Published: February 7th 2010February 7th 2010
Some general restaurant info: Customer service in restaurants is the main area for improvement. Eating out takes between 1 and 2 hours (or more), and many menu options are not actually available. There is a great variety of quality for the food and the wait staff. Most of the eateries make great use of outdoor space with the majority of the tables set out on patios.
Papyrus (5 stars): Our favorite restaurant and a short walk from home, Papyrus serves wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta. Their menu is in French and English, and they have a good selection of wines, including some inexpensive South African choices. The pasta ranks above L.A. restaurants.
Shokola (5 stars): This Middle Eastern restaurant features fresh fruit juices, good tea selection, Mexican food on Sundays, hookah, and couch seating.
Flamingo (4 stars): One of the few Chinese restaurants in the country, Flamingo is nearby and the second floor has an excellent view. The menu is very extensive, including "in pineapple dishes" (literally food served in a pineapple), and it includes rare spicy options. Flamingo also features randomly fast take-out and delivery.
Lalibella (4 stars):At this traditional Ethiopian restaurant, you get pizza sized sourdough pancakes and then your choice of saucy stews. No utensils are provided. The restaurant is close by and features a nice garden setting.
Africa Bite (4 stars): Also located in our neighborhood, Africa Bite offers very reasonably priced local cuisine. This includes goat kababs, french fries (aka chips), chapatti (Indian flat bread), and bananas. We discovered the Rwandan equivalent of pico de gallo called kachambula, which combined with chapatti and beef kababs equals Mexican tacos.
Heaven (4 stars): Heaven has some excellent mixed drinks but are quite spendy ($10). The food is pretty good and has a more American-style cuisine with American prices. The restaurant is set outside on a giant deck with a view overlooking the city.
Sole Luna (3 stars): One of the few restaurants that offers home delivery (at least to the US Embassy), this eatery offers pizza, pasta, and a killer calzone. We prefer both prefer Papyrus over Sole Luna, but it's still pretty good food.
Bourbon Cafe (3 stars): Think of Starbucks in Africa. This restaurant/cafe has coffee, tea, blended drinks, and wireless internet. The food is okay, but the blended coffee drinks are quite good.
Executive Car Wash (1 star): Jennifer tried to order a Smirnoff Ice and received nestle instant coffee. Three hours later we were served a very chewy goat kabob. The goat carcass was hanging in the kitchen window.