This is the story of how a restaurant ended up on what was intended to be a blog for my own food and drink recipes.
One afternoon, my friend Josh and I decided to visit Alando Kenyan Cuisine for lunch. Boy, am I ever glad we did!! From the moment we walked in, I knew this was our kind of place. Nothing too fancy, nice and cozy, with great smells coming from the kitchen. We were seated with a warm welcoming smile, by a woman whose name I regrettably did not find out.
As we sat looking over the menu, we wanted to order one of everything. Everything on the menu sounded fabulous. How to narrow it down??? Our server Richard came over and we both decided to start with black tea. At the first sip of tea, I was in love. Do you know how hard it is to make the perfect cup of black tea?
We decided on Lentil Coconut Soup, Kenyan Lentil Samosas, Wololo Chicken, and Kima Chili. Richard asked us if we were sure we didn’t want one of everything with a smile.
The first to come out was the Lentil Coconut Soup. With the first taste, we were transported. We were no longer sitting in a cafe in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at all. The coconut came through strong, but so did something else. Lemon grass maybe? The lentils were cooked to perfection. We both decided that we have a new favorite restaurant, a fact I made sure to mention to Richard when he came back. He thanked us with a humble smile.
Next up was the Wololo Chicken. One word….YUM! This dish is a wonderful marriage of hot and sweet. It is like a party on your taste buds. We savored every bite and looked forward to the next. I couldn’t rave enough to Richard about these flavors!
The Kenyan Lentil Samosas followed. I was sure I was going to love these as samosas always top the list of my favorites when they are available. The pastry was perfect. Again, a great balance of flavors with perfectly cooked lentils. I think by this point I was doing quite the happy belly dance. Not sure Richard knew what to make of that! He just continued to smile at us.
Our last dish was the Kima Chili. I do not think I can even begin to describe this dish accurately. Words that come to mind are smoky, sweet and spicy. The beef was tender and melted in our mouthes. I must admit, it tasted so good I didn’t believe it was beef. This time, I let Richard know I wish I had room for more food. His answer was to go for a walk and he would keep our table waiting. Love this guy!
At this point we were too stuffed to even consider dessert, although I wish we would have found room for the Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Ice Cream. We decided to end with a cup of Tangawizi Chai (Fresh Ginger Tea). This was another cup of tea brewed to perfection. I was a happy woman. Actually, I am a happy woman now…just thinking about it!
I am salivating as I sit here trying to recreate this meal for you. I can’t help but to look forward to my next visit, of which I am sure there will be many. I can not say enough about this restaurant, the people, the casual and comforting atmosphere, the delicious scents, the tea, and of course…THE FOOD! If you are local, I highly recommend you check this place out. If not, make a trip! I have no doubt you will enjoy this hidden gem as much as Josh and I did.
Their location: 520 Main Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Their website is: www.alandoskitchen.com
Their phone number: 610-317-2009