Fasika Ethiopian on Snelling (just past University Ave) in St. Paul
Ethiopian is hard to come by back in the ‘burbs where my family lives. My mom once asked in jest, “Ethiopian food? what’s that - dinosaur?” illustrating just the kind of thing that the hermano has to deal with there. So I knew I had to take him to get some tasty Ethiopian during his visit.
My only experience with Ethiopian in the Twin Cities was at Red Sea on the West Bank, near the U….please do not let that be your only reference for this cuisine. With such a large African immigrant community here, I knew there was something I was missing. And that something was Fasika.
The. Best. Ethiopian. EVER.
Deep, complex spices permeate every morsel, leaving you with the impression that the ingredients have been simmering on the stove for hours and hours. If you’ve never had Ethiopian before, fear not. If you like Flavor (capital F for emphasis), then I implore you to give it a try. Your utensil is the tangy, perfectly spongy injera, with the structural integrity to sop up the saucy bits without the entire thing falling apart in your hands.
Which brings up another point. Ethiopian is best shared with someone whose personal hygiene you trust and someone with whom you can eat like a sloppy fool. I am convinced that the man I am going to marry must pass the Ethiopian meal test (among other things). That means 1) you must love what we’re eating, and 2) we will have fun in the process (which doesn’t necessarily mean that you must eat gracefully, just that you have the open-mindedness to totally GO FOR IT). Preferably, you are also not my brother.