Monday, July 14, 2008

Kaffa Crossing

Gday folks, it's been quite a while. I just got back from a 4 day Florida excursion, yet as always, my tan is lacking. I burn like Sandra Lee with food she can't microwave. Oh Yea! High fives all around!
I read a recent article in the Inquirer about an Ethiopian restaurant/coffee shop called Kaffa Crossing. Craig LaBan's review claimed it to be a rare jewel in Philadelphia's Ethiopian Dining scene, and though I had little intention of trying it, when my parents offered to take me, my free meal sensors went wild and I obliged. Ethiopian food is new to me. I knew nothing of the cuisine. My meal at Kaffa Crossing proved to be an enlightening experience.
Kaffa Crossing was primarily known as a coffee shop hangout for college kids, that is, before LaBan's review came out. The room was laid back and the food inexpensive. Sambusas (Ethiopian samosas), filled with lentils, green peppers and herbs, tasted similar, yet far surpassed their Indian counterpart in terms of texture, as the thick crunchy shell maintained a perfect ratio of filling to crust. And a hummus platter severely turned me off the pre-packaged variety.
For our entree, we ordered the Kaffa Veggie Sampler which was a humongous plate of injera bread, covered with spiced, pureed split peas and lentils, collard greens, carrots, and chicken in a tomato based sauce(we ordered chicken separately but asked for it on the same plate). There are honestly few things I have munched up quicker. You eat by breaking off a piece of injera bread and kind of using it like a claw to pick up and of the food on the plate. The soft, spongy injera bread was delicious on its own, yet magnificent when paired with split pea puree and the chicken. The two entrees we ordered easily fed 3. At least I think so, I can't quite recall how much I left for my parents.
If you know me, you know I like to conclude short and sweet. Get to Kaffa Crossing. You will enjoy.


Anonymous said...

OK, Carol over at French Laundry At Home has voiced her dislike of Ethiopian cuisine, and I have often joked about any cuisine based around a region known only for FAMINE. Until I read this review, I was unaware of what Ethiopian food was all about. Thanks for the review and explanation. The only time I was exposed to an Ethiopian eatery was in Paris back in '05...the place was closed when we walked by.

Nick N said...

that's funny. I tend to share Carol likes and dislikes- bacon, Mike Bloomberg, etc.