Day 95: My quick trip to Kenya

Today I took a delicious, whirlwind trip to the exotic, far-away Kenya. Well at least… my taste buds did. I got lunch with a wonderful friend of mine, Heather, at Alando Kenyan Cuisine in Bethlehem.  This place is fairly new and I had never really given it a second thought. Well, after today’s lunch, this place is all I want to think about! I don’t even know where to begin in describing my experience. When I think of Kenya, I picture wide expanses of grassland with beautiful animals, villages dressed in bright colors and patterns, and crazy food. I don’t know quite how accurate this is, but I’m assuming it must be close (I mean, that’s what Google Images tells me:).

And this is exactly what I got at Alando Kenyan Cuisine.

The colorful room is adorned with tribal decorations and pictures of wild animals and safaris. The tables are covered with brightly patterned material, and if you’re lucky, you might even find yourself dining alongside true Kenyans. It is just that good.

If the atmosphere isn’t enough to lure you in, then the food most definitely will. The menu was awesome. Heather and I couldn’t decide what to get and asked our waiter what he recommended. He then proceeded to give us a personal, guided tour of the menu, giving us his top choice from each section and what was popular, explaining some of the foods along the way. And boy, did we need those explanations. Who knows what dishes such as Bhajia, Kachumbari, Chapo-Poa, and Ugali are? (And those are just some!) I was so tempted to go with a delicious Safari or Nairobi salad, but knew that I should get something more Kenyan-y.

In the end, Heather and I decided to try out 4 dishes. I got the Veggie Pilau (yes, they have a vegetarian selection!) and the Chapo-Poa (off of their kids’ selection:). Heather got the Lentil Coconut soup and the Chicken Masala wrap with Bhajia. Here are descriptions (because I know you are just dying to see if we ate bugs and rice, right?):

Veggie Pilau: veggie rice pilaf with garlic, spices, green peas, raisins and Kachumbari (tomatoes, onions, scallions, cilantro, peppers, lemon juice)

Chapo-Poa: Chapati (flat-bread) topped with mozzarella

Lentil Coconut soup: self explanatory

Chicken Masala wrap: chicken masala wrapped in Cardamon flat bread with dressing

Kenyan Bhajia: thinly-sliced potatoes marinated in tumeric-cilantro batter

Here is a funny story. When I ordered the Chapo-Poa and asked how it was, our waiter exclaimed, “I don’t know, no one has ever ordered it.”  And then the guys at the table next to us started laughing and repeated, “No one has ordered it!” Hahaha! Way to get business, buddy. I ordered it anyway.

Everything was so so so delicious! It was like a Kenyan party in my mouth! The mix of spices and flavors were great. I think my favorites were the Veggie Pilau and the Chicken Marsala wrap. The raisins in the Pilau were surprisingly a perfect touch (who knew, right?) Also, I don’t like coconut, but I thought the soup was soo good! And the Chapo-Poa, which was also tasty, was HUGE (as was the Veggie Pilau). I couldn’t believe it was on the kids’ menu!

a cup of Lentil Coconut Soup

the Chicken Marsala Wrap (already half-eaten)

Chapo-Poa (l) and the Veggie Pilau (r)

Now, Kenya might only be out of this country, but this Alando Kenyan Cuisine is out of this world! It was just that good.

(My apologies for having to subject you to that awful, cheesy joke.)

Anyways, I am now thinking I might change my blog to 181 Days of Kenya. I’ll just try new Kenyan food every day. I hope you’re OK with that, cause I totally am.

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3 Comments on “Day 95: My quick trip to Kenya”

  1. Nell Says:

    Sarah, did you know that Russ and I visited Kenya back in 1994? We were there for four weeks with Dor at Rift Valley Academy. A Kenyan restaurant in the QMart closed recently. Dor enjoyed eating there and taking Olive Rawn there too (a retired missionary to Kenya and other African countries.)

    Glad you enjoyed the food.

    Love, Nell


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