Saunter down good ol' Locust Walk just a little further west than normal and you'll come upon a rather nondescript palace of taste bud heaven.

Abysinnia is authentic Ethiopian cuisine -- and you'll know from the extensive collection of crafts, artwork, and furniture that encompasses the abode. You don't have to break the bank either, as entr‚e prices top out at around $10.

Abysinnia Ethiopian Restaurant 229 S. 45th Street (215) 387-2424

A popular dish includes tender slices of chicken, lamb, and beef. Vegetarians need not fret, because the meatless dishes are just as tasty. If you are unfamiliar with Ethiopian cuisine, don't ask your server for a fork and knife. The customary approach to eating involves wrapping the meat or vegetables in a moist, sponge-like bread. Don't worry, the result is well worth the effort. Better yet, pretend you are an evil giant swooping up tiny villages in the palm of your hand. If you don't understand, go there and give it a try.

Another selling point is the full-service bar, often packed with friendly locals that are ready to entertain. Being an adolescent at the mere age of 20, my mommy would not allow me to consume an alcoholic beverage -- but I am certain they have the same wondrous qualities as the liquor cabinet at home. Despite the food preparation taking a little longer than hoped, the night was an odyssey of sensory delight.

Plus, my mommy let me drive home!


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