My kids very well may have been born on the wrong continent entirely. A.P. especially is currently fascinated with all things Africa. It’s a big continent, so it may take us a while to satisfy his curiosity. My husband and I have even gotten into it, and had a discussion about taking a safari trip some day. That is a ways down the road though – for now we will stick with our local resources to learn about this fascinating place.
Fortunately, there is an Ethiopian restaurant here in town. It is called Little Africa. The restaurant is very cool; painted in rich colors and has pictures of zebras and other African scenes on the walls.
The waiter (who, by the way, is also the cook, and the owner) is extremely friendly. He was kind to the children. That alone was worth the experience. He was excited that we were there to try his food.
I was personally raised eating food from around the world, however, this was my first venture with Ethiopian food. I had no idea what to order so I just asked for a combo meal; easy on the spiciness for the kids’ sakes. The food came all on one platter for the three of us. There were no utensils; instead the food is scooped up with Injera, a traditional flat bread. Injera has a very different texture than any bread I’ve had before. It is very moist, but strong enough to scoop up the food. It is sort of spongy so it absorbs the flavors of whatever you are scooping up. There is nothing like telling kids they can use bread instead of a fork to get them to try something new.
This was the kids’ first experience with finger bowls. They weren’t quite sure what to do with them. I explained that they were used to wash their hands before eating. These are two kids who at home wash like they are scrubbing for surgery so I was not surprised when they fully submerged their hands in the bowls, over and over. I just set the bowls aside…
We had about 9 things on the combo platter, so I will just list the highlights. My favorite was the tomato salad, with a garlic and wine dressing over tomato, lettuce and pepper. Maybelle ate close to the entire portion of Azifa, which was a lentil dish seasoned with ginger and garlic. A.P. liked the zucchini dish the best.
I will return with the kids for sure. Next time though, I will put two quarters in the parking meter. It is not a rushed environment at all and we were there over an hour. I will also only order one serving of juice. I ordered two and they were huge. The seasoned tea is awesome. It is a spicy and sweet hot tea that I haven’t ever had before but I want to have again. We would have plenty of food with a one person combo platter as they are huge. We got a two person and had about half of it left over.
Little Africa is at 956 East Fulton. It’s open 11:30-9 Monday through Saturday and the phone number is (616) 222-1169. Try it!