PHOENIX, AZ (Phoenix NewTimes) — Tina’s coming back, and I can’t wait to see her again. Tina Tamrat Hildebrand, owner and chef of Tina’s Ethiopian Cafe, unexpectedly shut down her cozy little Chandler eatery in 2008 after four years in the business. Tina acted as chef and server to many devoted patrons hungry for dishes like shiro watt, Indian-style samosa, and her crazy-good enjera, or spongy Ethiopian flatbread.
Find out what happened, where the new Tina’s Ethiopian Cafe will be, and (most importantly) when can we visit, after the jump.
In a letter to her customers, Tina said:
“First of all, I apologize to all my loyal customers for shutting the restaurant down without any explanation. I miss all of you so much and look back on the good times we had at the restaurant. And I also would like to thank those of you who supported me in my difficult time.
Serving you was some of the best times of my life, and I was on a process of getting back to do what I loved the most, but I suddenly lost a part of my life (my father) and didn’t know how and where to start my life.”
Lucky for us, Tina’s made the decision to come back. And with a little help from some partners, she’s taking over a Chinese restaurant in a strip mall at the Southeast corner of Warner and Cooper Road in Gilbert. Although the website says, “Now Open,” Tina tells me it will be a couple more weeks before her Ethiopian cafe will be ready to go.
Best to call first (480-772-2904) if you’re planning a visit. I know I’ll be.
Tina’s Ethiopian Cuisine