After my beloved Abay closed back in 2013, I knew it was time to finally try out the “other” Ethiopian restaurant here in Pittsburgh (ironically enough the two were only situated a block apart from each other, if you can believe it). Well, for some reason it would take me another two years to finally get there. But that I did back in the fall. And let me just say it was worth the wait.
Although you wouldn’t know it from the street, Tana occupies quite a large space. Its decor is simple but does have a smattering of what I’m assuming are articles from Ethiopia. We were there shortly after it opened on a Saturday night and so it was definitely more on the dead side, but it’s been around for years now so I know it’s clearly successful.
My knowledge of Ethiopia is somewhat non-existent but not only do they have their own beer, there are multiple options. D ended up trying the Hakim stout, which he enjoyed.
We split an order of the Sambusa ($3.50) which were available in either beef, chicken, or lentil filling. We went with the beef and enjoyed their light taste.
And an Ethiopian meal wouldn’t be complete without the ubiquitous injera, which is what white rice is to most of the Asian countries. It’s also what I like to call “spongy bread.” In Ethiopian cuisine, injera takes the place of cutlery-you use it to scoop up the food on the plate.
While you can order a la carte at Tana, with everyone in your party ordering his or her own main dish, part of the fun of dining at an Ethiopian restaurant is the communal style eating, in other words ordering a combination sampler. You can either go the vegetarian route ($14 per person) or the Tana sampler ($20 per person); both options allow you to pick and choose five of the meat or vegetable dishes. If you’ve never eaten Ethiopian food, this is a great way to be introduced to the delicious cuisine.
We selected the Fossolia (green beans and carrots), butcha (cold chickpea salad), doro wat (chicken), tano tibs (lamb), and yesaga tibs (beef). Everything was truly delicious and we had more than enough for leftovers.
I really enjoyed my first visit to Tana and have no doubt I will be back again in the near future. At least in a city like Pittsburgh, Ethiopian food is still on the more unique and limited side, so dining here was a real treat.
5929 Baum Boulevard | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | 15206