If You Happen To Be In New York City

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PHOTOGRAPH BY DINA LITOVSKY FOR THE NEW YORKER

We took a respite from thinking about Ethiopian food for some months, following our brief exploration of Ethiopia but this item in the current issue of the New Yorker reminds us of why that all held our attention so firmly. It gets us thinking about a return trip to Ethiopia. It has us wondering where have the last 363 days gone? Whet the appetite here:

Abyssinia

For lovers of Ethiopian food, recent years were marked by two seismic events in Harlem. First, Tsion Café and Bakery opened on Sugar Hill, serving steaming piles of stew atop injera.

The latter is an iron-rich flatbread from the Horn of Africa, which has recently found favor with the young and the celiac, because teff—the love-grass grain that is the main ingredient in injera—doesn’t contain gluten. Tsion serves a version that is entirely gluten-free (some in the U.S. contain wheat or barley), as well as deliciously innovative takes on brunch classics, like scrambled eggs on a porous bed of injera.

The needle on the seismometer trembled for a second time when Abyssinia, which has long been a 135th Street staple, underwent a renovation. What was once a shady den tinged a pallid green by the neon sign in the window blossomed into a bright dining hall spanning two storefronts. Some things stayed the same: the poster, in the back, of a woman pouring coffee next to dancing Amharic letters; the waitresses who smilingly explain that a meal is best shared and eaten by hand; and, of course, the exquisite food…

Read the whole review here.

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