Last Saturday night, Habesha Ethiopian, at 5707 East Colfax Avenue, was nearly deserted, with just one five-top in the dining room and a bar full of men watching a baseball game. Still, the orange walls painted to evoke the African plains and adorned with travel posters created a welcoming atmosphere -- and the vegetarian and vegan offerings on the menu were an even more welcome sight.
Don't mess around with ordering single servings of the yemisir or kik wot or gomen. Instead, go straight for the vegetarian combination plate. For $11.99, it delivers generous servings of every last vegetarian dish on the menu -- and if your tablemates are also vegetarian, you can get it served family-style, as in the beautiful presentation seen above.
A breakdown of what's been laid atop the spongy injera bread:
Lemisir, lentils simmered in hot chili sauce with onion and garlic -- which carries a spicy kick.
Kik wot, yellow split peas with onions, herbs and spices.
Tikil gomen, cabbage with sliced carrots and potatoes, made with both red and green cabbage.
Gomen, chopped spinach and greens cooking with onions, garlic and green pepper.
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Fosolia, string beans, peas and carrots.
Shiro wot, chickpea seasoning cooked with spicy chili and garlic.
But first, Habesha starts the meal with a crisp, light salad... And closes it with these adorable cream-puff desserts (you might want a shot of prime Ethiopian coffee to wash them down).
Habesha also offers a buffet on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., and you can get delivery on orders over $15 if you live within a four-mile radius.