My OKC friend and I were sitting having coffee and talking about important things like where to have lunch. She went over the high visibility places downtown then casually mentioned a former employee had just opened a restaurant close to her home in Edmond. When I probed a little more she mentioned it was an African venue but she didn’t know which country, maybe South Africa.
We opted for the local African venue since when we looked up it was already 1p. 4 hours of coffee talk, I guess that’s normal.
Turns out the restaurant, Haiget’s, is both Kenyan and Ethiopian. It’s owners are a young couple, she is from Ethiopia, he is from Kenya. The restaurant is named after her.
It’s a small place in a subtle strip in Edmond. Inside its lively and bright, the orange walls certainly help as does the bouncy background music, which might be from Kenya or Ethiopia but I wouldn’t know. Casual and family oriented; a few single diners interspersed between larger families.
I’m no expert on African fare but having a few Ethiopian friends has afforded me some experience. This is the best Ethiopian food I’ve had to date, beating out the reigning champion in my mind, Massawa, the Ethiopian venue near Columbia U in NYC.
Next time I’ll wander into the unfamiliar Kenyan side of the menu but this time I ordered from the Ethiopian side – Lamb Tibs (left pic). Lamb cubes, ridiculously tender, in a Nitr Qibe base. Nitr Qibe is a spiced, clarified butter owing its flavour to Berbere, an unusual spice mix heavy on the chili, garlic, fenugreek and turmeric. The Tibs came with ingera, the slightly fermented teff-flour based bread used to scoop up everything else, and a side. The Kenyan recommended ‘Avocado Salad’ as a side and it was delicious – chunks of avocado, jalapeno and tomato in a olive-oil, lime vinaigrette.
My OKC friend, for her first experience with African food, ordered up the national dish of Ethiopia, Doro Wat (right pic), chicken drums in a Berbere based stew. She didn’t say much after the Kenyan explained how to eat the Wat, just an occasional ‘MMMmmm’, a global sound of approval.
Since Haiget’s is a family-owned and operated business catering to a small community, they rely on word of mouth testimonies. No surprise, their service is extremely personable. The Kenyan stopped by twice to check up on us and asked if there was anything else we wanted. He even brought out a sample of Mandazi, the Kenyan ‘donut’, a fried, slightly sweet bread roll, which was good on its own but better dipped into the sauce of either of our mains.
Most everything was between $8-12, which is reasonable if not slightly less expensive than other Ethiopian venues I’ve tried. In any case, considering the quality, its definitely worth it.
My OKC friend was glad we went, taking one of their to-go menus for those nights when driving the whole 1/2 mile to pick up dinner would be so much more enjoyable than cooking at home. Me, I’ll be back, next time I’ll be digging into the Kenyan side of the menu.
Lunch: March 2015
Haiget’s | 308 W Edmond | Edmond, OK 73003