In a quiet corner tucked behind the infamous Cook Out in Five Points, the Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant is waiting to give consumers a delicious experience of traditional Ethiopian food from a country halfway around the world.
Upon entering, the restaurant is adorned with Ethiopian decorations and paintings. Containing both a bar area and plenty of tables, the restaurant is able to accommodate large parties as well as small groups and solitary diners.
Ethiopia, a country that sits on the eastern part of Africa, is well-known as the birthplace of coffee, but is less commonly associated with its unique dining experience.
The menu of Harambe includes a variety of vegetarian stews and delicious meats cooked in popular spices. The vegetarian platter includes gomen, or collard greens, kik alicha, or split peas, misir wot, or lentils cooked with spices, as well as cabbage potatoes and carrots, to be eaten with the injera flatbread. This assortment is served on a giant platter on top of injera, surrounded by rolls of the beloved flatbread.
Injera, or “spongebread,” is torn and used to to pick up wot, or heavily spiced stews of vegetables and meats. Injera is made from a grass called teff, which is fermented before being baked into large circles that are similar to thick crepes and taste of dark bread. Teff is extremely nutritious, containing all the amino acids necessary to be a complete protein and is high in iron, calcium and fiber, making it a dream food for vegetarians.
The principal seasoning, berbere, is dark red in color and tastes very similar to curry, with a hint of spice reminiscent of chili powder. It is made of a mixture of spices containing dried chiles, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
Other entrees of beef and chicken include alatcha wot, or curried beef stew, and tibs of chicken, beef and fish, which are marinated pieces of tender meat. Ethiopian coffee is roasted, ground and brewed within the restaurant, creating a unique coffee experience.
The location of the restaurant is ideal, situated on 2006 Senate Street, perfect for USC students and members of the Columbia community. The restaurant is a great choice for a unique lunch or an exceptional late night dinner. The Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant should be visited by all in the Columbia area to experience a uniquely cultural dining experience.