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Eating Out in Niamey, Part II

We had another two weeks of stay-cation the end of August and beginning of September.  This time I almost always remembered to take my camera along.  So you'll get to see pictures of the restaurants we visited.

Cote Jardin -- I mentioned  this one in Part I of this feature, so I won't do a lot of describing of it. 

As I wrote before, they do have a beautiful garden and absolutely delicious food.  The service is good and that combined with the ambiance makes it a delightful place to eat.  We went at night, so, sorry, my pictures don't really show what the garden looks like.  We went for our anniversary, which was really before our stay-cation.

This is a restaurant that has never failed to please.

 Les Roniers is a restaurant at a hotel. It is named for a type of palm tree common here in Niger. It is on the outskirts of Niamey and has a lot of trees and open outdoor space. It is right by the river. The hotel rooms are bungalows.  The pool is shady and has a lot of trees surrounding it.  The restaurant has been known to be one of the more posh restaurants in town, but we found it run down compared to how it used to be. 

There was a spot of spilled food on our tablecloth which is off-putting, there was sticky stuff on the floor and I.can't.stand.sticky.floors!  They didn't have the first thing I ordered.  In the end, we shared a salade nicoise that was delicious and absolutely perfect.  I don't remember what John ordered.  I got my stand-by:  steak au poivre avec frites.  It was really good, too.  There was one other group of people there, but other than that, we had the place to ourselves.  I think a lot of people like to go to Les Roniers to spend the day at the pool (I think the pool was 3,000 per adult per day, about $6.00 per adult) and get a meal because it feels like you are far from Niamey. 

While the meal was good, I was disappointed that they don't seem to be keeping it out and that it was a bit run down.  It wouldn't keep me from going back, though.  And the food was not expensive.  They haven't changed anything over the years, including the prices on the menu, so that's nice.

Our next restaurant to visit was the Dragon d'Or (the Golden Dragon).  

As you can guess by the name, it is a Chinese restaurant.  

We chose to eat outside as it was a pleasant evening, but there is an air-conditioned dining room inside as well. 

I had the chicken aigre-doux (sweet and sour chicken) and John had some kind of poulet citron (lemon chicken).  I liked mine quite a lot. 

John wasn't as crazy about his, but said it wasn't bad.

We also visited a restaurant called Rayan.  I'm assuming Rayan is somebody's name....I really have no idea.  Downstairs is a bakery with the best selection of pastries of any bakery I've seen in Niamey.  

Then upstairs is a restaurant.  There was only one other patron there the night we were there.  Oh, and somebody who came in and picked up carry-out.  I had a steak and fries with a mushroom sauce and I'm not sure what John had.  Something with chicken and a lot of onions.  Oh, and fresh, still-warm baguette. Yum!

The food was good.  The only problem is that you can't sit where you can't see the TV.  Most of the evening there was some kind of sports program on, but then they changed to a Nollywood soap opera that was a bit bizarre and that we didn't really want to watch.  Other than showing sports, I'm not sure why restaurants have TVs going.  

We like to sit by the big windows and watch the traffic going by down below.  The security guard directing traffic was very  entertaining....much better than the TV!  The other problem with Rayan is that it's on a really busy road and


there is a LOT of traffic between our house and the restaurant and we've never gone that it isn't heavy traffic, no matter what the time of day or night.  So, getting there and getting home is no fun and almost reason enough to not go there unless you're already in the neighborhood.

Next up was the pizza restaurant and I forgot my camera.  This restaurant is called Kubeyni -- Red Hot Club.  I kid you not.  I know it sounds like a place where missionaries should not go!  Kubeyni means "welcome" in Zarma.  Honestly, the red hot seems to be referring to the way your pizza is served and not the entertainment!  People had told us that the pizza there was really good, but John almost always prefers my pizza to restaurant pizza, so why go out and pay for something that he likes better at home?  Well, because, I must admit, it was as good if not better, than my home-made pizza.  It was some of the best pizza I've ever had.  The seating is in a small garden or you can eat indoors in a small room (with a TV).  The service was fabulous.  And it's in walking distance to our house.  Combine the atmosphere of the garden, the excellent service, the perfection of the pizza, and the distance from our house, and you get a place we'll definitely be visiting again.  This was, hands down, one of our favorite restaurants for this round of eating out.  And besides, I have to go back again with my camera!  I should also mention that you can order and take-out and they were doing a booming business, especially since it was a Friday night.

And last, but not least, back to our favorite restaurant, Le Sangria, behind the Sahel Hotel. 

As far as we're concerned, their brochettes and fries cannot be beat.  My only complaint that night was that they didn't have any ice for the cokes.  

I look like I need a vacation, alright!

 It sure was nice to get a break from the kitchen!