Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant
I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food, and will try just about anything one time. Years ago, I was introduced to Ethiopian food at a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio called Blue Nile and was immediately in love with the flavors, preparation and serving style. Since leaving Columbus, I haven’t been able to find an Ethiopian restaurant I’ve loved as much as that one. Now, I think I’m on the way.
Overall: 3.8 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 3.75 out of 5
Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5
Value: 3.5 out of 5
Service: 4.5 out of 5
The service at Abyssinia is wonderful! From the moment we walked in, we were greeted enthusiastically, seated and served quickly and given wonderful explanations and suggestions. It was nice to be surrounded by such a welcoming feeling.
The place was not fancy, but the decorations were very interesting. The restaurant was filled with the traditional serving baskets, or mesob. There were a few available for seating, but we were seated at a more traditional table. Not a big deal, that just meant we had room for more food.
According to the website, food is meant to be shared – from the same dish, at the same table. One is not supposed to eat alone. Food tastes better when they eat it together. The tradition of eating with your hands or with the injera (the spongy bread served with each meal) is meant to symbolize the bonds of friendship that are unbreakable. Fortunately, I was able to share this experience with two such friends.
I started my meal with a lentil sambusa ($2.49). This is a flaky pastry shell stuffed with lentils, onions, green peppers and spices. It’s cooked to a nice golden brown. I loved theirs. The pastry was flaky, and the insides were spiced beautifully.
For our meal, we chose several dishes to share. We ordered the meat combination ($17.69), which included your choice of 3 out of 4 dishes. We went with the beef dish (kay wat), chicken dish (doro wat), and one of the lamb dishes (yebag wat). The meats were so tenderly cooked, and the sauces were amazing. On top of those dishes, we ordered the kik alicha (lentils $10.49) and the goat curry ($15.29). Each dish comes with a side – we picked the red lentils, collard greens and brown rice. The collards were fantastic, but the other two were just ok in my opinion. The Injera was very good! Spongy and just a little bit sour; the perfect compliment to the spices in the food.
Abyssinia does offer beer, wine and liquor…but the menus are very small. I think they had a selection of 6 or 7 bottled beers, and 5 different wines. What I did enjoy was the South African red wine. I believe it was called makulu ($5.89/glass). One of my dinner buddies ordered the white from South Africa (Golden Kaa $5.89).
All in all, I’d go back in an instant. I am now extremely excited about checking out some of the other Ethiopian spots around the triangle. I’m glad I have this place to go back to.