Mamma Kitchen – A Restaurant Review

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By Martina Dorner – Lees | mdornerlees@radford.edu

East Main Street added a new cultural addition to Radford City’s food menu, and it’s far from disappointing.

At Mamma Kitchen, one can experience authentic Ethiopian food made from scratch. Every single dish encountered at this family-owned and operated restaurant is made fresh from “Mamma” herself.

The owner, Kidist Tesfamariam, or Kidi (Ki-tee), for short, wants all to experience the comfort along with the unique flavors her homemade Ethiopian cuisine has to offer. With fresh ingredients used every day, her mission is to make everyone that comes into her restaurant feel like they’re in her home.

Coming into the restaurant, I was greeted with soothing cultural music and self-seating. As I sat down, the first thing I saw was the menu under the glass tabletop; it was effortless to read and understand. I had a few questions about the dishes on the menu, but the staff was quick to answer them.

Although the menu is limited, it was the right amount of choices without feeling overwhelmed on what to order. I hate being pressured by an endless list of options, so I appreciated the simplicity.

The choices were far from simple, and nothing on the menu is frozen, which is hard to find. Every single ingredient that is used in each dish is fresh. From the ground beef that Mamma uses to make her classic burgers, to the chicken that is used in the basmati rice and chicken curry, everyone is guaranteed fresh dishes to their table every time.

Each spice is delicately ground and incorporated into the food, so each bite is filled with distinct mouthwatering flavors.

Mamma Kitchen also has homemade injera, an Ethiopian national dish. It is a traditional flatbread made from teff, which is a gluten-free grain, and it is found at almost every meal to enjoy with a variety of vegetable curries and spicy meat stews. I would recommend this dish as something different and inexpensive to try, especially for anyone that suffers from a gluten allergy.

With reasonable prices, the most expensive meal being $10.99, this place is the spot to try something new and local without breaking the bank. “Mamma” sees her “labor as free” because she genuinely cares about the satisfaction of each customer that comes into her establishment.

And don’t get me started on the coffee! “Mamma” roasts and grinds her Ethiopian coffee from scratch. Coffee that fresh … it doesn’t get any better than that. The taste and smoothness are so good that any additives would take away from the crisp flavor. This coffee is probably one of the best I’ve had in Radford.

I was able to try the rice and chicken curry, and I will definitely be coming back soon to explore the rest of the menu!

Mamma Kitchen has been open since Nov. 2019, and it is located beside Sharkey’s. They are open from 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

Be sure to check out other restaurant reviews on The Tartan, including Tied Dyed Pig and Bakery and Latino’s Taste.

Photo Credit: (Martina Dorner-Lees | The Tartan)

The Verdict:
  • 8/10
    Score - 8/10
8/10

Great Meal for a Great Price!

Mamma Kitchen is far from disappointing and I will definitely be coming back soon to explore the rest of the menu!