As someone who’s always up for a new dining experience, when my friend Larkin suggested we try an Ethiopian place she’d heard about of course I said yes. I then did a little internet research to find out more about the cuisine and found out it consists of a lot of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. Sounded great to me. So we headed out to 5214 N. Main Street for lunch at Nanya’s Cafe.
Finding it wasn’t so easy, as there is no sign for the restaurant. We drove by and and had to circle back to find it. If you’re going, it’s just past what was The Barnsider, on the same side of the road in a small strip center. As we entered, it was a brightly painted room with 2 tables for 4 on the left, a coffee station, bar and a couple more seating areas. We were promptly greeted by Sofi, who we found out opened this place last year. When asked about a sign, she said she’s trying to get one on the window, she’s contacted several companies, but no one has followed up. (Update- after this article went up a sign company reached out and this sign pictured left is now up.)
She brought us menu’s that showed a breakfast menu, which is served all day or a list of about 8 entrees, all served with inejera, a sourdough flatbread bread with a unique, slightly spongy texture that is made from teff flour, which is gluten free. We allowed Sofi to guide us through the menu, and ended up going with her suggestion and ordered the Mixed Lunch Combo for the three of us.
There are two versions, a vegetarian one and a meat one, which is what we ended up chasing. It came on a humungous platter and looked more like a work of art, than a meal. Since Ethiopians eat with their hands, the injera is used to pick up bites of the food. Around the plate starting from the top chickpeas cooked in onion and tomato, with each dish separated by the injera, potatoes, collard greens, salad, red lentils, green beans and carrots, more salad, beets and in the center on the right, Chicken tips sauteed with kale, Ethiopian seasonings, jalapeño and onions and on the left, Kitfo, freshly minced beef (usually served raw for Ethiopians) but they offer to cook medium or well done for Americans. This dish had a slight heat to it, and and wonderfulflavors.
I can’t wait to go back and try some more of their dishes!
The also offer Ethiopian coffee, and serve it in a traditional Jebena (a clay pot used to brew the coffee, as well as American coffee, tea, soft drinks and fruit smoothies.
Tues- Thurs 11am – 9pm
Fri 10am – 10pm
Sat 9am – 10pm
Sun 1pm- 8pm
5214 N. Main Street, Dayton OH 45415
Tell her DaytonDining sent you!