A Virtual Trip to East Africa with Fatima's Cafe
Chris Michelotti, F&C Contributor
Grabbing East African food from a drive-thru window, what a time to be alive! Looking over the menu I had to order the Ethiopian Anjero Platter, but I was worried about how it would transport. If you have never had Ethiopian food, traditionally you lay the Anjero flatbread out and place your stews on top. Then, you tear the bread and eat with your hands. This may throw some people off, but imagine how you'd feel watching people eating barbecue with utensils… it’s fine and all *shrugs* but they're missing the point. You will get messy but you'll enjoy each second of it.
With this platter we got chicken, beef, and goat stews alongside mixed vegetables and spicy lentils. First, I will say that the heat is relatively mild, but the aromatic spices are very present (as attested to by my heat-sensitive partner)! These stews each have good flavors alone but mixed around with other stews are so great, too. My favorite stew was goat stew, grab some of that with the lentils and you have a solid bite! The mixed vegetables were my favorite thing to eat in this meal. They had the right amount of pickling that made the flavors of each stew shine.
We indulged in the handmade Samosas, which you can't beat at 3 for $6.25! They come in three flavors- beef, spicy lentil and mixed vegetable. For those who like a little extra heat, the Samosas come with a side of green hot sauce and that is where the kick comes in. To get the traditional dining experience even at home, use a pizza stone to reheat the Anjero (spongy, pancake-like bread) and toss the utensils to the side and really connect with the food.
This place is run by a sweet couple that obviously takes their craft seriously. Even with masks on and talking through a window, I could tell they love that they are feeding their community and sharing their culture. I can’t wait to hit this place up again and take up the challenge they gave me… try everything on their menu.