Restaurant Reviews --> St. Yared Ethopian Cuisine
St. Yared Ethopian Cuisine & Coffeehaus
Something Different at Geist
Now for something really unusual...last fall we discovered a new restaurant on Fall Creek near Brooks School Road called St. Yared...probably the last thing you would expect in Geist's far northeast corner of Indianapolis...an Ethiopian restaurant. The product of a Lilly retiree of Ethiopian descent, Haile Abebe and his wife, Etenesh, is a result of the couple wanting to recreate the dishes and culture of their native Ethiopia. We have thoroughly enjoyed every one of our three visits there, just for the exotic uniqueness of flavors in a non-traditional dining experience.
To me, Ethiopian is a mysterious cuisine that I had only had once in Bloomington in the late '80s...spiciest shrimp I have ever tasted. I suspect that St. Yared is more authentic, embracing the true communal nature of Ethiopian cuisine that the very engaging Haile will explain to every neophyte diner as he welcomes customers to the cuisine that his wife prepares in the kitchen. It seems that there is spiritual, almost mystic component that dominates the sharing of food in Ethiopian culture.
The atmosphere is welcoming and embraces the culture of Ethiopia, with photographs of the native land and people, and features some small alcoves and a private room for diners. You are greeted with aromas of spice in a simple, but comfortable environment. And we experienced great service on the last two of our visits from our server, Paige.
The traditional fare is eaten off a bed of Injera, a spongy bread that is served underneath and along with the food, that you tear off in chunks and use as your utensils. The meals we have shared and enjoyed have been served on large platters of Injera...we confess on our three visits, we have always ordered the combination platters instead of individual entrees. The cuisine is based primarily on heavily spiced, braised meat and vegetable dishes called "Wots" or stews that are spooned onto the bed of Injera.
Our combination included Doro Wot, the only dish for which we asked for forks, chicken drumsticks stewed in spicy berbere sauce with ginger root, Ye-Siga Tibs, beef which was braised in onions, peppers, and jalapeno. This also included Ye-beg Wot, marinated lamb cooked with onion, garlic, ginger and a spicy sauce. And for an extra $3.75, we added a serving of Ye-beg Alicha, a spicier lamb dish. The combination also included two vegetarian dishes and we chose the Ye-Misir Wot, red lentils simmered with berbere sauce, onions, garlic and ginger, and Ye-Dinish Ena Carrot Alicha, potatoes and carrots stewed with onion, garlic, ginger & turmeric, that makes for some very yellow potatoes.
This sounds like complicated cuisine, but it is really very simple, and very good... just tear off pieces of bread, pick up pieces of meat and vegetables, and enjoy, delicious.
Whatever you order, don't miss the Doro Wot chicken, the Ye-siga Alicha beef and especially, the spicy Ye-Misir Wot lentils. They are are worth the price of admission, which is amazingly low. Our combination platter, with the extra lamb, was $19 for two. We almost felt guilty. And the wine list, while not tremendously creative is adequate, since it has been heavily sourced from one of Indiana's best, fine-wine distributors, Carroll Wine & Spirits. We enjoyed a bottle of Milbrandt Columbia Valley Merlot, for only $27.
Come on...be adventurous...something this unique and really delicious is worth a visit, and let's support interesting local restaurants.
11210 Fall Creek Road
Fishers, IN 46037
March 26, 2014