Minneapolis - T's Place
I haven't seen anyone post about T's Place and went there yesterday for lunch and thought I'd share. Friends had dined there for dinner earlier in the week and had rave reviews.
We got there at 1 PM and it wasn't yet open although the hours posted said it opened at 11 AM. About 1:15 they were open.
The owner was gracious, friendly, and attentive...but we were the only folks in the place. We had Yesiga Sambusa as an appetizer, two large pastries stuffed with spiced ground beef. They were very flavorful. I had the vegetarian combo plate that had a variety of Ethiopian vegetables served on Injera. All were good, on a par with your "standard" Ethiopian places. It was a considerable amount of food, and I'm in fact having left overs for the second time tonight. My husband had the Ethio Asian Fried Rice, described as "fried rice with Ethiopain spicy sauce with chicken, eggs & vegetables." Think fried rice but with unusual seasoning. This was fantastic, and something we would definitely go back for again and again. The fusion of flavors and ingredients worked really well, and wasn't like anything I've had before.
The owner said they had live jazz on Wednesday nights, and we'll probably go back to check that out. It seems like the place might be struggling a bit, and the owner talked with us quite a bit to try and get ideas of what would draw people in. Hopefully it will stay afloat, and that others will find his fusion dishes worth a visit. It's at 2713 East Lake Street.
Thanks so much for this review! I've been meaning to try T's Place, but there are so many restaurants to try that I plain forgot about it. Now I've bumped T's Place to the top of my list. I love the idea of Asian-Ethiopian fusion food.
2713 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Asian-Ethipian fusion? Is the eponymous T the Ethiopian guy that teamed up with Kin Lee at Singapore restaurant? If so, T's Place is now on my list of places to try. Well, it's on my list either way--sounds like a nice place.
5554 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417
I went their last night with my family. Our non-meat eating friends met us there. We had an absolutely wonderful meal. There was spicy food for me, and mild stuff for the kids. The servings were copious. The service was great. We eat out a lot and like great food. T's place just got on our short list of great restaurants like The Birchwood, Town Talk Diner, Vincents, Meritage, and The King and I.
I am almost certain that this restaurant is the work of the former chef at Singapore! in "Far South" Minneapolis (don't know the neighborhood name). I went to Singapore! back in June, expecting to find the menu of Malaysian - Ethiopian fusion cuisine I had read about in a review, but dismayed to hear that the Ethiopian half of the operation had "left". Looks like he might have started his own place. You can't get much more unique than Malaysian - Ethiopian fusion (maybe Icelandic or Kyrgyz - Ethiopian fusion, but that's asking a little too much). Definitely a must-try for me.
EDIT: Suspicions confirmed by the "About" section of the restaurant's website.
We went there for dinner last night. As others have mentioned, the food is good (I think Fasika on Snelling Ave. still has an edge, but T's menu seems more varied somehow) and served in large-ish quantities. The place was busier than most of you have reported (Friday at 7 pm), but there still seemed to be only three staff people in the place -- two servers and "T" himself. All of the staff were indeed gracious and welcoming, but they weren't easy to find (for things like water-glass refills, etc.). Tee came out toward the end of the meal to chat, which was a nice touch.
We had the entree sampler and the fassolia. All tasty, all hot without being searing, most a bit heavy on the clarified butter, but all very enjoyable. It looks like the actual menu has changed some because the entree sampler is not listed on-line and there are dishes on-line (Zilbo Gommen) that I definitely would have ordered had I seen them.
My only real issue (aside from the spotty service, which may not be spotty if you're the only folks in the place) is that I think Tee could do more with the "fusion" aspects of the menu. The Ethio Asian Fried Rice and Spicy Bean Curd are steps in that direction. But, for example, the cabbage listed in the Tikel Gommen could be either Nappa or bok choy, not your standard green cabbage. Maybe they could make more use of hing instead of onions in dishes in which onions are not a major flavor. Or they could use Thai peppers instead of jalapenos. Just some thoughts....