Muzita Abyssinian BistroUniversity Heights restaurant serves a different kind of comfort.

My mother always told me not to play with my food. Of course, my mother is neither Ethiopian nor Eritrean, and there were no local restaurants featuring those cuisines during my childhood. If there had been, she probably would have played with the food herself. And so it was that we ended up, my mother and me, at Muzita Abyssinian Bistro (4651 Park Blvd. in University Heights), an upscale Eritrean / Ethiopian restaurant in University Heights, to celebrate her birthday and play with our food.

The cuisines of Abyssinia (Eritrea and Ethiopia)—two countries locked in embrace and sharing common history and culture—are similar. The primary differences are that the lower elevations and coastline of Eritrea lead to a somewhat lighter cuisine incorporating more seafood. There is also this: Where Eritrea was colonized by Italy, Ethiopia is the only African country never colonized. Read more