Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nazareth Cafe

6711 Chimney Rock


I have been meaning to try Ethiopian cuisine for some time and decided it was time to hit this place. It's a small cafe with linen table cloths and napkins although, of course, no dining utensils (they are available on request). The menu is not very large but there are chicken, beef, lamb and vegetable dishes. I tried the vegetable platter ($12) to get a sample of as many dishes as possible.

I liked the beets - keey sir - (12 o'clock) perhaps best and the preparation made with injera next to that, listed as Sufe Fitit and described as sesame juice mixed with injera, it was served well-chilled and would make a good vegetarian/grain substitute for a chicken salad or similar meat dish. I also liked the salad in the center of the plate, Timatim salad, fasolia (green beans and carrots at 7 o'clock) and the carrot/cabbage dish at 6, listed as Atkilt Wot. I liked the red lentil preparation at 9 o'clock, Mesir Wat, better than the brown lentil preparation at 3 o'clock (Azifa?) while the greens (Gomen - collards), at 2 o'clock, were the bitterest greens I have ever had and I was not too fond of them, and I like greens.

The most intriguing and readily appealing dish was the item at 5 o'clock which I initially thought was something made with balls of yam but finally decided the texture was too dry; this is Shimbra asa, dumplings made of chickpea flour.

The items at 10 and 11 o'clock, respectively, are Kit Alicha (split yellow peas) and Shiro Wat (pureed split peas). I wasn't too fond of either of those.

Although it's readily apparent in the picture, the slit in the pepper wound up facing down after I took one bite off the end and I didn't realize until the end it was stuffed, Almost all the seeds had been removed, except right at the stem end, and it was as sweet and crisp and juicy as a bell pepper, with a filling that included I'm sure minced onion and tomato and more.

A new cuisine, many new tastes to explore and learn about. I'm looking forward to more visits.

As I have learned at other venues, vegetarian fare can be very filling. I left absolutely stuffed and I didn't finish off but one of the two pieces of injeera.

The restaurant serves breakfasts, has beer, wine and alcohol, including the Ethiopian honey wine Tej, plus coffee and tea.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this place on the radar. Houston sorely lacks good Ethiopian food. I like Addis Adaba more than Blue Nile but am eager to try Nazareth out. It seems from your review that they serve some "out of the ordinary" dishes.

Ziggy Smogdust said...

looks awesome! I have heard that Ethiopian food might satisfy my spice cravings.

Bruce said...

Thanks Anonymous. Please report back what you think if you go. As this is my first experience I have nothing to compare it to.

Ziggy - you should definitely try it.

Bruce said...

By the way, I didn't find the food all that spicy.

Sarah and Erwin said...

Hi! It's me Anonymous, or Sarah. We checked out Nazareth this past Saturday. It was great! Much more fresh than Blue Nile. We had the veggie sampler and a lamb dish that our waitress recommended. Actually, she told us the lamb dish that we were going to order was not very good and suggested the one we did get. I'm sorry, I forgot the names. The lamb was flavorful but very tough. The veggies were all excellent and we were served quite a variety. I especially liked the different lentil dishes. And that stuffed pepper was fabulous!

We were the only ones inthe place at 1:30 pm. Waitress said they were packed btwn 9-12 and would be for dinner b/c there was a dj. They had no high chairs for our 1 year old, so when the food came out, the lovely waitress snatched up our baby and played with him the entire time we ate!

Will definitely go back! Thanks Bruce!

Bruce said...

I'm glad you had a great experience. I haven't gotten back over there but mean to.