Hungry As a Bear: Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

Photo courtesy of: Abyssinia restaurant
Photo courtesy of: Abyssinia restaurant

 Zein Khleif is a junior at Brown independently concentrating in Political Psychology. She loves adventure, and one of her favorite types is exploring new foods. This section of Hungry As a Bear, posted every first two weeks of every month, will highlight Zein’s many tastings in and around Providence. Use it as a mini-information guide for those days where you just have a hankering to wander off campus  for a taste of something new. Check in for news on new restaurants, eating brunch like there is no tomorrow, and reviews of some new (and old) favorites!

As I wandered into Abyssinia, your typical converted house-to-restuarant (classic Providence) on Wickenden Street for the first time this weekend to celebrate a friends’ birthday! , a warm atmosphere of manzuma music and spiced smells overtook me. Our group of ten was seated upstairs in a charming room with eclectic wall hangings and potted plants. Our server was a very courteous and patient gentleman, willing to explain the differences between dishes such as Doro Wot (the most traditional Ethiopian chicken dish) and Key Wot (the same dish, but with beef instead).

As a first time Ethiopian food taster, I have to say I have absolutely no negative feelings. My friend and I split the “meat combination dish” and chose our dishes to be Ye’Sega Alcha — which the menu describes as ” tender beef cubes simmered in a savory sauce of butter, onion, ginger and ird, a mild blend of spices” — and Ye’Beg Wot, lamb “sautéed in olive oil with onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, and qibe butter.” These two  dishes came on a bed of Ethiopian bread pancakes, along with good sized portions  of three different lentil dishes, and several vegetable dishes.

Meals are to be eaten using the bread and your hands as eating utensils (think Moroccan food). For you “Eek! It’s flue season! Are you crazy!?!” germaphobes out there (aka, me) don’t despair! You are provided with hot towels to clean your hands with before you start munching away. And it is SO WORTH IT. Delicious. I  loved it. My entire group of ten friends loved it. It was filling, there was a large variety of options to choose from, and it was reasonably affordable on a student budget for a once in a while “treat yo’ self!” We each paid roughly $20, but for the amount of food that was given to us, it was definitely worthwhile. I recommend this to any foodie with a craving to try something new! You won’t regret it.

Quality of food: 5/5            Quality of service: 5/5             Atmosphere: 4/5             Affordability: 4/5

Menu and more info can be found at:

Feel free to e-mail Zein at with any questions, comments, or suggestions!


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