I wish I were interested in sports. It’d be fun to gather with friends at a neighborhood bar, cheer on your team, knock back a couple cold ones, and eat. If I ever try, the place will be Cottage Ethiopian Restaurant and the sport will be soccer.
One of the owners of this small restaurant with full bar is a former soccer star and his trophies are displayed at the mirrored bar. I’ve been to Cottage, on Piedmont at the edge of the Ansley neighborhood, a handful of times, but my recent visit was the most fun yet. On television, Barcelona battled Madrid, and the crowd of Ethiopian men watched intently, punctuating the action with cheers and groans. A few children were into light mischief, while their fathers were occupied. (Barcelona won!) It could have been a neighborhood bar anywhere in the world.
My friend Dave introduced me to Ethiopian food and this was the first place he took me. He always gets a warm reception here. The building could use some attention. The sign needs replacing and the drop ceiling is stained. But the place is always clean, the food tasty and authentic, the prices affordable, and the service is very good.
Cottage has a good heart. That’s more important than cosmetics.
We ordered Combo #3, for two ($25.50): Yebeg Wot (lamb stew), Doro Wot (a chicken stew, with hardboiled egg), Lega Tibs (spicy cubes of beef). We selected three vegetables: Ater Kik (yellow split pea), Gomen (collard greens) and Tikile Gomen (cabbage and carrots), plus salad and cheese. Items are mounded atop a large round of injera bread (which soaks up the flavors and is my favorite part of the meal). It’s eaten using more injera rather than a fork. We washed down the spicy food with Ethiopian beer (St George, $4).
If there’s any doubt of the food quality, the gentleman at the next table had driven from Birmingham just for dinner. He’d lived briefly in Ethiopia and said it was worth the 300-mile round-trip for authentic cuisine. Can there be a better compliment?
Vegetarians will find plenty to choose from. End your meal with Ethiopian coffee, buna, roasted in-house, or T’ej, Ethiopian Honey Wine. Live music.
Cottage Ethiopian Restaurant
1841 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30324
Mon – Sun, 11a – 1a
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