Oumar Diouf, chef-owner of The Damel, grew up in Senegal and moved to Argentina for a professional soccer career. When an injury ended his career, he attended culinary school in Argentina. There, he opened an empanada shop, where he incorporated subtle West African influences in his cuisine. When he moved to Brazil, he was struck by the similarities between West African and Brazilian cuisine, inspiring him to cook Afro-Brazilian cuisine. The Damel’s most representative dish is the acarajé, a Brazilian dish with West African origins. It’s a black-eyed pea fritter stuffed with shrimp and a sauce of coconut milk, palm oil, and veggies, served with a pico de gallo-like sauce and okra sauce. While most of The Damel’s empanadas are Argentinian-style, the fataya is a must-try Senegalese deep-fried pastry stuffed with tuna and shrimp. For entrées, try the lamb dibi, a popular Senegalese street food of lamb with mustard and grilled onions — and don’t miss the coconut rice and plantains as sides. African and Brazilian specials are usually on offer, like a crispy-skinned whole grilled branzino and jollof rice.
Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards
Tue.-Thu. 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 5-10 p.m. (lunch and weekend brunch coming soon)