By Ava Stryker-Robbins
When I think of my favorite Upper West Side restaurants, Awash at 107th and Amsterdam, is at the top of the list. The vibrant flavors of their Ethiopian dishes are some of the best the neighborhood has to offer.
Awash offers a variety of dishes served atop classic Ethiopian Injera bread — sourdough-like spongy flatbread. Meat options include lamb, beef, and chicken. Vegetarian platters are offered, with options including beets, string beans, lentils, mushrooms, yellow split peas, and more. Food is served on platters and eaten with your hands. You take a roll of Injera and grab a bite of food.
The lamb I typically order is called Beg Alicha, which is a lamb stew made without the fiery spice berbere. It is a buttery, hearty lamb, incredibly soft . With the Injera, the flavor combination is soothing, intriguing, and delicious.
Awash opened in 1994 with the goal of sharing Ethiopian cuisine with America, according to its website. Motivated by the city’s lack of Ethiopian restaurants, it brought traditional cooking techniques to New York. A generation later, Awash is continuing to fulfill its mission of introducing Ethiopian cuisine to new audiences, in addition to being a mainstay for regular patrons who return to this restaurant time after time. The staff at Awash is incredibly friendly, and they offer both indoor and outdoor dining options.
A sampler platter for one person is $19, for 2 people is $39, and for three people is $58 dollars.
The Dish: Sampler Platter With Beg Alicha Lamb and Vegetables
The Restaurant: Awash (947 Amsterdam Avenue at 107th Street)
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