About the host Rik Verhalle
Rik studied architecture and is a city guide in Eindhoven. Every month he shares a tip.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find authentic East African restaurants in Eindhoven. With restaurants like Asmara, the Ethiopian Restaurant and Gezana, there is plenty of choice if you want to enjoy some traditional dishes. This time, Rik will take us to Eritrean restaurant Gezana.
It's no surprise if you feel right at home at Eindhoven's first Eritrean restaurant called Gezana. The name translates into 'our home' in Tigrinya. Tigrinya is a language that is spoken in Eritrea and the Ethiopian region called Tigray. When you visit the owners Selem, Nazareth and Meseret, you immediately understand the feeling behind the concept. At the restaurant they will show you that a 'home' does not have to be the place where you live. You can feel and taste home everywhere. Where they used to treat their visitors to special meals at home, they now do so in their public home on the Willemstraat.
While sitting surrounded by walls covered in typical Eritrean patterns and personal photographs, you will experience traditional rituals. Starting with cleaning your hands as a preparation for eating. With the help of the Injera, a kind of pancake made from sourdough, you eat the various dishes that are served on it. Worth mentioning are the many vegan and vegetarian options on the menu. Besides food you can also experience the special coffee ritual. During this ceremony, the coffee is roasted on fire together with some herbs in a so-called Jebena (pottery), after which the coffee is served in the traditional way.
That warm, homely feeling is not entirely exclusive to Gezana, you can also enjoy it at the East African restaurant Asmara on the Grote Berg as well as the Ethiopian Restaurant on the Schootsestraat. Want to bring that same atmosphere home as well? Then the Gezana shop on the Dommelstraat is another tip from Rik. At the shop you will find all kinds of products from Eritrea and Ethiopia, including traditional clothing, Injara baskets, hair products, and beautiful jewelry.