Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant, Boston, MA

Getting tired of the same old same old chain restaurant or the ubiquitous pizza/Italian joints we ventured off into Somerville for some Ethiopian food.  I was paired up with perhaps the most adventurous of the crew members on my aircraft and when he said, "Yeah!  Ethiopian is one of my favorites," I was psyched.

Especially since we only had the short 45 minute flight home from Boston to NY and wouldn't be sealed up tight in a metal tube next to each other for a 5 hour transcontinental flight after a lentil heavy meal ... if you know what I mean.

So we GPS'd our way through closed bridges and wrong turns and finally made it.  Hmm, which door, which door?  Ah, I picked the dining room door as opposed to the bar door.  Empty.  Ah, man, you know what I think of empty dining rooms.  OK, forge ahead.

 4 tables on the left side of the dining room with the traditional mesob (low wicker dining tables).

Our table on the far left completes the picture of the empty dining room but there were several patrons in the bar area.  Non eating ethiopian food though.
After noticing that one of the vegetarian appetizers had cottage cheese in it I started to explain to our server that I was a strict vegetarian and didn't ... she said hold on a sec, went and brought someone over to the table who spoke English and the issue was put to rest.  Vegan.  No problem.

Starting out with the Sambosa, a mixture of lentils, onions and jalapenos pretty much set the stage for the evenings fare.  Sambosa, (like Samosa?), are lightly fried.  The filling was on the bland side for me and needed a shot or two of salt but the dough was crispy and light.

Wait, wait, throw these few pieces of Romaine on the plate first.

I expected much more heat than I got.  It looks like a lot of green in there but wasn't spicy at all.
For our entree we started out ordering 2 dishes but at 10 bucks a pop I added a third.  We ordered a Vegetarian Curry, (eggplant, squash, green and red peppers), the Ye-Atakilt kilikil, (green beans, carrots, potatoes and onions in a mild sauce), and the Ye-misir Wot, (lentils cooked in a berber sauce).

I haven't been to an Ethiopian restaurant in years but do remember enjoying the experience and this was no difference.  I asked for silverware for the appetizer to cut it for the picture but the entree needs no utensils.

The large serving platter is brought out first with the traditional Ethiopian bread called Injera covering the bottom and another plate with 2 more folded Injera is placed next to the platter.  Injera is like a huge thick crepe with little flavor, (at least this one was) and a faint sour note.  It is traditionally made from teff.  You tear off pieces and use them like little scoop to pick up the food with.

The kilikil had a sweet tinge but not overly flavorful.  The curry had unmistakeable hints of turmeric and tasted like a "traditional" curry would without much punch however the wot had an undertone of heat and earthy richness.

I still asked for some hot sauce and was brought a small shaker of cayenne pepper which helped a bit.  I prefer my spice added in the kitchen though.

Traditionally served with Injera on the bottom, our server doled out the entrees for us.  It's hard to tell but this plate is about
1 1/2 feet across.
Not a bad meal, the check and tax was $36 and with tip came to just over $42 for dinner for 2.  There was certainly no lack of food.  Next time, and I fully intend to go back to this restaurant, I will make sure to tell the waitress to add some heat in the kitchen and ratchet up the spices.

Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

No comments: