauß) was at the Schwartzbach Sportsplatz near Vaihingen when we lived here last time.  The ostrich at the Schwartzbach wasn't that great.  The next time he tried it was at 10 Degrees South, an African restaurant in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.  That time, it didn't disappoint!  Bill decided to try it again in Germany, this time prepared by people whose kitchen was putting out aromas that told us they could cook.  The ostrich was 17,50 euros.  I took a look at 10 Degrees South's menu and they're selling ostrich medallions for $40.  I think you get a better deal in Deutschland!

I opted for the Sierra Leone Teller, which could be prepared with chicken or beef.  I ordered it with chicken.  It was priced at 12,50 euros.  


Bill's delicious ostrich!  At first, he didn't know how to eat it.  The proprietor came over and explained that the rather spongey rolled up bread is meant to be torn.  Then you pick up pieces of ostrich with the bread.  


My Sierra Leone plate.  The chicken was prepared with peanut sauce and lots of peppers.  It came with sides of rice, spinach, beets, and fried bananas.  The menu said they were bananas, anyway... to me, they tasted more like plantains... bland and a bit starchy.  They went well with the peanut sauce, though.


Bill finally eating the ostrich correctly.  It was delicious!


I had to take a photo of the back of the bottle of wine.  It was imported through Great Britain, which is famous for its nannyish signs...  

We finished our meals with a round of single espressos.  We wanted to try the African coffee on the menu, but it wasn't available last night.  I also didn't see any desserts offered, though that was no big deal.  I didn't have room for dessert anyway! 


I had to take a picture of the vehicle parked across the street.   It looked like a speed boat on three wheels.

Although we were the first to arrive at Jambo last night, the place filled up quickly.  Service was leisurely, but professional.  Everyone appeared to be having a good time and I could tell the place is very popular with locals, including several kids.  We were the only Americans there last night.  If you plan to go on a weekend, I recommend making a reservation, though again, it wasn't totally necessary for us last night.  There is a lot of street parking near the restaurant.
  
Our bill came to 55,10 euros.  It was worth every euro cent.  As we were about to leave, the kindly proprietor asked us how we liked his restaurant.  In a very typically enthusiastic American way, I said we loved it and we'd definitely be back!  Thanks again to Jennifer for the recommendation!  I am very happy to spread the word about this great place for eastern African food in southern Germany!

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