Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
Miami-Dade County has exactly one brick and mortar Ethiopian restaurant. And Awash, our solitary Ethiopian option, seems to understand this. The first pages of the menu read like an Intro To Ethiopian Cuisine textbook, giving context on the country, the river the restaurant is named after, and injera—the spongy flatbread that doubles as a utensil for scooping up the Ethiopian stews and tender vegetables you’ll find at the casual Miami Gardens restaurant. But let us be clear: Dinner at Awash is not just a field trip to learn about Ethiopian food. It’s a great restaurant worth visiting whether it’s your first or 500th time at an Ethiopian restaurant.
The food here is incredible. Chicken, beef, fish, and vegetables are beautifully spiced and stewed until peak tenderness has been reached. The best way to experience it all is via one of the Awash platters, which give you small portions of nine entrees along with rolls of tangy injera.
The family-run restaurant is perfect for a relaxing weeknight dinner. The service is warm and friendly, both to the regulars who seem to know everyone by name and for strangers walking in for the first time. Come here with friends, order the dangerously drinkable Ethiopian honey wine, and try not to feel upset that Miami is so lacking in Ethiopian options. Just be thankful we have Awash.
Taste of Awash
Ever wish you could just order a little bit of everything on the menu on a massive metal plate? The Taste of Awash platter brings that fantasy to life. Portions of all the vegetarian, beef, and chicken entrees are served in tiny piles atop an injera the size of a city bus’ steering wheel. Additional rolls of injera are placed atop so you can scoop up all the beautifully seasoned and spiced vegetables and meat.
Every meal at Awash should start with these crispy triangles, which you can order filled with either ground beef or a mixture of lentils, green pepper, and onion. They hit the table very hot, but if you bite little holes in two corners, you can blow out the steam like a little saxophone.
This is our favorite meat entree here. It's chicken slowly stewed in a dark red berbere sauce that has a lingering, peppery heat to it. The chicken practically slides off the bone when you pick it up, and it’s served with a hardboiled egg.
The asa goulash is our favorite seafood option here. The cubed fish is as perfectly cooked and tender as any fish we've ever tried, and it's served with a delicious assortment of onion, tomato, and green pepper. If you order this in addition to the Taste of Awash platter, you can ask them to include put it on the same plate, which makes for a feast you’ll daydream about for the rest of the month.
Unless you are trying to go to sleep within the next three hours, dinner at Awash should end with a coffee ceremony. They roast green coffee beans to order in the dining room. The coffee is brewed in a jebena, a traditional black ceramic pot, and then poured into small porcelain cups. The coffee itself is like the best espresso you’ll have with some subtle spice notes. It’s traditional to have it with sugar, but you can also ask the staff for a little nitter kibbeh (spiced butter) and salt, which is the very old-school way to enjoy this coffee.