Though meals tend to bring friends together, meals peppered with magnets can push them apart. Enjoy an attractive repast with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Ethiopian cuisine at Tina's Ethiopian Cafe in Gilbert.
Owner and grub guru Tina tends to her authentic menu of Ethiopian dishes with a culinary confidence born from pride in her African homeland. Yedoro watt ($6.50), a moderately spiced hodgepodge of chicken and herbs, contends with vegetarian rib-stickers ($6) on a handheld football field of soft enjera flatbread, which encourages diners to sop up mouthwatering morsels with their hands instead of the standard fork or proboscis. Team carnivore also offers up a quarterback of beef tibbs grilled with onions and green peppers ($6.50) against a defensive line of shiro watt ($6), a blend of crushed chickpeas and mildly fiery spices. Guests seeking a thorough tonsil-torching can sink incisors into Zahara'a Zigni ($6.50), a top-secret concoction of herbs and spices with bite-size bits of beef, and meeker-tongued patrons can sup on spinach watt ($6), a nonspicy mixture of chopped spinach and onions. The food-glove of enjera may be swapped out for rice or ugalie, which, like most substitutes, won't know your name.
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.