May 7, 2011

Danger Zones in Stuttgart


I feel very safe here in Stuttgart and find myself walking around without ever looking over my shoulder as one might in other cities.  However, I have found one 'DANGER ZONE' that scares me to death.  When I get near this zone, I can not proceed with caution, however I just can’t seem to avoid it.  You see… the diverse and delectable restaurants that surround us here in Stuttgart are numerous and can be considered dangerous if I want to stay on the 'healthy charts'.  We have lived on the dangerous side lately and wanted to share two of my favorites.

We enjoyed a quiet dinner this week at one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants that serves the most surprising Mediterranean meals.  As I finished my Zucchini Carpaccio topped with warm cheese and olive oil, the waitress came to suggest desserts.  After Jason ordered the homemade Anise-Orange Tiramisu, she turned and asked me what I would like.  As I looked up at her and responded (in my very good German...wink-wink) “Ich möchte nur einen Tisch zu essen” I noticed she was wearing a look of astonishment on her face. I thought to myself; maybe ordering an extra spoon to share a dessert is not kosher.  As I looked at Jason and saw him chuckling, I realized I had not ordered an extra spoon but instead had responded, “I only want the table to eat”.  Hmmm…I am glad I am continuing German classes-it brings humor to all.

Ambiente Africa http://www.africarestaurant.de/            



traditional dining room
A few weeks ago, I joined a group of women for dinner at this popular Stuttgart African restaurant.  I have wanted to try this restaurant since I first heard about it shortly after moving to Stuttgart and after I read it’s outstanding review in ‘Prinz’ Magazine I knew I must go.  I was delighted when my friend called and suggested we all go here for dinner.

It was an extra perk to meet the owner and chief, Daniel Yaccob, as he greeted us upon entering.  I could understand why my neighbor spoke so highly of him as I watched him continuously check on each of his guests throughout the meal.  His passion for the food and atmosphere shines brightly in the cozy dim restaurant area.  The family is originally from Eritrea on the Red Sea and learning their history made my meal all the more intriguing. I was  surprised when my friend told me he had originally trained as a French chief. 

After glancing at the menu, I became a little skeptical of this tummy’s ability to taste some of their entrees ---“Ostrich, Crockodile, Zebra, or Antelope”  Since my neighbor and her family have been eating here since it’s beginning, over 12 years ago, us newcomers let her order our meal.  I held my breath as I listened to her ordering the various selections for us to share and slowly exhaled when my ears didn’t hear “Zebra”.  I understood enough to know we would be eating some Crocodile but I figured that was pretty similar to the Alligator I had tried and liked in New Orleans.  As our large bowl was placed in the middle of the table, the descriptions began and my taste buds watered.  First lesson-we will eat with our fingers.  As my friends showed the “newbie” how to first pinch off a little piece of the ingera (soft millet flat bread), and use it like a personal tong to pick up the spicy mix of dishes, I began to wonder if I should let my belt buckle out a notch.  My favorite was the Gari (mashed cassava root), rice and sweet potatoes.  And yes, I tried the exotic meat and it was also good…as long as I didn’t think about what I was eating.  Our meal was complete as we finished with their traditional African coffee ceremony.   

the smell was like breathing caffeine


This whole meal was such a great learning experience for my taste buds and me.  I STRONGLY recommend trying this educational charm, but make reservations a few weeks in advance. I can guarantee I will continue to venture into these 'Danger Zones'....but sometimes living dangerously is fun!

My favorites from our dinner

Kudu (East African savannah antelope)
Grilled Kudufilet Dzama flamed with rum (specialty from Madagascar), fresh vegetables and sweet potatoes

Shikor Patata Sga
Sweet potatoes with lamb, chicken in tomato sauce with eggplant, carrots, peppers, fresh tomato, chilli, garlic and sweet banana

ebainetu
Red and yellow lentils, spinach, okra and Alicha

Shikor Patata
Sweet potatoes in tomato sauce with eggplant,
Carrots, peppers, fresh tomatoes,
garlic and sweet banana

4 comments:

  1. wow!!! it sounds great!! i have been meaning to try some garri while I am here..Happiness keeps telling me she puts it in soup here..maybe I should let her make it for me.:) I am sure it won't be anything like that fabulous restaurant, though! love,m:)

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  2. Whoa!

    We've tried Ethiopian food a couple times, here in Germany and back in Michigan, and I thought, at first read, that it would be similar (based on promixity to Eritrea), but your stuff sounds far and away more exotic than anything we've had. In fact the only similiarties standing out to me are the ebainetu (not positive we had any of that, but it sounds plausible) and ingera (of that I'm sure).

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  3. I think I ate at the Afrikan restaurant in Stuttgart my last trip there. It was delicious and I couldn't eat it all b/c my taste buds were on fire!

    I have finally caught up on your blog! I love all the pictures of your Spring Break trip!

    Love and Miss you all dearly!

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  4. I just love Ethiopian food! injera is GF, too! I'm not brave enough to try anything other than vegetarian dishes though.

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.
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