We pretty much want to make it mandatory that every resident in Central Indiana, maybe the whole state, patronizes Abyssinia Restaurant on 38th St. We discovered/fell in love with Ethiopian cuisine about a week before Queen of Sheba closed years ago. Thank goodness we quickly found Abyssinia. The west side of 38th St. might not be your usual stomping grounds but this is a destination restaurant. In one of the many strip malls (we always search for the Best Buy sign to know that we are in the right one), it is humbly decorated but that adds to its charm. During our most recent visit there we were greeted, and waited on, by head chef (owner?) Abraha Belachew. Even during visits when we were waited on by someone else, we always were greeted by him as he made sure we liked our food. Liked our food?? Are you kidding? Ethiopian food is a close second to Indian as our favorite ethnic food. And, granted, we haven't been to many Ethiopian restaurants and don't have anyone who home makes it for us, but Abraha's food is divine. Such simple ingredients, such perfect seasoning, and the injera- oh the injera. There is no silverware here, you envelope your food in the porous flat bread instead of stabbing it with a fork. BRILLIANT! As for what to order, the menu has English descriptions of the dishes. We are enamoured with the combos; Abyssinia Combo 1 for the meat eater, Abyssinia Vegetarian Combo 2 or Vegetarian "Taste of Abyssinia" for the vege lover. So, we get a huge round platter covered in injera with mounds of our dishes on our respective sides of the platter. For first timers, this is definitely the way to go to get a taste of many of the dishes. You get a plate of rolled up injera to break off and use as your utensil. The meat lover really likes the Sega Wett (tender lean beef cooked in berbere sauce). Somehow, Abraha does things with vegetables like no one else. The lentils, greens, corn, cabbage are little piles of heaven. Even the meat combo gets some delicious veges. Their menu doesn't seem to be online so click the above images to enlarge.
In short, this place is wonderful. Don't have any qualms about trying it, even if you don't normally venture into the ethnic food arena much. While they have the cute little basket tables mostly they have your usual tables and chairs. Worried that you can't get the hang of using injera? Who's going to notice if some food falls out of if it or if it takes you more bread to wrap your food? Please go because we just couldn't take losing this place.