Finally got out to Abyssinia... I cannot understand why I hadn't tried it sooner... I can't see enough good things about the food here... a definite Chowhounder's place.... great food prepared & served with lots of soul, great value, casual, good vibe.... its got everything to be a regular. Unfortunately, its in a cursed location and while all the Internet reviews are positive... they are not coming in droves.
My wife, baby & I shared the Vegetarian set, and were served a feast of various stews on Injera....
> Shiro... its a silky red hued puree of Chickpeas that was outstanding
> Collard Greens.... omg every Soul Food / Southern cook needs to come learn how to prepare Collards from these cats
> Curried Lentils... very good... the spicing reminded me of Chili
> Green Lentils with mustard.... great (the French should learn how to treat lentils this well)
> Hearty Potato & Cabbage stew with Tumeric
> Beautiful Tomato, Jalapeno & Lettuce Salad
Everything of course served on top of Injera... and even more Injera on the side. Prior to that we received hot towels.... oh and the food was perfectly paired by the Oregano Tea... which in addition to its surprising, intriguing aroma, pleasant herby taste.... probably also cured me of many ills. Everything tasted great... with the Garbanzos & Collard Greens being outstanding.
Now.. the place labels itself as Ethiopian - Eritrean... I imagine its one or the other... but I am not asking that question (if you know the history... you know what I am talking about)... what I will say is that the food here at Abyssinia is much more subtle & mild... then the typical Ethiopian place I have encountered in the past... don't know if this is a Regional difference, kitchen peculiarity, or simply adapting to the Sonoma County palette. In any case... the spicing is mild... the only thing being unequivocally spicy was the salad... and the lentils being moderatly spicy... everything else was fairly mild.... so for my palette I will be asking for some extra Berbere.
BTW... the platter for two was $20.... and more than enough food.... this place is a great deal.
Abyssinia doesn't offer desserts so we took the opportunity to check out El Rinconcito Cafe y Neveria... a Torteria/Cafe/Fruteria/Neveria/Desserteria/Shoeria adjacent to El Michoacano in the Roseland barrio... the place is an absolute trip... Comfy couches face towards a Boombox blasting out nostalgic Mariachi-Boleros sung by 65 year old macho-tenor Vicente Fernandez... and a rack of fancy Mexican Pimp style shoes including Crocodile leather loafers in tropical tan.....
$3 Jericallas for two (kind of like a cross between Flan Napolitano & Creme Brulee) are served in beautiful clay cazuelitas made by Purepecha artisans... they have nooks & crannies like a fine swiss cheese... and a thick beautiful glaze of scorched sugar... an optional addition of Rompope is quite nice.
The Medium Espresso ($1.50) which was at least 4 ounces of magical elixir... made with Boyd's Guatemalan Estate beans... was quite simply one of the very, very, very best Espressos I've ever had... so smooth & sipabble... not lemon rind or sugar needed... did I say sublime?
If anybody checks it out before I can get there again.... among the tortas they have Queso de Puerco (Head Cheese) as well as Pierna (Baked Pork Leg).... and Tostadas de Cueritos (Pickled Pork Skin)... as well as Paninis... and whole host of intersting goodies... Pastries, Bionicos, Escamochas, Vegetable Juices etc.,etc., etc.,
913 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Restaurant El Michoacano
500 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407