Keren Kitchen | Lakeview | African | Restaurant
A platter of Eritrean food at Keren Kitchen

A platter of Eritrean food at Keren Kitchen

Michael Gebert

A sunny Eritrean restaurant near Irving Park and Ashland

Our Review

The bowl of "foull," as they spell it at Keren Kitchen—a sunny Eritrean restaurant that takes its name from the country's second most populous city—makes for a pretty good breakfast. Eritrea's version of the mashed fava bean dish found at Middle Eastern restaurants, where it's often soupier, came with a baguette-like wheat bread, likely due to the Italian presence in Eritrea, as well as bits of hard-boiled egg, tomato, onion, goat cheese, and jalapeños, and a dash of berbere pepper. It was served with olive oil, though you also have the choice of tesmi, which is a clarified butter like ghee, but cooked with spices before it separates. Maybe because of the way it's served—communally on the spongy bread called enjera—it has a comforting feel. There's a printed menu, but only some of it is made each day, and it's probably more effective just to ask what they have—an assortment of vegetable or lentil dishes with a slight curry-like seasoning, and maybe a single beef or lamb stew.

Michael Gebert

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