Tastes of Africa

Eritrean and Ethiopian Café offers a flavorful menu for adventurous diners.



A combination of beef and vegetables is served with injera, a spongy Ethiopian flatbread.

Let’s start with the fun part: You eat with your hands.

This isn’t exactly novel if you’ve lived in or visited parts of Asia or Africa, but it’s certainly not something you see in Tulsa. So when the food arrives at the Eritrean and Ethiopian Café, many customers call the waiter back with a question: “Can you bring some silverware?”

Owner Yonas Abraham, a native of the East African country Eritrea, will gladly return with a fork and knife for those who insist. But he encourages diners to try it the Ethiopian way.  He can’t count how many times he has given a quick lesson on the proper way to eat with your hands since he opened the restaurant this past fall.

I visited Eritrean on a quiet Monday night. A friend and I were two of only a few diners, leaving us with attentive service from Abraham and his family.

We had an idea of what we wanted to try, but Abraham is quick to offer suggestions for those unfamiliar with the food. Eritrean has many types of stewed, curried and roasted chicken, lamb and beef, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. 

Sambusa

The sambusa ($6.50) appetizer is the East African equivalent of the empanada. It’s a crispy pastry shell filled with beef, chicken or lentils, plus onions and jalapeños. These addictive little bites are served with a red chili sauce. It’s a perfect starter for those new to Ethiopian food.

My introduction to the cuisine was years ago by a co-worker who made meatballs using berbere, a spice mixture often used in Ethiopian and Eritrean foods. At potluck lunches of casseroles and cupcakes, those meatballs stood out. So, I had to try the key wot ($10.99), a beef stew seasoned with berbere sauce. It’s served with a green salad tossed with a tangy vinaigrette dressing and Ethiopian flatbread. 

All entrees at the restaurant are served with the flatbread, a thin, pliable bread similar in thickness to a tortilla. This bread, called injera, is sourdough with a spongy texture, making it ideal for scooping and holding the weight of stewed meats and lentils.

Abraham sees himself as an educator when it comes to Ethiopian food, and he brought out a small bag of teff — a grain about the size of a poppy seed — to show us what the bread is made from. Though an ancient grain and common in Africa, teff is now gaining popularity in the West as a gluten-free alternative.

Lamb tips ($15) were tender, with an aromatic mix of peppers, onion, tomato, garlic and rosemary. The same dish is available with beef, and either would be good choices for those who prefer milder flavors over more pungent curry. 

These stewed meats were delicious when  scooped in the teff flatbread and topped with the green salad. The mixture of rich, savory meat with the slightly tart dressing from the salad makes for a perfect bite.

Lentils in spicy berbere sauce ($8.95) and atkilt ($7.95) are both good vegetarian entrees. The atkilt is a curried vegetable stew made with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, peppers and onion. Split peas, collard greens, green beans and beet roots also are available as entrees, stewed and simmered with curry and other seasonings.   

In Eritrea, coffee is a major part of the culture, and Abraham holds that tradition. He offers a nice selection of Eritrean and Ethiopian coffee and espresso and takes his time making each cup of strong coffee.

Abraham’s wife and mother-in-law make the restaurant’s pastries and cookies. I brought two boxes home, and we loved the coconut cookies, pumpkin and coconut turnovers and flaky, bar-shaped pastries sprinkled with sugar.

Abraham was an engineer before venturing into the restaurant business. He has lived in the United States for 20 years.

“Oklahoma is my home sweet home. I love this place. I actually call myself a native Tulsan,” he says. “We love sharing our food with the people of Tulsa.”

Owner Yonas Abraham was an engineer before opening Eritrean and Ethiopian Café, a south Tulsa restaurant featuring food, pastries and coffee from his homeland.

 



Eritrean and Ethiopian Café

6934 S. Lewis Ave. | 918-477-9227

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday

 

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October 2019

The Brush Creek Bazaar is South Tulsa's largest and longest running Arts and Crafts Festival. This year we will host over 70+ vendors, featuring handcrafted items from all around the region. We...

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Cost: 109

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Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

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Telephone: 580-317-8470
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Telephone: 580-317-8470
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

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Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

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Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
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Cost: Free

Where:
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More information

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Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

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Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Telephone: 918-272-2281

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Cost: $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free

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Tulsa Botanic Garden
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Telephone: 918-289-0330
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

The University of Tulsa College of Law presents the 23rd Annual John W. Hager Distinguished Lecture featuring Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Price and Turpen Courtroom
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Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: TU College of Law
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Cost: FREE

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Central Park
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Sponsor: City of Broken Arrow
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Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10 / $15

Where:
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621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: OKEQ / Pat Hobbs
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Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
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Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

Join us for Fall Story Times that will feature guest readers, and include a variety of activities including music, games and crafts.  Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after Story Time.  Free with...

Cost: $8 for ages 13+, $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma  with nationally known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and  crafters MarktHaus, full carnival, and fun...

Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

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Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

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Cost: $0

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society and Museum
2445 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

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Cost: $24.50-$75.00

Where:
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9341 N. 129th E. Ave.
Owasso, OK  74055
View map »


Sponsor: Compassion Live
Telephone: 877-234-3847
Contact Name: Carol
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers at The University of Tulsa on October 19th, 2019.   The Conference offers the...

Cost: $10-$70

Where:
TU's Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S. Gary Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

Nimrod Journal will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers on Saturday, October 19th, at The University of Tulsa. The conference will feature workshops on fiction, poetry,...

Cost: $10-70

Where:
Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S Gary Ave
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma  with nationally known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and  crafters MarktHaus, full carnival, and fun...

Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
Website »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

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The Karbach Games and Competitions Arena becomes our own center of the universe Saturday at 2:00 PM for true fans of German bier. Why? Because it is ground zero for the Linde Oktoberfest Bavarian...

Cost: $40

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 South Jackson Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: River Parks
Contact Name: Ryan Howell

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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Folk Salad Radio Show celebrates its 20th anniversary with a potluck meal followed by a concert featuring Grammy-nominated singer songwriter John Fullbright and several other Tulsa musicians on...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Stone Church
4225 W. Fifth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Folk Salad Radio Show
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Join us for Nimrod Write Night, the opening event of our Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers weekend, on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society, 6:30 p.m. Write Night is...

Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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Flashes of vivid colors, laughter, dancers whirling around keeping pace with the energetic music, more laughter……this is what you will experience at Guthrie Green this Saturday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: SAPAF
Telephone: 918-665-6419
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
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Tulsa in Harmony is a congregation of community choirs, lending their voices in one accord. They sing of their hopes and their faith and aspirations of a more unified community and a more unified...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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