Fannie Gibson's Jollof rice is already the breakout customer favorite at her new Fannie's African & Tropical Cuisine on Troost.
The one-pot dish tends to stir up a serious debate in her native Liberia, as well as other West African countries. Who makes the best? She solemnly discusses her version and its side of pepper sauce.
But when it comes to her fufu — a dough made from boiled and ground plantain or cassava — Gibson beams.
"A lot of people are trying the fufu with their hands. I'm so excited about that. It makes me so happy," Gibson said.
Since fleeing civil war and moving to the U.S. in 2002, Gibson has longed to share her native cuisine. But she first went to nursing school and then became a mother of two.
In mid-April, she opened the restaurant with her husband, Kelechi Eme, at 4105 Troost Ave.
Gibson's Jollof comes with plantain and a choice of goat meat, chicken or tilapia.
Other items include barbecue ribs, banku, pasta with grilled chicken and bread, Kenkey (similar to a sourdough dumpling) with fish or chicken in a choice of grilled or fried, whole baked fish, goat meat stew, Egusi soup (made from ground egusi seeds), fried spinach with rice (served on Mondays only) and collard greens with rice (served on Tuesdays only).
The breakfast menu includes donuts, shortbread, banana bread made with rice flour or Cream of Wheat, fried Puff Puff balls (that also can be eaten as an appetizer or snack), and sardine patties.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fannie's is just south of Urban Cafe, which opened in early 2017.