Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kenyan Café

Over the last month, Jamie and I have been making a habit of eating about once per week at an incredible local restaurant in Morgantown. It’s called the Kenyan Café, and it is owned and operated by a Kenyan man named Denis Gekara who is a friend of Jamie’s from her days as a lifeguard in the WVU Student Recreation Center.

Actually, it’s a pretty interesting story. Denis came to WVU as a student, and when Jamie first met him, he had just lost his father and was dealing with losing a loved one and being very far from home. He was in the pool at the SRC trying to teach himself how to swim when Jamie befriended him and gave him some guidance to help him learn. She’s attempted to help me as well, but I have a long way to go. ☺

So Denis has opened a restaurant in Morgantown, WV and the food is mostly organic and absolutely delicious. If you ever have a desire to try authentic Kenyan food, you need to check this little restaurant out. It’s located in Chelsea Square near Mylan and Ruby Memorial Hospital. Interestingly enough, the Kenyan Café website was designed by a very talented graphic designer friend of mine named Kelly Barkhurst; check out her work when you get a chance.

The portions are incredibly generous, and the meals are cooked with great care. Jamie and I have a tradition of ordering a single portion of chicken stew with ugali, and splitting it. Ugali is a cooked coarse ground corn meal (kind of like a really thick corn meal mush), and it is a main staple food of Eastern and Southern Africa. Denis’ stew recipe is absolutely incredible, and you can taste an Indian (Hindustani) influence in the stew. This meal is absolutely perfect for the two of us. In addition to the meal, we also order two large Masala Chai and we sip them as we wait for our food to be prepared.

If you happen to find yourself in Morgantown, WV and you are looking for a healthy meal that will support a local business that’s a little different than the norm, then look no further. The pace of the space is unhurried and the restaurant is a great place to relax with friends, enjoy some great authentic Kenyan recipes as well as learn a little Kiswahili for those so inclined. Just don't go on Tuesdays because it is the one day during the week Denis closes his doors. In the meantime, check out his website and facebook fan page.

And, if you have already eaten there (or eat there in the near future), I’d love to hear your thoughts on the food and the space as well.


Alise said...

Thanks for the heads up! I'm definitely interested in supporting local restaurants, so it's good to have that info in hand. Will definitely let you know when we have a chance to check it out.

KZ said...

I will have to check it out next time I am in Morgantown.

chanchanchepon said...

Hope you can both check it out, and definitely let me know what you think!