Dinner at Asmara – 8 August 2018

My very old (as in long time), recently reunited friend C was in town with her husband J-P, and they arranged for us to have dinner at the Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant Asmara, in Oakland, with them, and also our local friends H&K. It was a lovely evening, and the food was delicious, and too plentiful! We decided to have the two combos – the veggie one and the meat one – and C also wanted to add one extra lamb dish. They kept bringing us more and more Injera – the bread that is both plate and eating utensil. D&I decided to try a carafe of honey wine, which was fun and went pretty nicely with the food, I thought. About zero alcohol, as far as we could tell, so no issues with driving.

Here are the dishes (copy/pasted from the online menu) that went into the veggie combo plate (which is what I would have ordered if on my own). They’re from about “6 o’clock” to about 8:30 on the plate. Starting from 6:00, I think these are #11, #8, #9 (duh), #10 duh again). I liked them all, but especially the red lentils in berebere and the yellow split peas.

  • 8.) Temtmo/Yemisr Watt:  Red lentil marinated in olive oil & stewed in berbere sauce, onions & garlic
  • 9.) Kik Alicha:  Yellow spilt peas cooked with fresh garlic, ginger, minced onion in a mild sauce
  • 10.) Ye-Gomen Alicia:  Fresh collard greens simmered in mild Asmara’s spice & herbs
  • 11.) Brown split peas:  Brown lentils cooked in a mild sauce

…and the meat combo plate (from about 10:00 to 12:30). At 10 was the beef, then lamb, then chicken. I liked the lamb best of these.

  • 3.) Ziggni/ Key Watt:  Strips of marinated beef cooked in berbere sauce & spice
  • 4.) Doro Watt:  Spicy tender chicken simmered in berbere sauce & spices served with a boiled egg
  • 5.) Ye-Beg Alicha:  Cubes of lamb stewed with curry, onions, garlic & spices

… and I’m pretty sure this was the extra lamb dish, which takes up the right third of the plate.

  • 19). Yebeg Tibs (not spicy):  Boneless strips of tender lamb simmered with onions, butter & mild spices

Each dinner, says the menu, comes with a very tasty salad (which appeared in the center of the mega-plate) and veggies (potatoes and carrots in three places, separating the three orders from each other). We had one of the pictured mega-plates for each half the table. Nobody but me was interested in the leftovers, so I brought home one package for D&me, and gave the second to R&E.

Didn’t take a picture of the honey wine in its half-carafe but it was a nice, honey color 🙂


We had a couple slices of the center from the Acme Sweet Round loaf from I think last week, and I suggested we make that into two small BLTs for lunch, which D thought was a great idea. We have brand new Dirty Girl dry-farmed early girls (used only one for this!), and there was a small bit of lettuce in the fridge – one of the kinds with fingery leaves, not a Romaine – and we had bacon left from the time I made BLTs for dinner (Niman Ranch Hickory Smoked Uncured bacon, from the Bowl). I cooked up six half-slices of bacon, starting with bacon grease I saved from previous times in the fridge b/c it cooks more evenly that way, and defrosted the bread in the toaster oven, and made the sandwiches. I stuck a SWA red-heart skewer into D’s sandwich to hold it together, but couldn’t find a second one, unfortunately. D suggested just using one of the little metal things we use to hold turkeys closed after stuffing them, so I did that. I thought it was cute 🙂 I had also bought a small tub of shishitos from Woodleaf, (along with peaches, of course) b/c I remembered we had an aging ear of corn in the fridge. D cooked those up. The corn was well past its prime but still enjoyable enough, and the shishitos were their usual wonderful selves.



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