Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bluff City Vegan Eats: Derae Restaurant

Sorry I failed to post last night. I was out way too late celebrating Barack Obama's win!! And the gay marriage and recreational pot victories! It's the dawning of a new era, folks: A good one where folks are enlightened and rad.

But before I get all sappy and Age of Aquarius on you, let's get to the meat (or veggies?) of this post. About a week ago, my friend Leslie invited me to lunch at this new Ethiopian joint — Derae Restaurant.

I adore Ethiopian food (mostly because I love injera and eating with my hands). And not only was the food mind-blowing at Derae, the owner was super-sweet too. He hooked us up with free appetizers, soup, and even let me take a bite from his personal breakfast plate (a flatbread with sweet vermicelli). Anyway, we started with these Sambusas:

Much like its Indian cousin (the samosa), the Somalian sambusa is a fried, triangle pastry stuffed with awesome.  This one had lentils and spinach, but traditional sambusa can also have beef or lamb (apparently Derae doesn't do lamb though).

Next, the owner brought us some Marak, a Somalian vegetable soup. This savory broth was filled with green beans, carrots, and some other veggies that I can't remember. But it was delicious, especially with a squeeze of lime juice:

The owner also brought us a complimentary bowl of tangy Tabbouleh Salad!

Then it was time for our main course. Leslie and I split a Vegetarian Platter:

There's sauteed kale, sauteed cabbage, lentils (red and yellow), green beans, and an amazing eggplant and okra saute. It's all served over a bed of spongey injera bread. In case you don't know, you're not really supposed to use a fork to eat Ethiopian food. You tear off bits of injera and grab food with the bread. I love any opportunity to trade my fork for bread.

And of course, we had extra injera for scooping. I ate all of my mine, but Leslie has more self-control and managed to limit her injera intake.

Memphis has a few Ethiopian restaurants, but Derae is my new favorite. Delicious food + the best service ever. They also serve Ethiopian breakfast all day long, so I'll be trying that soon.

Derae Restaurant is located at 923 S. Highland. Call 901-552-3992 or visit their Facebook page.


Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

I love Ethiopian food! And I love President Obama! In the interest of leaving some mystery, I'm not going to share my feelings about pot ;)

VeganLinda said...

I love Ethiopian food! I wish I didn't have to travel two hours to eat it. Yay! For excellent election news!

tender b. said...

Very nice selection of foods. Love me some Ethiopian cuisine. Checked out a website today featuring the words and faces of Romney supporters. Can't believe there are some people that think the world is over now.

Alexa Gilliland said...

I've never heard of Derae and my boyfriend and I have been looking for new places to eat. It looks awesome. Thanks!

Nicole said...

I am lucky to have the only fully vegan Ethopian in Los Angeles, called Rahel. It was voted best Vegan restaurant of LA last year. The food is fantastic.