Time to add another category to my food blog: African. This marks the first time I have sampled classic African/Ethiopian cuisine and I was certainly impressed. It was a fascinating eating experience where a group shares a central plate and eats not with forks and spoons, but with a traditional African bread called budenaa. Let me get right into my review.
The above picture really has nothing to do with the food, but I got a laugh out of it so had to share. Apparently only women, and boys are allowed at African Mart. The men have to take care of their business around back. lol
Here is a picture of what we ordered. A group of 6 of us went through two of these ultimate combos. Here you have a huge platter with a budenaa on top of it. It had almost a sourdough taste to it, and it was really spongy, but it tasted really good. It was just right to sponge up and grab the different sauces and flavors that came on the main plate. I can’t tell you what all the different items on the budenaa, but if you want to read about some of them you can find the menu here. In the middle there was some savory beef chunks on top of a cottage cheese like bedding. That was probably my favorite part of the combo. Plus it left the budenaa underneath it soaking with the juices so it was quite yummy. They also had a veggie stew that was beet based and other one with lentils. It almost reminded me of an Indian food buffet. Perhaps some of the base ingredients shared between both cuisines are the same.
I also enjoyed the fact there were no utensils. Just budenaa and your food. It reminded me of some places in Mexico and South America where they use a tortilla instead of a fork to scoop up their food. It is different from your standard lunch experience but special in its own right. African market gives you a little something different. A heathy, fresh, plate of food, that will fill you up quick and leave you satisfied.
If you do finish your budenaa, then you can always ask for more. Here is a picture of some of the small baskets that contained our first round of budenaa. It turned out to be plenty.
Overall I enjoyed African Mart and the food there. It’s probably not somewhere I will visit often, but will definitely have a spot for an occasional lunch with friends and family.