Ethiopian eatery Addis Abeba brings communal cuisine to Richardson

Ethiopian food is eaten communally, with groups gathering around a plate of food. (Photos by Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ethiopian food is eaten communally, with groups gathering around a plate of food. (Photos by Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Ethiopian food is eaten communally, with groups gathering around a plate of food. (Photos by Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Image description
Tucked away in the Richardson Heights Shopping Center is one of only a few Ethiopian restaurants in the city. Addis Abeba, which opened in 2006, offers authentic food from Ethiopia, a landlocked country on the eastern edge of Africa.

Owner Eizet Hussien purchased the restaurant from a relative in 2017. He immigrated to the United States in 2000 after a border conflict between Ethiopia and its neighbor nation, Eritrea, made it dangerous for Ethiopians with familial ties to Eritrea to remain in Ethiopia. Hussien’s father is from Eritrea, and his mother is from Ethiopia, he said.

Hussien worked as a hardware engineer at Toshiba before he developed his own point of sales systems, which he sold to restaurants in the Dallas area. Upon becoming owner of Addis Abeba, Hussien made some tweaks to the menu, but for the most part, he said, it looks the same as it has for 15 years.

Menu items at Addis Abeba include the hallmarks of Ethiopian cuisine, including shiro, a chickpea curry; kitfo, a spiced steak tartar made from lean ground beef; and doro wot, which is a chicken leg in a red pepper sauce. All dishes are served with injera, a sponge-like flatbread that doubles as a utensil.

Food in Ethiopia is eaten communally. As one of nine children, Hussien said he and his family would gather around a plate of food every meal, often inviting neighbors and friends to eat with them. This element of his culture was dampened during the pandemic, when sharing food was discouraged.


“Most people don’t eat by themselves,” he said. “I was surprised by how [Ethiopia] managed it—it’s a very dense community.”

COVID-19 was crippling for Addis Abeba, Hussien said. The restaurant still owes thousands in rent and was forced to shut down for the entire month of January when Hussien and his staff became infected with the virus.

Despite these challenges, Hussien remains optimistic. He said he believes business will pick up again over the next few months. In the meantime, he has installed touchless features in the restrooms and a new air purifier to make customers feel more comfortable.

“I hope people come back once they are vaccinated,” he said. “It’s been tough, but we are surviving.”

Addis Abeba

100 S. Central Expressway, Ste. 65, Richardson

972-480-0100

www.addisabebarestaurant.com

Hours: Wed.-Mon. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Tue.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Junbi drink.
Junbi Matcha & Tea's new Richardson location is first in Texas

The business sells a variety of different matcha and loose-leaf tea drinks, espresso, rice balls and merchandise.

Get to know the candidates in the race for Richardson City Council Place 6. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Candidate Q&A: Two candidates enter runoff for Richardson City Council Place 6

On June 5, Richardson voters can head to the polls to cast a ballot in a runoff election for City Council's Place 6 seat.

Early voting location.
Richardson saw 12.52% voter turnout for spring election

Voters selected City Council members, Richardson ISD board members and approved the school district’s $750 million bond package.

Building.
Plano ISD to lift face mask requirement for 2021-22 school year

Plano ISD will make face masks optional at all district campuses, facilities and events in the fall.

Building
State Farm hiring 1,500 new employees, including at regional hub in Richardson

Due to record growth for the company, State Farm is adding the new employees to help customers with claims, according to a news release.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Salad and Go food.
Salad and Go to open Richardson location in June

Items are priced at the same cost as fast food to further the company's mission to make healthy food convenient and affordable, according to a release from Salad and Go.

(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Agencies seeking comment to improve North Texas biking trails

The Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Council of Governments are seeking public feedback to improve biking options throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.