By Amy Taylor
Owner and chef of Vera’s Kitchen, Veronica Musie, may be new on the restaurant scene, but she’s been cooking for virtually her entire life. Vera’s Kitchen, which opened in Manassas in June 2018, stemmed from Musie’s other business of two years, Vera’s Catering.
As a breast cancer survivor, Musie wanted to provide services for other survivors with some of the funds from her new restaurant venture. She created a nonprofit organization called Alpha Breast Cancer Support Service. The organization raises funds primarily by holding an annual run, collecting donations from local residents and businesses, and receiving a portion of the proceeds from Vera’s Kitchen.
Her organization provides cancer support and services for women locally and in Africa. Alpha Breast Cancer Support Service provides mammograms for destitute women in Africa.
“Locally we have a support group that meets every month to encourage, create awareness and support here,” Musie said. The restaurant’s branding and décor are even centered around breast cancer awareness, incorporating pink into design elements wherever possible.
At her restaurant, she dishes up a delicious fusion of classic Ethiopian fare and classic American dishes. “It’s a little bit of everything. We have Italian, American and Ethiopian. We’re open every day, and we are a family restaurant. We’re very affordable,” Musie said. She works side-by-side every day with her husband, Adiam, and their children, who are servers. Some of her must-try dishes include Vera’s Tibs, an Ethiopian dish of sautéed beef, tomatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers paired with either Injera—an Ethiopian bread similar to a crepe—or quinoa or rice. She also highly recommends the Creamy Chicken Pasta, made with grilled chicken breast, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.
Beverage offerings include freshly-made fruit and vegetable juices, iced teas spiced with cinnamon, ginger and/or turmeric, sodas, beer and wine. Coffee lovers will enjoy the special Ethiopian coffee, which is very flavorful, roasted and ground onsite and served in a special pot with service for two.
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at Vera’s Kitchen Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The restaurant is open through dinner on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with service from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy all-day breakfast any day of the week.
Musie still provides catering services for a variety of events, from small weddings and graduation parties to birthdays and even brown bag office lunches.
Vera’s Kitchen is located at 9255 Center Street in Manassas. For more information about Vera’s Kitchen, call 703-479-7655 or visit the website at veraskitchendesta.com. (Desta is the Ethiopian word for happiness.)
To learn more about how you can support Alpha Breast Cancer Support Service, visit abcsr.org.
Amy Taylor is a contributing writer for Prince William Living magazine.