Kaffa Crossing, a small West Philly coffee shop, also happens to serve a whole lot of Ethiopian food. In that, it’s like a number of other Philadelphia Ethiopian and Eritrean establishments. Center City’s Almaz Cafe is also a coffee shop Ethopian and Brewerytown’s Era hides top notch Ethiopian behind a neighborhood bar.
But, boy oh boy, Craig LaBan is crazy for Kaffa Crossing’s food. Especially the raw beef:
Tasting the kitfo raw is the ultimate barometer for the level of an Ethiopian kitchen - where the true quality of its meat and the chef’s mastery in spicing are put on naked display. And Kaffa’s kitfo was an adventure eater’s delight. The finely chopped beef, mounded over injera next to some pleasantly bitter steamed collard greens, was so fresh it was almost like an exotic melon. Glossed to a deep ruby hue by clarified butter infused with a musky spice called “mitmita,” a complex and traditional seasoning blend, each bite rang with shades of ginger, cloves, cardamom and a finishing snap of chile spice.
It sounds like this coffee shop will have a lot more customers in the future, if the LaBan effect is any indication.