About five months ago, a small restaurant and café opened in a strip mall on Crookshank Avenue, located in a sort of borderland between Price Hill and Westwood. The restaurant is called Habesha, at 5720 Crookshank Avenue, and it serves a selection of Ethiopian specialties, including a vegetarian platter, available in the café/restaurant or for carryout.
The dishes are all delicious, well seasoned but not too spicy, and the menu offers an assortment of wats (meat stews) as well. The vegetarian platter in particular provides a wonderful array of tastes. As is the custom, diners do not have utensils; instead, the meals are served with plenty of injera, an Ethiopian flatbread similar to a crepe, that is used to scoop up bits of food.
The best way to try Ethiopian food if you are not familiar with it is to order a few different entrees and share them, to find out what you like. The owners are also happy to make suggestions, depending on how spicy you like your food, and can recommend which dishes you might prefer.
On Saturdays, Habesha opens at 10:00 a.m. and offers Ethiopian breakfast selections and strong coffee, brewed similar to espresso, with a special coffee service. Other days of the week lunch and dinner are offered from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and the restaurant has a full bar as well.
It’s also a kid-friendly restaurant—most kids really like the injera and they get a kick out of eating with their fingers. The owners are the cook and server as well, and their young son may just entertain you with a little dancing while you eat. The selections are fresh, the prices are moderate, and you owe it to yourself to try something a little different—right here on the west side.
Try a wat or vegetarian platter at Habesha today, and you’ll be back again soon. It’s about time we had some ethnic foods available on the west side besides the inevitable Greek and Italian. Here’s hoping the great food at Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant starts a trend in new ethnic restaurants on the west side.