Johnna’s Pick of the Week: Abol (Silver Spring, Maryland)

[ 0 ] January 7, 2010 |

If you don’t know by now, we have a serious fetish for Ethiopian food. It is all around the District and we could probably say this is the Ethiopian food capital of the United States. Injera, tibs and Doro Wat are some of the most familiar names you will find on any Ethiopian menu. Ironically, the Injera is what we are fascinated with…we know, we know, why the bread?? It’s just something about the thin, spongy base of many Ethiopian dishes that we love wrapping perfectly seasoned veggies which mesmerizes our taste buds. We say “You eat with your eyes first” and that’s probably why we are always delighted when they place the huge round tray in front of us with injera as the base and veggies/beef/lambs circling the dish almost like the numbers on a clock. We are in love.

It was our recent trip over to Silver Spring in search of a cute wig (*Yes, we love a good wig every now and then, it allows us to evolve our look without the commitment to a hair cut…), we stumbled upon Abol. Now we thought we had heard, ate or at least glimpsed at every Ethiopian restaurant in the area but obviously we had failed to check out our suburban neighbor Silver Spring. Abol: simple but cute, cheap but soo good. Since we are venturing into territory that is quite new to our palate (*Ethiopian food), we like to try everything on the menu which makes us a sucker for the combination platters. The vegetarian platter delighted our senses with lentils that were spiced enough for us to get a little teary eyed (*remember we are not spicy eaters…but if you are, it would tickle your fancy), collards that were cooked just right (*it made us rethink our own recipe…) and beets (*we love just about anything with beets. Enough said.). Abol, unlike other area restaurants, however, does not serve the food in the typical circular layout. The injera has its own basket and the food is served in some semi-fancy white plates and bowls. Cute.

For a vegetarian or a total carnivore, Abol will keep you happy. There’s a meat combination of Doro Wat (*chicken stew in bebere sauce), Yebeg We’t (*lamb stew in a red pepper sauce) and collards to get some veggies in there. The store front is almost incognito and it was actually the little sign in front that caught our eye which was advertising about a special the restaurant was hosting. Though the blink of an eye might make you miss the restaurant, once you have a bite the restaurant will stand out like a big flashing red light the next time you’re in the neighborhood…

Abol on Urbanspoon

Category: Johnna's Pick of the Week, restaurant reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna Rowe is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Washington, DC and North Carolina. All three places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. Rowe, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. Rowe has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9 and WJLA’s News Channel 8.

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