Eden Spice Restaurant in West Carrollton: Best Dishes to Try


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The restaurant, housed in an old metro, is unpretentious and doesn’t even begin to hint at the dreams and journey that led to its opening.

Barnes emigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone in West Africa in 1991. It took him 30 years to get his restaurant.

Legend

Theresa Barnes (left) with husband Samuel and daughters – and Samenah, 13, and Samyatta, 20. The family opened Eden Spice in early January 2019.

Credit: Eden Spice

Credit: Eden Spice

“Almost three decades later and a lot of time spent honing my craft, my dream is coming true in the heart of West Carrollton,” said Barnes, who has dreamed of opening a restaurant since he was 10 years old. “In 2016, I started planting the seeds of Eden Spice. I cooked extra meals at home and leftovers that I shared with colleagues. On my days off, I knocked on doors, door-to-door to local organizations to see if their employees were hungry. I often shared food with my neighbors. A neighbor asked me, “How much do you want for your rice?” I laughed. It wasn’t about the money. My desire to share my food was firmly rooted in my upbringing and my past. “

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The restaurant she opened a little over a year ago is a family affair. She is joined by her husband Sam and her two daughters, Samyatta and Samenah. To thank and honor them, their favorite dishes are named after them on the menu. Barnes says the menu is filled with traditional foods from her and her husband’s childhood with a few twists.

WHY IT RATES

“The food at Eden Spice is cooked with love. I will tell someone to come and eat great food like grandma’s cooking – (it’s) fresh,” Barnes said. “I hate to brag, but customers have told us we have the best Mac and cheese in the world. We have great reviews on Google and Facebook.”

She’s right. The reviews, while limited because most people don’t know how great it is, are glowing.

They talk about the generously large portions, the delicious and bold flavors, and the friendly, helpful service.

Everything is true in my experience.

Theresa Barnes and her family opened Eden Spice in early January 2019. Jerk chicken, beans and rice are pictured.
Legend

Theresa Barnes and her family opened Eden Spice in early January 2019. Jerk chicken, beans and rice are pictured.

Credit: Eden Spice

Credit: Eden Spice

The portions are so big you wonder if they got it wrong when the food arrives at the table. The sides are large enough to feed two people. And the best part is the quantity AND the quality for a very reasonable price. The food is really delicious.

Eden Spice is a prime example of why you can’t judge a book by its cover.

It’s unassuming at best and looks like every bit of the old Subway restaurant it resides in. Orders are taken at the counter and when the food arrives at the table it is served in take out containers with plastic items. The wait time to get the food is longer than you might think, especially since it feels so casual. But time has passed creating a fresh dish that is made to order, cooked properly as you would expect at any better restaurant.

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THE MENU

And the food is the kind you would expect in this type of restaurant.

Theresa’s red snapper ($ 17), served whole with the head (you can ask to remove it before you take it out) was so wonderful I found myself thinking about it a few times since I enjoyed it a few times ago Several weeks. When you order protein from the menu, you choose the sauce it’s topped with – barbecue, bourbon, jerk, turmeric, Samenah’s hot buffalo, Samyatta’s mango-ginger coconut, Samyatta’s pepper chicken ( made with peanut butter and spices), Samyattta curry or African stew made with onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices.

We opted for the stew based on Samyatta’s recommendation and between the exciting flavors of it and fish it was a high and really special dish.

Theresa Barnes and her family opened Eden Spice in early January 2019. Red snapper and potato wedges are pictured.
Legend

Theresa Barnes and her family opened Eden Spice in early January 2019. Red snapper and potato wedges are pictured.

Credit: Garden of Eden

Credit: Garden of Eden

Other highlights are Sam’s Goat Curry ($ 17), Sam’s Goat Jerk ($ 17), Sam’s Goat Stew ($ 17), and Sam’s Oxtail ($ 17), all served with two sides.

The sides are also quite delicious, especially the mac and cheese ($ 5), plantains ($ 4), and coconut spinach ($ 4).

Vegetarians are spoiled for choice with vegetarian dishes from palm oil restaurants, including African sweet potatoes ($ 12), stir-fried okra ($ 12), or black-eyed peas and chickpeas ( $ 12), all served with your choice of rice or quinoa.

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Grandma Tenneh’s Papaya Stew ($ 12) is a particularly important and beloved dish from Barnes, based on the recipe his grandmother made for him as a child.

“All the women in my family are wonderful cooks, but my inspiration came from the late Aunt Eleanor. She was a great chef and event planner in our hometown (Bo Town) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. “said Barnes. “In the African tradition, food brings everyone together. We eat to connect, share and strengthen our bond. Those who ate the food magically and wonderfully carved by my hands are now part of our family. I welcome you to ours – one dish at a time. “

Theresa and Samuel Barnes, owners of Eden Spice.
Legend

Theresa and Samuel Barnes, owners of Eden Spice.

Barnes says she and her husband are “going to share our childhood with our customers” when she serves her chicken stew with jollof rice ($ 12), cabbage and black-eyed peas in palm oil with plantains ($ 12) at the next Ethnosh event.

These are dishes that you don’t need to attend Noshup to try. They are there for you whenever you want to try something different.

“You have to eat well to nourish your body. My mom taught me to spend more on good food and less on clothes,” Barnes said.

This is good advice.

Contact contributing writer Alexis Larsen at [email protected]

WANT TO GO?

What: Spice eden

Or: 501 E. Dixie Drive, West Carrollton

Hours: Open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday

More information: (937) 247-9116 or https://edenspicedayton.com

Pro tip: The food at Eden Spice will take about 20 minutes to come out – more if it is crowded in the restaurants. Call ahead to place your order and avoid the wait.

About Ethnosh Dayton: Ethnosh launched in Dayton on October 13 at Olive Mediterranean Grill and has since visited the cafe and bar at Nanyea Restaurant, La Costeñita, Prems Channai Delight and Salar.

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Freeda S. Scott

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