When prepared authentically, a country's cuisine is loaded with history and devoid of off-center designer logos. Partake of the genuine article with today's Groupon: for $13, you get an Ethiopian dinner for two (a $27 value) at Tina's Ethiopian Cafe in Gilbert. The dinner for two includes:
- Two house wat combos
- Two soft drinks or hot or iced Ethiopian teas
The menu at Tina's Ethiopian Cafe overflows with authentic East African fare. In a dining room festooned with tourism posters and cultural decorations, customers feast upon the house wat combo, a platter containing a combination of the menu's many wat entrees, such as Yedoro wat—small pieces of chicken cooked with moderately-spiced sauces—or the Kik wat—an unspiced concoction of yellow split peas and herbs lightly simmered. Each dish arrives at tables piping hot alongside a choice of injera—an Ethiopian bread—Nashe's ugali, or David's rice. As a BYOB establishment, Tina's Ethiopian Cafe encourages patrons to bring their own choice of alcoholic beverage, but to leave their alcoholic pets at the door.
Tina's Ethiopian Cafe
Tina says her restaurant is her second home, a feeling that grew during the days when she ran the entire kitchen alone and worked to make every guest feel like they "had been invited to her home for a dinner party," according to azcentral.com in 2007. For each platter of food set before her houseguests, Tina draws culinary inspiration from her childhood in Ethiopia, using sense memory to season simmering pots of lentils, grilled beef, and herb-crusted chicken. Instead of silverware or miniature loading cranes, Tina serves each meal with an accompanying basket of traditional injera, a tasty, spongy Ethiopian bread that allows diners to scoop out each sauce-laden bite without the need for silver-, gold-, or bronze-ware.