Restaurant Review: Abay

Sometimes wives really do know best.  Like when they bet their husbands that the Simpsons has been on for longer than 20 years and are right.  Or when they tell their husband it was John Lithgow in Footloose, not Jon Voight.  Or when they tell their husband that he just has to try Ethiopian food because it will change his life.  Husbands sometimes argue back, being scared of the unknown, and not willing to try food involving eating with hands.

Bottom line…I was right.

A few months ago, I tried Ethiopian food with my mom in New Jersey, and not to be corny, it was love at first bite.  I loved the texture of all the food, the spices and how fresh everything tasted.  After this, I was determined that Solomon try Ethiopian food, even if I had to take him there kicking and screaming.

I took him to Abay in Pittsburgh.  It was the right thing to do.  But first, we had to act completely immature.  That’s what adults do sometimes.  We really appreciate art. DSC02845 In keeping with our immaturity, we acted like underage kids who were sneaking alcohol into our parent’s house.  We weren’t.  Abay is BYOB (which I LOVE), so we just decided to throw the wine in my purse instead of in our proper wine holder.  Classy.



Solomon was completely unsure about what he had gotten himself into.  I told him to just trust me, and everything would be OK.DSC02848 How clever is this place? DSC02850It says: “Abay is a non-smoking, BYOB establishment.  Since wine may provide certain medical benefits and may lead you to believe the person you are with is more attractive or engaging than he or she actually is, drinking it responsibly with your meal is encouraged.  A corkage fee of $2.5 per bottle will be assessed.” DSC02853 We went with the good stuff.

Really though, for $2.99 a bottle, this stuff is not half bad!  I will forever be a 2 Buck Chuck fan.

We started with Vegetarian Sambussa. These are: Two thin shells hand-wrapped and stuffed with a combination of lentils, onions, peppers and herbs.

It reminded me a lot of an Indian samosa.  Fried (yum!) and full of such an interesting combination.  I think Ethiopian food has given me a new love for lentils.  Such an amazing mix of flavors here.

DSC02854 DSC02855Excuse the flash.  Sitting on those little tables, the lighting isn’t so great.  Look at all of those big pieces of onion, and lentils.  Amazing! DSC02856Our matching vests were not intentional, I promise.  We aren’t one of “those” couples who like to match.   DSC02857Ethiopian food tends to be shared.  Eating with your hands at a low table is a very communal experience.  You can get an individual plate and utensils if you want, but why would you?  Using injera to scoop up the food is so much fun.  I love that I can get messy and eat with my hands!  They even gave us an extra injera as a plate divider.  Solomon got a lot of meat, so my vegetarian food was safe! DSC02858 Here’s what I tried:

  • Azifah: Whole brown lentils blended with diced onions, green peppers, cumin and a touch of fresh lime juice (served cold). (This is what was inside the sambussa.  Yum!)
  • Ayib Be Gomen: Fresh collard greens blended with Abay’s homemade cheese.
  • Shiro Wat: Finely ground split peas, lentils and chickpeas simmered in berbere and a combination of seasonings.
  • Butecha: Ground chickpeas mixed with olive oil, diced onions and green peppers (served cold).

I also tried Solomon’s Inguday Wat (Fresh mushrooms and brown lentils simmered in a spicy berbere sauce).  It was fantastic.  I’m usually not much of a mushroom person, but since I ate half of it, I would say that this might have changed my mind.

DSC02859I was hungry, I figured since we were eating with our hands, maybe I could just pretend it was a trough.  I’m kidding.  I only do that at home. DSC02860 DSC02861 Complete and utter shock that he is enjoying this meal.  Really enjoying it!DSC02862 Food heaven!  I look ridiculous, and I don’t care!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-GO TRY ETHIOPIAN FOOD!  You’ll love it, I promise!

What have you been right about?  Was it food or a great movie?  How about a decision that affected you in a big way?  Don’t you just love being right?

The winner is being picked tomorrow for my nutty giveaway!  Head there now!

Do your chocolate-covered good deed!


22 Responses

  1. I wish we had an Ethiopian food place here in SA. I’ve always wanted to try it out. I may just have to drive to Austin after all. Isn’t it funny how hubbies are often wrong? 😉 I have to admit I really do like to be right.

  2. A corkage fee?!?! (Does that apply even if you bring your own corkscrew? ;))

    Wives are always right. Always. Or maybe it’s just that the husbands are always wrong. :p

    ❤ ❤

  3. that place looks awesome! We don’t have any BYOB places 😦

    I love that you two are kind of matching – if that happened to us, Nick would either change or make me change! 🙂

  4. I am a huge fan of BYOB, but I’ve never tried Ethiopian. It’s on the list.

    You two are so cute. : )

  5. I will match your sometimes and raise you an ALWAYS wives do know best, especially at my house 🙂

  6. Ethiopian food is SO. FREAKING. GOOD!

  7. wow thanks a lot mo! A whole post on ethiopean food and not even one scarce mention of your little brother that got this whole train rolling????

  8. i love that you two look like you have FUN with each other-it’s the best way to be 🙂

    and i want to find a byob place to eat-that’s fantastic!

  9. Haha, love the pics. looks likeit wa sa fun review filled with good food!

  10. I’m glad you had such a fab time!!! I’ve had one ethiopian experience and…it was terrible!!! I think it might have been the food we ordered, but every thing was mashed beans drowning in oil. Our wraps/crepes were also really sour, so my friends and i ended up just tossing the wraps to each other and trying to catch it with our faces…so grown up …i know…haha

  11. I would just like everyone to know that I (yes I) was the one who offered to take Morgan to Pittsburgh to go get Ethiopian because I knew how much she had been craving it. Therefore, I may have been wrong…BUT…I went for Morgan 🙂

  12. you and the hubby are the cutest things ever! way to get him to try Ethiopian, the wives do know whats best! 🙂 i’ve never tried before, but after seeing how much you like it, i think i would be willing to. i always say try everything once. now the big question is, where is there an Ethiopian restaurant around me! let the research begin! 🙂

  13. Don’t you love being right?? That looks amazing!!!!

  14. I drive past an Ethiopian restaurant every day on my way to work. I always say that I want to try it, but then I forget about it.

    Can’t go wrong with Two Buck Chuck either.

  15. Hey Morgan! Do you live in Pittsburgh???

  16. Great article! You should write some reviews on things around Pittsburgh.

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