Sunday, April 06, 2008

African food feast

Saturday night Kurt, the kids, mom, Aunt Jan and I went to Schera's in Elkader for dinner. Their website suggested making reservations which was totally unnecessary. We sat over looking the Turkey River and historic stone bridge. We had the Algerian combo platter for an app. It consisted of Samosas which are triangles of dough filled with a spiced chicken or vegetable mixture, then fried;Bourek which is Seasoned ground beef rolled in phyllo dough, and fried; and Za'atar. Za'atar (a flavorful mixture of thyme and sumac) mixed with olive oil, spread on pita bread, topped with feta cheese then baked until crisp. The first two were good. The Za'atar makes me think I don't need to go to Algeria anytime soon. The aunt ordered (and shared with us all) - Cade. It's Chickpea flour mixed with spices, egg and water, and baked to a custard consistency. Served with a basket of bread and harissa, a Tunisian hot sauce. Nick slathered on the harissa. He and the aunt were the only fans of cade. The kids chose the tortellini, the aunt and I had the tilapia, Kurt selected the tuna, scallop, and shrimp over couscous while mom had the couscous with chicken and beef skewers with roasted veggies. It was a fun experience, but I don't think we'll be repeating it anytime soon. I was impressed the kids tried everything and almost acted their ages. However, their table manners and social skills still have a way to go.

Elkader was named after an Algerian who was for freedom and free thought. Elkader is named in his honor. The restaurant is run by a native Iowa and his boyfriend who is of Algerian descent. Elkader is very scenic. Tourist traffic should help them I would think.

On the way home we spotted a bald eagle nest and tons of deer.

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