Monday, November 28, 2011

Coffee Shop Month #3: Re-Wired Cafe/Alando's Kenyan Cuisine

520 Main St. 
Bethlehem, PA

Re-Wired's hours:  M-Th 9a-9p; F-Sat 9a-10p; Sun 9a-8p
Alando's hours: M-Th 11a-9p; Th-F 11am-11p; Sat. 12-8 p
Main Street Bethlehem offers an artsy stop: Re-wired Café, formerly known as Wired Café.  In spite of changes in ownership and management, one thing remains the same:  an ideal window-shopping break or date with a friend to savor a delish bold roast of fair trade coffee alongside a locally made breakfast, lunch or dessert     item. Another consistency is their commitment to feature local artists. 

A unique aspect of Re-wired Café is their roommate:  Alando’s Kenyan Cuisine.  As one meanders to the rear of the store, it’s as if you have taken a trip to another continent.  The culture and aesthetics evolve into African attire.  I had the privilege of experiencing both businesses in one visit.  Upon waiting for a friend, the owner of Re-wired offered a beverage.  She served me a spunky version of hot chai that was a wonderful accompaniment to my proceeding meal. 

Alando’s Kenyan Cuisine, formerly a resident of Quakertown Farmer’s Market (otherwise known as “the Q Mart”), has recently immigrated to quaint, historic Bethlehem.  Authenticity is guaranteed by its Kenyan owners & kitchen power.  One might ask:  Kenyan food?  Is it worth it?  Our food safari was sure to prove satisfying with the rich, vibrant, and generous-sized portions.  Are you adventurous?  Here are a few suggestions:

I started with a cup of the lentil coconut soup…amazing. 

                                               We then moved on to share:

Chicken masala wrap (chicken masala wrapped in Cardamon flat bread with dressing) including “bhajia,” (sliced potatoes marinated in turmeric-cilantro batter, served with tamarind sauce). 

Veggie pilau (veggie rice pilaf, sautéed in masala spices, green peas and    raisins--a key ingredient).  
                                             Both were equally enjoyable & flavorful.   

An addition to our meal was chapo-poa, a flat bread with cheese. 

We left with many leftovers and too full to try the enticing Alando’s sweet potato pie on the dessert menu.
My lunch partner’s well-stated summary:  "I can now say I’ve been to Africa because I’ve been to Kenya in a day on a plate.”  Enjoy her blog review with expanded descriptions.

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