With the arrival of Rehoboth Eritrean-Ethiopian Cuisine, San Antonio (Texas) has a restaurant that, despite some missteps, fills a crucial culinary need for the international palate

By Lance Higdon (San Antonio Current) |

Though Berbere Ethiopian Cuisine has been supplying San Antonio with a steady diet of miser wot from their food truck window for several years, the city lacked a brick-and-mortar location to sit down and partake in one of the greatest food cultures in the world. Now, with the arrival of Rehoboth Eritrean-Ethiopian Cuisine just a few miles from the Medical Center, San Antonio (Texas) has a restaurant that, despite some missteps, fills a crucial culinary need for the international palate.

Eritrea and Ethiopia, despite a painful history of annexation and independence in the 20th century, share significant commonalities in their languages, their religions, and their kitchens. Jewish and Islamic dietary guidelines translate to a focus on beef, lamb, and chicken in entrees; at the other end of the food chain, the traditional fast observed by Tewahedo Orthodox Christians on Wednesdays and Fridays means the yetsom beyaynetu (better known as “the vegetarian platter”) offers a venerable smorgasboard to Saytown vegans.

We visited Rehoboth on a Sunday evening as part of a relatively large dinner party, including a lively toddler. Happily, Eritrean-Ethiopian food is served family-style, so there was little concern about invading your neighbor’s personal space. This communality is further encouraged by the role injera plays in the dining process. Made from a high-protein, East African grain called teff, it looks and tastes like a spongy sourdough pancake, rolled up like a beach towel and, at Rehoboth, served cool. Polite dining calls for you to tear off a piece of injera and pinch up a bite from these communal plates. It’s gluten-free to boot, which delighted my wheat-intolerant wife.

Rehoboth Eritrean-Ethiopian Cuisine divides its lunch and dinner menus into three categories: vegetarian, meat (i.e., beef and lamb), and poultry.

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