At Abyssinia, it all started with the bread. For years before the owners opened this little Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem, they supplied homemade injera, the tart, spongy flatbread that's a national staple in their homeland, to expats and even restaurateurs through a thriving cottage business. Chowhounds say they still make some of the best injera in town—it's for sale at the back of the restaurant—as well as satisfying, powerfully flavored Ethiopian dishes to go with it.
Kitfo—chopped raw beef seasoned with mitmita, a blend of cardamom, clove, and fiery bird's-eye chiles, among other spices—is a standout, guanubian reports. Alan Henderson singles out ye siga alicha, a beef stew with onion and peppers, seasoned with berbere and reminiscent of curry. Injera comes with everything, but it's front and center as the base for the veggie combo (pictured), a colorful medley of chickpeas, cabbage, collard greens, lentils in berbere, and beans and carrots in garlic sauce. "Could not be more bare bones for decor and such," Alan adds, "but really good food and excellent injera."
Abyssinia Restaurant [Harlem]
268 W. 135th Street (between Seventh and Eighth avenues), Manhattan
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Photo from Abyssinia Restaurant