admin, August 14, 2008
Q&A at Lalibela
Ever since she was a little girl in Ethiopia, Mehiret Berhe dreamed of one day running her own restaurant. Her dream came true in April 2007, when she opened Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant in Burnaby. “Canada is a really beautiful country. You have the opportunity to do really well if you work hard and do your best.”
Mehiret has always loved cooking. When she was about 12 years old, her Mom taught her a lot. Making her mother very proud, she now serves authentic Ethiopian vegetarian and meat dishes. Ethiopian food is eaten with your fingers. You scoop up your meal with the bread, which is called “Injera.”
The restaurant is named after the city Lalibela in Ethiopia, where there is also a church by the same name. It is a famous church built out of one large stone. This is a popular place to visit and a very special place, Mehiret says.
Q: What inspired you to open a restaurant?
A: It’s always been my dream to have my own business. When I first came to Canada I worked as a housekeeper for 10 years. I saved up enough money to open the restaurant in 2007.
Q: Were you born in Ethiopia?
A: Yes, I grew up in Ethiopia. I came to Canada in 1991.
Q: What dish do you recommend for first-time customers?
A: I recommend the Lalibela platter. It offers a variety of veggie and meat dishes to try. People can sample all the different tastes and then they know what they like best. It’s a great way to get to know Ethiopian food.
Q: There aren’t many Ethiopian restaurants in Canada. Many of your customers are trying Ethiopian food for the first time. What do they usually say?
A: People don’t know what to expect, but are pleasantly surprised. They have really nice comments and say, “The food is tasty.” We try our best to please our customers.
Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.