Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Assimba is another of the Ethiopian restaurants on the "Little Ethiopia" stretch on East Cherry Street in the Central District.
Don't be mislead by the window bars: inside the restaurant it is bright and clean and homey

Met some friends who live nearby for dinner, and we started with a vegetarian platter. It came with two types of what first seemed to be lentils/split peas (but were described by the waitress as split garbanzo beans), collard greens, a green salad and a pile of curried cabbage and potatoes. In addition to this, we were served two heaping plates of loosely folded warm injera.
Rollin' up the sleeves!

The food was really good, and was notably not-too-salty. When asked, I couldn't pinpoint either a favorite or a least favorite dish, which means to me that it was all tasty. It was delicious without being too spicy, but there was a shaker of a delectable salty spice on the table that one could shake on to add more salt or heat.

Our first platter wasn't quite enough food to fill us all, so we ordered an entree of garbanzo bean paste, which came out of the kitchen piping hot. The waitress, who was really sweet, ladled it onto the injera and it looked like glossy peanut sauce.

I would definitely go back to Assimba. I am so happy to have found a good Ethiopian restaurant that doesn't overkill with the salt. Even their injera, which was delightfully sour, was reasonably salted.
In honor of one of the ultimate herbivores, one dining companion wore this horse-tooth clip-on man-earring, made by an artist friend from the remains of one of his beloved horses.

As usual with Ethiopian food, it was really easy to eat here as a vegetarian. A large part of the menu is devoted to vegetables and legumes, and it is easy to get a well balanced meal without meat.

Revision regarding vegan food: I just received a comment from The Gastrognome, and she points out something that I didn't know about Ethiopian food, which is that it is often made with nitter kibe, a clarified butter. She also mentions that Saba will cook vegetarian items with olive oil if you request that they do so. Good info!

Assimba Ethiopian Cuisine
(206) 322-1019
2722 E Cherry St
Seattle, WA 98122

Assimba Ethiopian Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

It's not likely that it is also vegan--Almost all Ethiopian food is made with nitter kibe, a clarified butter, so unless they specifically told you otherwise, it probably wasn't.

If you are looking for vegan Ethiopian, Saba on 12th, just north of Yesler will do their veggies with olive oil if you want.

Tofu Hunter said...

Thanks so much for the comment! I don't know much about Ethiopian cooking, and this is great information.

M said...

I love Assimba for the flavors, maybe more than any other Ethiopian joint in town, but I'm an omnivore and haven't asked about the ingredients. When we eat with our vegan friends we go to Queen Sheba just east of Broadway on Capitol Hill, they say they use olive oil there.