Salam Cafe, Brotherly Grub Cafe Bring Ethiopian Flavors and Southern Dishes to Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we’re spotlighting black-owned restaurants.

Starting with Salam Cafe, where Ethiopian meets Middle Eastern in Germantown.

Chef/owner Hayat Ali makes the injera from scratch and offers it as a wrap or traditional style as a huge ‘plate’ to cover the meat and vegetable dishes she prepares in the kitchen. help from family recipes she learned growing up in Ethiopia.

She also makes baklava and sambusa, known in some cultures as samosas.

She has a coffee machine for those who want to pick up and go. But if you want a cultural experience, attend one of its coffee ceremonies, called Buna. She offers them for free on Saturday lunchtimes. Beans are roasted and brewed while you watch, coffee is poured into cups filled with incense. Hayat says it’s a twice-daily tradition in Ethiopia where you drink, relax and have a good conversation.

Hayat moved to the United States in 1999 and after more than two decades of working in the hospitality industry, she opened her first cafe in West Philadelphia in the fall of 2020. Nine months later, she opened her second location in Germantown , and at both places there is a cafe on one side and a market on the other.

She named the West Philly spot Alif Brew and Mini Mart. Alif is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet and, she says, this marks her debut.

Salam is the way you say peace in Ethiopia. And both venues are a celebration of Hayat’s culture and heritage.

Salam Cafe | Facebook | instagram
5532 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

215-660-9780

Alif Brew & Mini Mart |Website | Facebook | instagram
4501 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
215-315-8427

Tanesha Trippett brings brunch to her Brotherly Grub Cafe.

She calls her southern menu with a Philly twist. His specialties include chicken and waffles, a smoked brisket cheesesteak and a creme brulee pancake platter with turkey bacon.

She makes shrimp and oatmeal in New Orleans, but adds cheddar to the oatmeal because, she says, “people love cheese in Philadelphia.”

Her grandmother’s salmon cakes and grits are named after her grandmother who made them all the time. Tanesha’s grandmother grew up in Savannah, Georgia in the Jim Crow South and always dreamed of owning her own food business.

Tanesha says she is now living her grandmother’s dream.

She went to cooking school after working in finance for 15 years. She started with a restaurant business in 2016, followed by a food truck two years later, and then Brotherly Grub Cafe opened in the fall of 2019.

Brotherly Grub was named Better Brunch, last year, by the Black Restaurant Week association.

Grub Fraternal Cafe | Facebook | instagram
7135 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119
267-320-2675

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