July 12, 2009
Simply put, this might be one of the coziest and most satisfying restaurants I've ever been to. Unsure of where to dine on a recent Monday afternoon, we stumbled upon Madiba quite haphazardly. We decided to walk to Dekalb Ave in search of some brunch - Autour du Monde was closed, and most of the other restaurants were crowded. We went into Madiba because it was considerably less crowded and the tables and umbrellas outside were cute and inviting.
Unfortunately all the umbrellas were taken, so we had to settle for inside. Luckily, however, we got to enjoy two musical artists warming up for that night's performance. They were absolutely fantastic and very nice. Also, the inside of the restaurant is adorable, with its wooden tables and old glassware, as well as the awesome coke bottle chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant is named after Nelson Mandela; Madiba is the honorary title South Africans gave him. Therefore, the entire restaurant is decorated in his honor.
As for the food, the restaurant has quite a collection of comfort food and spicy delights such as curry. A few of us jumped at the offer of Sangria, while Laurel went with coffee. Laurel and I both went for the Meal in a Pie - chicken on bottom, mashed potatoes and gravy in the middle, and a flaky crust on top ($10). It definitely lived up to its name. I was unbelievably full afterward. Davis went for the Fatcake with the savory mince. Yes, it looked as unhealthy as it sounds (pictured above). He seemed to really dig it, although I didn't get to try a piece.
Definitely give Madiba a taste if you're in the neighborhood - or take a special trip out to Fort Greene just for this little South African gem. - Jennifer
I have to agree that Madiba is super cute and from my experience, pretty tasty. I ordered the same thing as Jennifer, which we don't normally do, but it looked too good. And it was good, the mushroom gravy was especially delicious. I practically licked my plate and was pleasantly full.. but not too full to pass up dessert. I ordered Koeksisters to share, twisted little buttery pastries with a sugary lemon-ginger sauce. They were rich and light at the same time, and deliciously sweet. My coffee came with adorable little jar containers of milk and raw sugar, and was nice and smooth. My stomach was happy when we left, as was the rest of me.
The prices are reasonable for brunch (standard), and can get a little pricier for dinner, but I would be willing to venture that the price fits the quality. The wait staff is friendly and the atmosphere is airy and festive. They have lots of events and music, so I'm sure we'll be coming back to check that out as well as more of the menu. You should too. -Laurel