Location: Library Mall
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been to Buraka on State Street–I’m always nervous to try new places due to fear of the unknown…even though I’ll try just about anything once. Strangely enough though, I’m more apt to try new foods at a food cart. Maybe it’s because I’m not tied down to sitting in a restaurant, therefore making it ok if I don’t like my food? Maybe it’s because it’s less expensive than a restaurant so the risk ratio is lower? Who knows. Either way, I had my sights set on Buraka today to try something new.
With 8 menu items to choose from, my stomach was overwhelmed. The line was a little long though, so I had extra time to decide. I noticed that immediately after an order is placed, you are served your food. This avoids the potentially awkward situation standing around in front of people who are trying to order their food while waiting for yours…I feel like this happens to me often at food carts.
Everything is available in either a half or full portion, and you even have the option to combine dishes if you can’t decide on just one, which I thought was great. Each item is served with your choice of either rice or injera, a homemade Ethiopian flat sourdough bread. I decided on the chicken peanut stew with the injera–it came with a small cold lentil salad on the side, too. I splurged on a lemonade for good measure. Everything together was $7.
I opened up my styrofoam box and was pleasantly surprised. The stew was basic: chicken and red potatoes in a brown peanut sauce. It was served on top of the injera–the injera itself is a strange thing. It wasn’t what I was expecting to receive…it was spongy and light and didn’t really resemble bread, but still had a nice flavor. The flatbread was a great pair with the stew because it absorbed the liquid along with flavor, so it was great to use to sop up the tasty extras at the end. There was a perfect ratio of chicken to potatoes, and each were cooked evenly. The peanut sauce was a little spicy (I am a weakling when it comes to spicy things, so it probably wasn’t that bad), but the cold lentil salad was perfect to counteract the spices and my runny nose. I ate every last bit of this dish and plan on hitting the real restaurant in the near future to sample their other yummy dishes! I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to try something new from a food cart!
Speed: 4/5 (the line was long, but actual food serving time was extremely quick!)
Overall: 4/5 plates