Friday, June 17, 2011

Sambosas With a Side of Keno

I never imagined eating at an Ethiopian restaurant that was equipped with a juke box, Keno or a neon Budweiser sign in the window. But earlier this week, I did just that.

Fasika in Somerville is no ordinary Ethiopian restaurant. It's more like a bar for locals, with a tiny dining room meant for those who actually want to eat their cuisine. The tile floors, lively bar scene and scant decor immediately make you think the food must be terrible - but don't let the first impression fool you. Despite its odd appearance, Fasika's food is actually pretty good.

Fasika also has an impressive list of Ethiopian draft brews (about four to five options). I opted for the Harar beer, which was light, crisp and refreshing - but nothing too special.

For our appetizers, Z and I split the Ayeb Be-Gomen ($4), which was homemade cottage cheese mixed with finely chopped collard greens, herbs and spices. 

We also split the Vegetarian Sambosas ($4.50), which were made with seasoned lentils, onions, and jalapeno peppers, all wrapped in a deep-fried thin dough. 

For our entree, we split the Vegetarian Combo ($12.95), which came with our choice of five vegetable or appetizer dishes (except for the Vegetable Curry, Sambosas and Ayeb Be-Gomen). Z ordered the five dishes - and I wasn't paying attention - so being the good food blogger that I am, I couldn't tell you the exact names of the dishes we ate. 

Injera - the Ethiopian bread used as an eating utensil. 

I can tell you, however, that each dish was fairly well seasoned and tasty - but definitely not the best Ethiopian food I've had to date (which hasn't been much). I know that the lentils, potatoes and collard greens on this "plate" should have been more flavorful. I wouldn't say it was a disappointing meal - but it also wasn't spectacular.

Despite the so-so food, Fasika's casual atmosphere, odd charm and affordable prices may lure me back in there one day for a pint and some sambosas - and possibly even a round of Keno. But when I want real, authentic Ethiopian fare, I'll probably head elsewhere.

Have you ever been to a restaurant with a really odd decor/atmosphere? What was it like?

Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I don't think I knew this place existed! I've been to the Addis Red Sea in the SE and loved it.

  2. I always think Villa Mexico is so weird being in a gas station...but I love it!