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“Should partner with Rafiki Café.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Talking Drums

Talking Drums
Ranked #815 of 1,777 Restaurants in Albuquerque
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Description: 505-792-3221
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Should partner with Rafiki Café.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014 via mobile

In my quest to find quality African Cuisine in the ABQ, I came across Talking Drum. Food was just borderline average. The facility itself has potential. The exterior is an unusual design. Not sure what was there before TD. Lots of points in the roof and painted a gaudy yellow, but with a couple of adjustments it maybe able to work, and compliment the dining experience. Interior design is a mixture of modern pancake house with a few touches of African decor - cool wooden bowls on the table, African posters. The location sucks, on San Pedro just north of Central. The main issue here is the food. For $13 I got a goat stew thing (no, I'm not an expert on African Cuisine, I just know I like it when done right). A bit high priced for a weekday lunch hour. The dish came with heaping portions of rice, beans, and plantains and 2 small pieces of goat meat. The flavor of all of the above was pretty bland. The staff was nice. As stated in my headline, if this restaurant steals the head chef away from Rakiki Café, they will have something to brag about, as it is now, I will not return.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Art T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    6
    0
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
“nasty food”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

This is the worst excuse of African food I have ever had the displeasure of eating. The food is overpriced and tasteless. I ordered beans and plantain and the unprofessional rude owner actually had the nerve to set down in front of me burned plantain and cold beans. I will never ever eat here again. I am from Houston and have tried many African dishes and never have I experienced such lazy cooking and unprofessional-ism. It is like he is not even trying anymore somebody please open another African restaurant in Albuquerque because you guys obviously don't know what good African food tastes like. He has this huge restaurant and its always empty. Time for him to get out of business and keep his disgusting food to himself. I have attached photos of yam I bought from the store that he refused to exchange for ones that were not rotten!! He actually sells rotten food to his customers.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank foodie507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Level Contributor
81 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great African/Ethiopian Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

We had one of the best meals we ever had last night at Talking Drums in Albuquerque. It is outstanding food. It has the right level of spice. We had red beans stew with goat, peppered gizzards, and jerk chicken. The Palm wine was mellow with a bit of fizz and delicious. The restaurant is tastefully and interestingly decorated and spotless. The owner waited on us and he was most gracious. We were trying to get there before they closed and made it. He had no problem staying open a little longer so we could sit and enjoy our meal. We highly recommend Talking Drums. It is at the south end of San Pedro directly off Gibson very close to the airport and base. They have Ethiopian food on Fridays.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank rsfuller2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bad Experience”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2012

Food not memorable. Service was slow. We were the only two in the restaurant. The guy at the cash register was rude.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank paizley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2012

My wife and I had dinner here and we could not have been more impressed! Walking in, the place is immaculate. It is very clean with really cool art work. We ordered the appetizer sampler and Alexa, our server, was happy to explain what each item on the sampler was and how it was made. Although everything on the sampler was delicious, I was particularly fond of the fried plantains and the Suya, which is beef grilled with African spices and served with bits of onion.

For Entrees, we decided to sample from both the Caribbean and African parts of the menu, so we tried the Jerk Chicken and the Steamed Yam with Corned beef stew. The Jerk chicken was absolutely delicious with the perfect amount of heat (which is a lot, if you want it to be authentic!) and the Steamed Yam with Corned Beef Stew was fantastic. The yam that is used in this dish is not the syrup drenched yam that most Americans associate with Thanksgiving but, rather, a tuber that is similar in taste and appearance to a Yukon Gold potato. The slight sweetness of the yam was perfectly tempered by the brininess of the corned beef stew. This is a dish that would be perfect in the winter but works well at any time of year!

I highly recommend this restaurant! Everything is prepared with a lot of care and it is obvious that the owners have put their hearts into this business. The menu may be a little intimidating but the very knowledgeable and friendly staff is willing to help make selections.

In addition to the restaurant, there is an African and Caribbean market in the building adjacent where one can buy the most delicious plantain chips I have ever had!

My wife and I truly enjoyed our visit to Talking Drums. Please support this business as Albuquerque can only get better as we embrace different cultures and experiences!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Waaronpeace1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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