At the risk of exposing my ignorance, I wasn’t really sure what to expect for Ethiopian food. Spicy, stewed, something with rice? Maybe the answer is D- all of the above? I read Buffalo Eats article on Gatur’s and it wasn’t all that positive, but in the interest of food research we forged ahead.
Gatur’s Ethiopian Cuisine on Allen is a modest space decorated in soft colors and African art. The place is clean, upholstered chairs are comfortable, good size wood tables and plenty of room for your food. We were in for a late lunch so it was fairly quiet. Probably a good thing as the food seems to arrive at a measured pace.
We ordered Ful for an appetizer. Cannellini and garbanzo beans slow cooked with fresh tomatoes, onion garlic and jalapeño- served with pita bread ($3.50). The consistency is someplace between a soup and a dip. It is a little spicy with a depth of flavor from the veggies that really improves on your basic humus. The pita was good too.
For our entrees we ordered:
Beef Watt – beef chucks with a thick sauce simmered in onions, garlic, potatoes and fresh tomatoes ($12). The beef was very tender and the dish had a subtle yet enchanting essence of something sweet… cinnamon, nutmeg? Served with a side salad.
Lamb Tibs- tender lamb stew seasoned in onions, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers and rosemary served with a tomato veggie salad. The lamb was flavorful without being overpowering and went nicely with the peppers, which seemed to me to be your basic green pepper, not jalapeño.
Neither of these dishes carried too much heat/spice. According to the menu some of the items are “hot”. Most items on the menu are rated mild, medium or hot. They offer a variety of vegetarian dishes starting at $6.50. Ironically, although this food is exotic, it is pretty well suited to the meat and potatoes crowd. It was also attractively presented.
All meat dishes are served with injera, an Ethiopian flat bread. This is a sponge-like bread with a rich sourdough flavor. Great for sopping up the gravy/sauce. You can get the pita instead if you prefer.
I was particularly impressed with the salad. Not for any good reason other than the greens were super fresh and the dressing so light as if it almost wasn’t there…but it was.
Beverage: We had water. They do not serve alcohol but they do have soft drinks, juice, tea and chai.
In the next few weeks Gatur’s will be adding to their menu. I gather from the pictures in the windows they will offer sandwiches and Doner Kebobs (hopefully with a really good tzatziki sauce).
I enjoyed Gatur’s and I wouldn’t hesitate to go Ethiopian again. If you’re wasting all your time at some fast food franchise joint, then you really need to step out. I’ll definitely be back for the Donner Kebobs (closer to a Gyro than what we think of as a kebob).
69 Allen Street (east of Delaware), Buffalo 14202
Open: Mon. – Thurs. 11-9; Fri. & Sat. 11-10