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Sep 7, 2012 09:49 AM

Grand Rapids Restaurant Question

We are planning a trip soon to Grand Rapids and saw there is an Ethiopian restaurant in town. We have been dying to try the cuisine but wonder first what to order and second is this place good? The reviews online appear to be pretty good. I thought I would ask if any of you had eaten here or know the cuisine.

Little Africa
956 Fulton Street East Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 222-1169

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  1. i should add, we are adventurous eaters.

    1. "We have been dying to try the cuisine but wonder first what to order and second is this place good?"

      Eh, it depends what you really want out of the dining experience. Little Africa's food is most certainly not the most authentic -- their first priority is being vegan, while the use of traditional ingredients takes a back seat. But, the food itself is made decently well/thoughtfully (unlike the mass-produced, totally flavorless slop -- literally -- served at the Blue Nile chain in Eastern Michigan). So it really depends on what your hopes are. If you're looking for very authentic, I'd skip LA. But if you're okay with eating decent food that loosely resembles Ethiopian just to be able to say that you've tried Ethiopian food, you might as well give LA a try.

      If you do go, just order the sampler platter type thing, where you can choose 5-6 of their dishes. You get small portions of a large number of dishes, which makes it a great way to try a variety of things on the menu (and if you don't like one of the dishes, no big deal, as you have several others to eat).

      EDIT: I also wanted to ask where you live. If you'll easily have the opportunity to try Ethiopian elsewhere (say, for example, in metro Detroit or Chicago, where better Ethiopian options are available), just wait. In my experience, ethnic restaurants -- especially those that are the only one of their kind -- in a smaller-sized city tend to be grossly overrated online because the reviewers have never tried that cuisine in a more competitive market for said cuisine.