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Southwest Tempe Ethiopian

Cafe Lalibela - Ethiopian - Tempe, AZ

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Cafe Lalibela - Ethiopian - Tempe, AZ

Darrin Chandler | Jul 8, 2005 03:03 PM

This is another strip mall restaurant I must have driven past a hundred times. My wife and I wanted to try something new and neither of us had eaten Ethiopian cuisine before.

The interior is friendly and cute, and we were greeted and seated immediately. Service was prompt without being pressured.

Drinks first... they have Ethiopian wines and beers along with more familiar offerings. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian wines are by the bottle only, so my wife opted for a glass of chardonnay instead. I wanted beer so I ordered Harar, which was nicely hopped and thirst quenching.

I ordered the Spicy Combination, and my wife ordered individual entrees (the menu suggests 3 entrees per person). Between us we had Doro Wat (chicken), Kye Sega Wat (beef), Misir Wat (lentils), Shiro Wat (peas), Tikl Gomen (cabbage), Gomen (collard greens). Our orders came within minutes of ordering.

All of the "Wat" dishes are thick stew/curry/paste type dishes, and my wife and I *loved* every single one of them. The seasonings are rich and spicy. Delicious!

The Gomen dishes are fairly simple cooked veggies with almost no seasoning, and I wasn't happy with them.

Now, you're supposed to eat this with Injera, a quite *different* kind of bread, rather than use utensils. We caught on pretty quick. The Injera is a flat, rubbery, spongy thing with a sourdough, yeasty flavor. It's not something I'd munch on by itself. Ever. But the flavor was fine combined with the entrees, and the odd form and texture of the bread is made for it's purpose of scooping up the main dishes.

My wife and I will surely visit again!

Link: http://www.stilyagin.com/darrin/dinin...

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