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Ethiopian At Almaz

Have you ever seen a live show at the first unitarian side chapel? Well, you should, as it’s my favorite live music venue in all of philadelphia. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to talking about food. Before going to the show, we stopped by Almaz Cafe for some ethiopian food. You know the place, or don’t you? You’ve probably passed it dozens of times and thought, oh, look, a coffee / sandwich shop. Little did you know there’s ethiopian food inside!
There’s a chicken dish in the back and a lamb special in the front. Since this is the kind of food that is shared, everything is put on one big plate, with the accompanying cabbage, greens, and other bean type things. The lamb wasn’t all that exciting as it was a bit bland. The onions were the best part. The chicken was much more exciting and flavorful. The side dishes were all pretty good, especially the cabbage. I love me some african cabbage. And I don’t typically care for greens and I didn’t much care for these, as they were pretty bitter. We were the only people dining in the little upstairs room. The guy was super nice to us and the food came out pretty quick. If you’re wanting ethiopian food in center city without the waits typical of the west philly spots, Almaz is the place for you.
Almaz Cafe on Urbanspoon

Almaz – Ethiopian

I love it when other people decide where to eat. While A was here, she’d compiled a list of a few places she wanted to try. Because I didn’t feel like driving up to the northeast, and because I’d actually wanted to go there the night before, we ended up having an ethiopian feast at Almaz Cafe. I’d passed by this place dozens of times before in my life, but I didn’t realize it served food until a few weeks ago. I thought it was just a little coffee shop. It’s much more!

The place is pretty small though, there’s some seating downstairs, and a little bit more in the upstairs. They have regular coffee shop and cafe fare (coffee, sandwiches, breakfast) but also have a small menu of ethiopian items. We got the Dorowat, which is a stewed chicken dish, and the Veggie Combo, which came with misir, tikil gomen, kik-alchia, shiro, and one more unknown dish. What does all this mean?

The chicken is stewed in a red pepper sauce, but is not spicy at all. It’s full of flavor and super juicy. It’s all pretty much dark meat, so nothing dry here. The misir is red lentils in berbere sauce mixed with chopped onions, tikil gomen is a veggie stew which was my absolute favorite, kik-alchia is yellow split peas, and shiro is mixed greens which was my least favorite. I’m just not that into greens. The one mystery dish was a red colored dish at the top of the photo. Whatever it was, it was still good. All these items get served on a big plate on top of injera bread. Injera bread is a spongey crepe like bread with a sourdough flavor. You tear of pieces of the bread and scoop up the different dishes with it. You get a basketfull of injera as well. This was plenty of food for the two of us. Our server was super nice. I believe it’s the husband who serves and the wife who cooks. Now that I know they serve such good food, I’ll definitely be back!

Almaz Cafe

140 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 557-0108

Almaz Cafe on Urbanspoon

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