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Discover a Taste of Himalayan Culture

 

Photo was taken by the author.

The Himalayan Bistro is a family-owned restaurant offering the culinary art from the Himalayan mountains all the way to Fort Collins, Colorado. The Sherpa family opened their first restaurant, Mt. Everest Cafe, 13 years ago in the same town and decided to expand with another elegant and traditional location.

The exotic flavors of Nepal, Tibet, and India can be found in their custom menu: the appetizers, entrees, desserts, and beverages are so tasty customers have a difficult time choosing their meal. The menu is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friendly while offering plenty of options for meat-lovers too. Each entree is made individually per customer to their liking — those who like it spicy can fire it up while those who prefer to keep it mild can still enjoy their meal. The owners are both from the Solukhumbu Valley in Nepal and their kitchen help is comprised of additional members of the family. Can this place get any more authentic?

Courtesy of the Himalayan Bistro

Pictured on the right are owners Dawa and Tashi Sherpa. Dawa arrived in Colorado in 1998 to visit family and was eligible for a work visa. He worked at Whole Foods before his brother and sister opened their first restaurant in Fort Collins. Dawa grew up working as a porter carrying loads up and down the mountains, and his family eventually started a trek and expedition company to offer a reliable and unique experience to tourists. Peak to Peak Travel is located in Fort Collins and is also ran by Dawa Sherpa offering trips and tours to his homeland. Tashi was trained as a nurse midwife and lived in Israel to care for patients for five years. The couple married in 2012, and The Himalayan Bistro opened its doors in June of 2016.

In an interview with Dustin Hill, one of the servers at the Himalayan Bistro, Hill mentions the beauty of the Nepali culture he has learned since he first started. At his job interview early this summer, he sat down with Dawa and mentioned how he is currently living in a halfway house after being released from jail.

“He still gave me a shot. Now I’m in a position where I work with some great people and it feels so good to be loved by them and learn about their culture.”

The family’s kindness extends not only to their employees but to every customer that walks through their door. They say they have found the perfect balance of sharing their culture with others while adopting a new one with their lives here in America.

Dawa, Tashi, and their family are a beautiful example of just how crossing cultures does not always have to happen by getting on an airplane — by sharing their knowledge and passion across the world they contribute to enlightening and inspiring people through the flavors of their food.

Interesting Facts

  • There are over 123 languages spoken in Nepal (not including dialects).
  • There are over 125 ethnic groups and castes.
  • 8 out of 10 of the world’s highest mountains are found in Nepal.
  • Nepal flag is the only national flag that is not shaped in a square or rectangle.
  • The triangles on the flag indicate the mountains as well as the two national religions: Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • “Namaste” is the standard greeting, meaning hello, goodbye, thank you. 
  • Half of the population lives on $1 per day.
  • The head is considered a person’s most sacred part of the body. 
  • The National dish is dal-bhat-tarkari, translating to lentils, rice, and vegetables. 

 

 

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3 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this read. It emphasized how home towns can have a wide range of culturally fluid food that locals can enjoy and taste. The visuals helped point out what the restaurant looked like and its owners, which brings a welcoming and comforting feeling to the place. I really liked the interesting facts that were put in at the end, because it gave me an idea of what Nepali culture looks like. Great job!

  2. I liked how this family owned restaurant shows how easy it can be to share your culture with others. Food and hospitality are two things that each person can relate to and find comfort in. While man people may be reluctant to try Himalayan cuisine, this family is making it easy for the Fort Collins community to try something new. I wonder how many customers have enjoyed learning about another culture?

  3. I really liked the diversity in this article. Not only is the restaurant, the employees and the owners a diverse group of people, but their menu is too. They have options for people with lots of dietary restrictions. They serve vegetarian dishes, vegan and meat too, so there is something for everyone to enjoy there. It’s also nice that the owners employ people who don’t have many opportunities to get a job like those out of jail. I think that they cater to diversity while also staying true to their roots.

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