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Jul 27, 2014 12:13 PM

Shihan Phool (Eritrean meatless breakfast) at Alem's Coffee, Oakland - Who's tried it?

In the Oakland Magazine July 2014 Best of Oakland Food & Drink issue there's an Editors' Choice Best Meatless Breakfast: Shihan Phool (Eritrean dish) at Alem's Coffee. It's has fava beans, diced onions, chili pepper, & feta cheese for $8. Who's tried it?

Alem's Coffee
5353 Claremont Ave, Oakland

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  1. From your description of the dish, it sounds similar to a ful mudammas (fava bean) dish I had for a lunch in July, 2011 at Star Pizza on Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland near 31st Street and across the street from a Summit Hospital facility.

    In addition to pizza, Star serves Ethiopian or Eritrean dishes and sets out a buffet (it was $8 or $9 last I checked a few years ago) on Friday afternoons for those exiting from Friday prayers at a mosque around the corner on 31st Street.

    The ful mudammas ($7?) was distinctive from the half-dozen or so other versions I had had because sitting on top of the garlicky and olive oil-laden mashed fava beans were, unexpectedly, a crumpled, fried falafel ball, sprinkled feta cheese and chopped tomatoes. Four well-toasted sesame rolls were included as well as a small container of what tasted like a homemade hot sauce.

    I'd like to go back to Star to order the ful again maybe do a full comparison of the fava dishes in the area at Café Dejéna (MLK and 40th Street), Oasis Food Market (3045 Telegraph), and Adam’s Mediterranean (1442 Franklin St).

    Star Pizza
    3109 Telegraph Ave.
    Oakland CA 94609
    (510) 428-2211

    1. I haven't had it at Alem's but I've had it at MLK Cafe and it's delicious. I like to eat it for dinner/lunch -- but if you like a savory breakfast, could be good. It's definitely yummy.