Freakin’ Fantastic Ethiopian Food at Little Africa.

One of my favorite cuisines is Ethiopian, and my favorite place to get it is at Little Africa. I believe that the owner of this small restaurant is the only one who works here as well. He makes the food, serves, cleans, and handles the money. This place doesn’t take credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash on hand.

Alicha and Ferfer platter.
Alicha and Ferfer platter.

Injera is a yeast risen flatbread. The texture is spongy, and the flavor is nice and and mildly sour, but not overwhelmingly so. You rip a piece of the injera and wrap it around dish you chose, so there is no silverware involved. The top is porous, so it’s good for scooping up Ethiopia’s massive array of incredible sauces with the vegetables or meat. At Little Africa your meal is served with a small bowl of water and something lightly pink so you can rinse your fingers.

Alicha is my favorite. It’s a fresh mix of saucy potatoes, cabbage, carrot, green peppers,  green beans, garlic and ginger.It sounds simple but it is truly outstanding. So flavorful, and also light. The Ferfer is made with onion, kale, garlic, tomato paste, and cayenne pepper. This one was bold and savory, and delicious as well. Heavier and more dense in texture, I loved that it was spicy.

Sweet tea.
Sweet tea.

I ordered tea but I’m not sure what kind it was. It reminded me of chai in aroma. It was very deep in color, thicker than many teas, and it was sweet as well. The spices were pleasant and lingered.

This restaurant is a must try in Grand Rapids. I think the prices are quite reasonable, and the owner is a fantastic cook and a welcoming and friendly man. The interior is very basic and plain, but I rarely care about that. With food this good, not much else matters.

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5 thoughts on “Freakin’ Fantastic Ethiopian Food at Little Africa.

  1. YES, this is my favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids! I actually worked there for a few months…a whopping 13 years ago (please don’t try to figure out my age!!) – he offered me a job because I ate there so often, and the restaurant was packed every single day at that time.

    I’m not sure what kind of tea he uses, but he adds to it cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, I think star anise, and of course sugar. He does indeed work alone most of the time, but there’s a woman who helps on weekends.

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