My lovely lady friends and I headed out, via convertible, to Abyssinia on Thursday night. We arrived at Abyssinia's 38th Street location with tousled hair and hungry bellies. After eating and then a nice, long post-dinner linger, we left, full of goodness and spice.
We started the evening with sambusas, delightful little fried packages containing a spicy lentil filling. For the main meal, we shared a platter with collard greens, chickpea split peas, potatoes and carrots, cabbage, and a bonus spicy lentil dish that the kind Abyssinia folks added. The food is served on top of injera, a thin spongy bread that acts not only as the primary starch for the meal, but also as the utensil. The food is served on one platter and everyone shares, with extra injera on the side.
Each dish balanced the special nature of the primary ingredient and the delightful Ethiopian spicing. The group's favorite seemed to be the bonus lentils, which were brick-red and moderately spicy. The potato dish and the cabbage both provided a nice balance to the heat of the other dishes, while the collard greens' luscious texture elevated the often-maligned vegetable.
As has always been my experience at Abyssinia, the service was gracious and amenable. Certainly, other restaurants may have more demonstrative service staff; at Abyssinia, the staff is quiet but clearly interested in ensuring that customers enjoy their meals. They answer questions and provide guidance in ordering, with an apparent focus on sharing culture. And they are definitely sharing that culture at a highly reasonable rate. Before tip, our total was under $50 for four of us. For such a special dining experience, I would happily pay much more!
The good folks over at Worth Your Attention wholeheartedly endorse Abyssinia, too. They've even suggested that visits to this lovely little place should be mandatory for all Indianapolis-dwellers. You won't see any arguments from me!