When there are only 60 minutes in a lunch hour, most folks with a schedule grab a cold sandwich to save time and money. Cafe Lalibela is one place where you can get a hot meal and get back to the office in an hour -- for $10.
The lunch combo ($7.99) includes a beverage and allows you to choose from three of the main dishes to pair with rice, injera, or some of each.
We should mention that it helps to start with the glossary (yes, there is a glossary printed on the menu). Injera is Ethiopian Bread, something of a spongy cross between a crepe and a tortilla. At most Ethiopian restaurants, the meaty dishes far outnumber the veggie ones. Cafe Lalibela is the opposite: they offer just a few meaty dishes and the rest are hearty vegetarian fare.
Find out what's wat after the jump...
Located at the corner of Hardy and University in Tempe (in the strip behind Essence Bakery), Cafe Lalibela's speciality is their wat. Wat refers to the various stews on the menu. These are what, rather wat, you get to choose from for the combo plate.
Of the meat choices, there is beef in a peppery wat, beef in a mild tumeric seasoned wat, or chicken in a spicy butter sauce. The vegetarian options include a dish of stewed collard greens called gomen, spiced green beans with carrots and tomatoes called fosolia, and a flavorful red lentil stew called misir wat among others.
On a day where drinking is an option, Cafe Lalibela has a large selection of wines, including authentic Ethiopian Honey Wine. Additional lunch options include a soup and salad combo, or an injera wrap with choice of wat. The plate of food may be plentiful, but this cuisine doesn't leave you feeling too heavy. Cafe Lalibela is located at 849 W. University in Tempe.