Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


Abinet Family Restaurant and Catering

Warm and casual Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.

Vegetable Combo. Alan Schietzsch

Abinet Family Restaurant and Catering
9642 107 Ave.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, Sat. & Sun.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

McCauley residents might remember a little restaurant called “No Name” nestled behind Lucky 97. It closed when COVID hit, and a new jewel has sprung up in the location.

Abinet Restaurant (pronounced like “cabinet” without the “c”) is run by a charming fellow of the same first name, who opened his Ethiopian and Eritrean family restaurant last April. Wanting to explore a variety from the eight page menu, we came in a group of five, and were happy to see that there were several large tables suitable for family groups as well as smaller tables for one or two. The clean and bright space is decorated with Ethiopian embroidery tablecloths, colourful woven baskets, and it’s easy to get to by walking or bus, as well as having street parking right in front.

Abinet and his family welcomed our group in a very warm and casual style, with no reservations needed. Mentioning that we’d never visited before, he told us that he had run a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda about 10 years back, before finally landing in Edmonton. His experience shows: as well as having such a wide menu, his staff’s service was very accommodating to all our group’s different requests, and food showed up fairly quickly for such a large and varied order.

Ethiopian food is eaten by scooping up morsels of food with pieces of pancake-like injera bread, but two of our group were more comfortable using forks and plates, which the staff were happy to quickly supply. Because one of our diners doesn’t eat bread, we tried Ruze be Doro, a very mild chicken-on-rice dish that arrived on a huge oval platter. If you like it tangy, Abinet will give you a container of Awaze (pronounced a-wa-zee), a spicy thick sauce made with not just chiles, but also mustard seeds and berber spices, which had heat and an amazing depth of flavour. Be sure to try it. When we asked about this remarkable flavour, Abinet pulled out his phone to show us a video of how it’s made.

Next, the vegetable combo arrived, with five different items on the injera bread. It could be an entire meal in itself for vegetarians. The generous portions continued with Misto, a spicy lamb (or you can choose beef) stew, and Lega Tibs: lamb cubes with onions and peppers, seasoned with herbs. The seasoning was the best I’ve had at any Ethiopian restaurant, with rosemary adding subtle depth instead of being garlic-dominated.

Our absolute favourite was the Derek Tibs, which had sprigs of rosemary amongst the meaty chunks of barbecued grilled beef, accented by Senafich, which is like a Texas barbecue rub powder, blending hints of mustard and chili dusted on the grilled meat.

For drinks, try the coffee ceremony, where freshly roasted beans are still smoking as they arrive, and it’s prepared at the table alongside the traditional Ethiopian incense. There are also regular fruit juices and soda pop for the kids, as well as tea and Perrier water. Abinet is a comfortable place for families, and our senior mom was warmly treated.

Prices are very reasonable: all five of us enjoyed a delicious and enormous meal, with four containers left over for the next day’s lunches, for about $100. What a value – real quality food for $20 a person. We’ll be back again with friends, or before if we start craving the lip-smacking Derek Tibs again – I know it won’t be long!

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

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