All posts by Robin Garr

Queen of Sheba offers an Ethiopian feast

If you like to eat Ethiopian food the traditional way, you’ll eat with your hands, tearing off pieces of tangy, tan injera flatbread and using it to grab morsels from the common plate while your friends are doing the same.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has put an end to that practice at Queen of Sheba restaurant for now. Dine-in service will be on individual plates only for now, the popular Ethiopian restaurant tells us on its online ordering page. Following standard protocols, customers must wear face masks when away from the table, and everyone is expected to practice social distancing. Continue reading Queen of Sheba offers an Ethiopian feast

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Following on his success with vegan takes on popular fast-food dishes like the Farby, an Arby’s knockoff made without a molecule of meat, Morels Cafe’s proprietor Stanley Chase has now turned his attention to a seemingly even more impossible task.

Behold, Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse, where Chase is creating vegetarian barbecued pulled “pork” and meat-free sausages that one could easily mistake for the real thing. Chase says vegetarian barbecue is a new concept, with similar restaurants in only two other places in the U.S. that he knows of, both very popular on their home ground: Homegrown Smoker in Portland, Oregon, and Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse in Brooklyn. Continue reading Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Tiny Thai Cafe ranks as a favorite

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been focusing on how we can enjoy local eateries and support the restaurant business while still assuring ourselves maximum protection against the pandemic. That approach consistently leads me to places that make it easy to order and pay online and pick up my food via no-touch curbside delivery.

But it crossed my mind the other day that this method rules out a lot of the little storefront shops that often present the world cuisines that I love. Many of them simply don’t have the resources to set up fancy online ordering systems or spare staff to run bags out to your car.

So, craving delicious fare from some storefront Asian spot or gyros house or taqueria or something, I set about finding out how I could do this safely. I ended up at Thai Cafe in Holiday Manor, a longtime favorite, and walked out with an outstanding meal in a bag, feeling completely safe. Continue reading Tiny Thai Cafe ranks as a favorite

What pandemic? El Mundo Highlands is up and running

It takes a certain bold spirit and lack of risk aversion to open a new restaurant during a pandemic when, at best, restaurants face an extraordinary burden of regulation for our health and safety.

That didn’t slow down the folks at El Mundo, though. Not only did they open their second restaurant – El Mundo Highlands – last month, but they did it in the oversize (4,000 square-foot, four-levels) space that long housed Asiatique and much more briefly its successor, Flavour Restaurant. Continue reading What pandemic? El Mundo Highlands is up and running

Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

“From food truck to brick and mortar. A dream has come true!” With palpable joy, Troy King and Selena Johnson, the owners of the Pollo food truck and Shelby Park’s popular Six Forks Burger Co., announced on social media last month that Pollo has landed in a Clifton storefront.

Pollo – or “Pollo – a gourmet chicken joint” if you want to be formal about it – has been a familiar sight around town with its rolling quarters in an old, short school bus painted dark gray. It’s been operating since 2014, but King and Johnson were eager to add a land-based location just as Six Forks marked its first anniversary this month. Continue reading Pollo chicken food truck lands in Clifton storefront

Get your sushi on the go from ToGo Sushi

One of the great pleasures of sushi for me is the opportunity to sit down at the sushi bar, admire the artfully arranged rows of beautifully cut seafood and fish, and talk with the chef about what’s interesting and good.

But I have to be honest: During the pandemic, the idea of joining a few neighbors and a chef or two in such close quarters does not appeal, not even with masks and social distancing in play.

Happily, many of the city’s sushi bars offer a takeout option. But one stands out: ToGo Sushi, as its name implies, does most of its business – you guessed it – to go. Continue reading Get your sushi on the go from ToGo Sushi