The neighborhood where we live in Seattle is reputed to be one of the most culturally diverse in the United States. 30% of the residents of Rainier Valley were born outside the United States and 59 native languages are spoken.

That bodes well for those who like to explore cuisines from around the world.

Last week, my daughter and I visited Dahlak, an Eritrean restaurant.

What the restaurant lacks in exterior aesthetics, it makes up for in the kitchen which prides itself on cooking everything fresh daily.

Instead of using utensils, food is picked up with torn off pieces of injera, a spongy, tangy, giant crepe-like bread, made from a North African grain called teff, and/or wheat and barley.

My daughter and I ordered the Vegetable Combo. We were delivered a platter lined with injera which held a curried mixture of potatoes, cabbage and carrots, a lettuce and tomato salad, and sauteed mustard greens. 

Remy dipped a piece of injera into her favorite, pureed chickpeas and spices.

The delicious stews bubbled in the clay pot while oil burned below to keep them warm. The chickpeas were fantastic, but we eagerly gobbled up the red lentils, okra with greens, and spicy beans as well.

Also popular at Dahlak is Kitfo, Eritrea’s version of Steak Tartare. Raw ground steak comes drizzled with hot butter and berbere, a spice mixture including coriander, cardamom, ginger, fenugreek and chile, and served with a pot of cheese. Reportedly, this is to die for.

I’ll have to bring my husband back to try it.

For more stories of food and travel, check out Wanderfood Wednesday!

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