Friday, June 17, 2011

A Nice Dinner At Nyalaa Restaurant

Last week, my friend and I decided to be adventurous and dine at Nyalaa Restaurant, which is conveniently located across the street from my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Rahel Vegan Restaurant. We were anxious to see how Nyalaa compared to Rahel, as I had heard Nyalaa was super Vegan friendly. While Nyalaa's Vegan menu was limited, the items were quite tasty and definitely exceeded my expectations. I was excited to use my $25 gift certificate for a superb discount.

While we looked over the menu, the waitress brought out a complimentary appetizer, an Ethiopian version of hummus and pita. 

The dip was very creamy and oily and had a rich olive taste. There were slight notes of pureed chickpea.  The accompanying bread was soft and delicate and lightly toasted. 

As an appetizer, I ordered a bowl of lentil soup ($4).

This was so delicious. The taste of lentils was dominant, with a hint of sweet tomatoes seeping through. It was mildly spiced, yet was hearty and comforting. This was a great way to begin the meal. 

Next, we had three entrees aesthetically assorted on one dish. We ordered the Red Lentil Stew ($11), the Mixed Vegetable Stew ($11) and the Vegetarian Combination ($12). When it first arrived, it was a bit overwhelming, but we actually devoured the entire meal. 

The entrees were so delicious and flavorful. They were mildly spiced and well-seasoned. The mixed vegetables were soft and delicate and had a slightly tangy flavor. The lentil stews were very smooth and had a creamy consistency. I was not a huge fan of the collard greens, as the texture was a bit too rough and stringy. I found the salad to be light, yet had a moderate spice to it. 

Unfortunately, Nyalaa did not have any Vegan desserts, so my sweet tooth was not satisfied. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the meal and loved the varied flavors on the entree plate. We only spent about $13 for our meal, which was such a great deal considering all the food we ordered. I will definitely return, although I prefer Rahel for delicious and authentic Vegan Ethiopian food.

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