EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Looking for something different to eat?

You can head to Pabs African Restaurant in East Hartford that’s serving up authentic West African cuisine.

Twenty-two years ago, Patrick Boahen came to Connecticut from Ghana. He established preparing taxes, even opening his own business.

But then, four years ago, he found the chance to follow his true passion.

“I love cooking. Cooking actually is my hobby,” Boahen said.

He also saw a real business opportunity. Fellow West Africans were finding few restaurants that served their culture.

So, he converted an abandoned Dunkin’ Donuts on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford into Pabs Restaurant, a destination for authentic African cuisine.

“It’s an easy way for us to buy some food and enjoy some of our local dishes that just take too much time to prepare,” Boahen said.

Boahen wanted a diverse menu that catered to all West African cultures, not just his native Ghana.

“We have Nigerians in the community, we have people from Cameroon, Liberia, so I put that into thought,” Boahen said.

You can go to Pabs for fufu, peanut butter soup, fried croaker fish, and goat. Some of the more popular dishes include egusi soup, which is ground up melon seeds seasoned, cooked in sauce, and served with goat, or you could get the popular jollof rice cooked in a tomato sauce.

“Most African restaurants you get a particular food, maybe from Ghana, but over here, you got different countries,” said Michael Hamza.

But Boahen also wants to open the rest of the surrounding community to his authentic West African menu.

“Usually, when we come together, when we’re having parties, you can’t do parties without jollof rice,” Boahen said.

Boahen had to shut down his business for two months at the start of the pandemic. Now, he only does takeout and things have slowed down, but his repeat customers keep coming back.

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