Any of you regular readers know that I have a real passion for authentic Ethiopian food. First time was on New Years Eve in Downtown San Jose a number of years back with some close friends- wonderful atmosphere, and you know if you’re the only non-Ethiopians in the joint, and not playing cards or dominos or smoking cigarettes, you’re in the right place.
Since then, I’ve attempted to find the really great hole-in-the-wall type places, in San Diego: Muzita Abyssinian Bistro (definitely not hole in the wall, on Park Ave in Uni Heights) is a jazzier, very clean varietal of these restaurants, site of one of the first non-date date that I had with Claireadaire back in the day. (other great Ethiopian places: Awash, Red Sea, etc… look it up, this is an Edmonton blog, after all!)
But I digress: Langano Skies, I believe one of the highest rated places on Yelp and Urbanspoon for the Edmonton area. Pretty conveniently located on the corner of Whyte Ave and 99th St, you might miss it if you drive too fast, and certainly will have a little trouble finding parking. PS from the University, the 7 bus will take you right to 99th (along with other Bonnie Doon and Capilano bound buses, the 4)
Ok: Jumping right into the review: A very ravenously hungry pair of international students go to an Ethiopian restaurant. Sorry Matheus, I forgot to tell you that this food, and generally the wait, is longer than normal.
No such qualms when the food came out though. We ordered Yemisir Kik Wot (bottom right, lentils), on suggestion from our waiter, Yegbeg Wot (lamb, top right), Siga Tibs (steak cooked in butter and jalapenos, bottom right)
Immediately what strikes you about Ethiopian food: the scent is powerfully seductive. Now once you regain the other senses you realize, wow this is a ton of food. Also, where are our utensils?
Don’t be silly. The staple of Ethiopian food is Injera, a fermented flat bread (my best estimation is a sourdough crepe) Cut into strips and rolled up. You rip off a piece and you pick up the pieces of meat or vegetable from a family style plate (which is also served on a huge piece of injera).
Close up of Siga Tibs. I wish they had made it spicier, but upon Matheus’ request, a little milder taste made all his enjoyment. Can you tell he liked it? In a word, Delicioso!
In My quasi-expert opinion? I’m really disappointed they don’t offer Tej (Ethiopian honey wine) which is really the best part. Other than that, great flavors, I really wanted to try the Kitfo, especially since I was still on antibiotics so little chance of food poisoning (Kitfo is steak tartare in berebe, spiced butter). So, barring from the fact that they didn’t have Tej, and the less than stellar lentils, I think that this place does quite well in the meats. If this was in SD, it wouldn’t break my top 5, but considering it is Edmonton:
Take the plunge! Go a little out of your comfort zone, eat with your hands, connect with your food! This type of cuisine is SO much fun to interact with friends, great conversation. If you have a few hours, go with some good friends and enjoy the experience.