Fasika has been on my list of must-try restaurants for a long time and after I got a taste of the eatery’s Ethiopian delights during the East Somerville Foodie Crawl, I knew I had to go in for a full meal sooner rather than later. Located in an unassuming storefront at 145-147 Broadway, Fasika was the perfect place to tuck into a warm, cozy meal on a chilly late fall evening.
Ethiopian food is served family style on injera bread, a spongy substance that acts as your utensils for scooping up each dish. Fasika’s version of injera was fluffy and light, making it a perfect vehicle for digging into our meal. If you’ve never been to an Ethiopian restaurant before, Fasika is a great introduction. The staff was very friendly and helpful when we had questions and asked for recommendations.
When we arrived at 7 p.m. on a Friday night the bar at Fasika was busy but the dining room was nearly empty. It soon filled up though and by the time we left there wasn’t a vacant seat in the house.
We started with the Ayeb Be-Gomen, a mixture of homemade cottage cheese, collard greens, herbs and spices. The dish was flavorful and bright, with a nice kick that built as you ate more of it. We also tried the vegetarian Sambosa, which consisted of seasoned lentils, onions, jalapeño peppers and spices wrapped in a thin dough and fried. This was the only part of the meal we didn’t eat with injera and as with the Ayeb Be-Gomen, it had tons of flavor and heat that built nicely as you ate it.
Fasika serves beef, lamb, poultry and fish dishes, but we opted for an all-vegetarian meal. We got the vegetarian combo, which allows you to select five dishes to try, and added the vegetable curry. This ended up being the standout dish of the evening, with a light, creamy curry sauce covering fresh vegetables like eggplant, squash and peppers. I continued eating this long after I was full, a testament to its deliciousness.
Another hit of the night was the Ye-Timatim Fitfit, a mixture of fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapeño peppers in a lemon vinaigrette dressing blended with injera. Served cold, this dish was light and fresh.
The other lentil and vegetable dishes we tried were warm and satisfying. And the only selection that we didn’t all love was the Ye-Gomen Wot, collard greens sautéed with onions and garlic. We felt it was a little too “green” tasting, but with so many other excellent selections, it was no matter.
To wash down this delightful meal, we sampled the honey wine, both the sweet and regular varieties. They were incredibly unique and went well with the spicier dishes. I sampled the Meta beer, which was light yet flavorful, providing a nice complement to the meal. Fasika also serves regular wine and draft beer.
As with many things in life, Fasika is well worth the trip off the beaten path. I especially recommend it on a chilly night when you want to tuck into something warm and comforting. And bring friends, one of the best parts of eating Ethiopian food is sharing the dishes and trying new things together.