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African or Middle Eastern Food in Austin?

There are three open Ethiopian places I know of, all of which are pretty good:


Yelp lists a fourth one in Pflugerville, but I have no idea if it's still open:


Sadly, AFAIK we have no West African restaurants in Austin right now. I think it's because the flavors and textures are fairly alien to the US palate, and they have trouble staying open catering primarily to the relatively small West African community here.

That said, you can easily get West African ingredients to prepare your own. Best bets include Fiesta on 38th, or Afriqmart in Pflugerville:


Jun 27, 2011
zencohen in Austin

Local source for Ethiopian spices?

There's a small but good selection of Ethio ingredients at MGM Indian Foods at 7429 Burnet (http://www.mgmindianfoods.com/), including berbere, teff, and frankincense.

Apr 08, 2007
zencohen in Austin

Five day visit--what's great?

Fantastic list! One question:

Can you recommend the places with good vegetarian options: nopalitos, hongos, huitlacoche, sopa de elote, etc; or seafood: caldo de mariscos, campechana, seafood mojo de aho, etc?

Will check out your recommendations above - thanks for all the research!

Apr 08, 2007
zencohen in Austin

What to order at Sunflower

My hands-down favorite is the salted toasted squid - probably the best squid dish I've ever had. Also a big fan of the green beans with tofu.

Apr 06, 2007
zencohen in Austin

African or Middle Eastern Food in Austin?

Aster Kassaye, who formerly ran Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant in the early 90's, closed it when her husband was transferred from Austin. They came back to Austin in 2003, but she wasn't ready for the grind of running a restaurant full time, so she's been selling her food as "Aster's Ethiopian Catering" at several stores (including Wheatsville) and at the Austin and (at one time) Sunset Valley Farmer's Markets:


She's got the restaurant bug again, but hasn't found the right location. Visit her at the Farmer's Market and encourage her to take the plunge and reopen! She's currently our only chance for an Ethio restaurant in Austin.

Jan 15, 2007
zencohen in Austin

Chinatown Austin reviews?

So the new Chinatown Austin center finally seems to be really coming to life:


Any reviews of the food spots there?

- M.T. Supermarket
- Com Chi Food to Go
- First Chinese BBQ Restaurant
- Lily's Sandwich
- Pho Saigon Noodle House
- Short N Sweet Café
- TC Noodle House
- Wok on Fire

I visted MT Supermarket right after it opened, and while I was impressed with the size and freshness of the various items, I was hoping for a wider variety (rather than just large quantities). I'll have to give it another try soon.

Jan 15, 2007
zencohen in Austin

Tien Hong - Austin Chinese - has brown rice!!

Thanks Kent! I went to the MT center right when they opened but none of the restaurants were open yet. I'll have to check them out. I'll start a new thread for MT reviews!

Jan 15, 2007
zencohen in Austin

Tien Hong - Austin Chinese - has brown rice!!

Hey Kent -

I love all the places on your list, but I'm not familiar with First Chinese. I can't find much on the Web about it - can you give us a description?

Is it the one on S. Lamar?


Jan 13, 2007
zencohen in Austin