In opening Saviour’s Café and Bistro in November 2016, Solomon’s goal was to reach people of different cultures that would not normally dine at an Eritrean-Ethiopian restaurant
Eritrean-Ethiopian cuisine is unfamiliar to most Albertans. And yet the culinary treasures of Northeast Africa can be enjoyed simply sampling the cuisine of Saviour’s Café and Bistro.
Operated by Solomon Debesay, an Eritrean ex-patriot who fled his country’s violent and abusive military regime, Saviour’s serves delicious authentic food that has undergone the test of time for generations.
Bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea, Eritrea’s culinary prowess lies in blending Africa’s full-bodied variety of spices with Europe’s more distinct subtle flavors.
In opening the St. Albert based café and bistro in November 2016, Solomon’s goal was to reach people of different cultures that would not normally dine at an Eritrean-Ethiopian restaurant, afraid the food might be too different or spicy for them. He hopes to attract a curious and steady clientele by allowing them to transition slowly into this centuries-old cuisine.
While the name Saviour’s Bistro and Café instantly springs to mind religious images, it has less to do with any one religion, than the long journey from Africa that brought Solomon to St. Albert.
“I was saved in the Sudan. I have been saved in Cairo. I was saved in Canada. People in Canada take their life for granted. But if you haven’t seen darkness, you can’t appreciate the light. In my country (Eritrea) there is killing, rape, the harvesting of organs. It is a big deal here. There, it is survival. I don’t know why I am so lucky,” said Solomon in a candid moment.