We love a grain bowl. It’s just so comforting to get a mishmash of stuff and get it all messy together. Grains…protein…veggies…SAUCE. And why get your bowl at some chain? Terenga offers the benefits of fast casual dining with the unique flavors of West Africa. And flavor is the key word here. Terenga packs in the spices and doesn’t overload things with salt so you can really taste all the layers. Located right at the top of Central Park, it’s the perfect add on to an afternoon strolling the Conservatory Gardens are perusing the Museum of the City of New York.

My Dad and I ordered similar bowls, but his included a caramelized onion topping and a bit more spice, while mine had a peanut sauce. My Mom got a stew with black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and okra. It was actually included in my platter as one of the sides so I got to taste it and thought it was the perfect consistency and bursting with flavor. I’m no fool and know that many of my favorite dishes from home (like okra and tomatoes) derive from African tradition and it was really cool (and delicious) to easily see the commonalities here. With chicken, sauce, sweet potatoes, and plantains all in one place, this was one of Finn’s favorite restaurants so far. If he could talk, he’d be asking to go back.