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Apr 2, 2007 11:40 PM

Aster's Ethiopian - now open!

I've seen various inquiries about Ethiopian food in Austin, and Aster's is finally open.

It's on I-35, just north of Dean Keeton, on the southbound side.

I haven't tried Aster's dishes that she sells (sold?) at the farmer's market, but when I saw that the restaurant was open, we did a u-turn to check it out. It was opening night, so I won't presume to give a full critique, but it was a pleasant space, with a good-size outdoor patio (screened off from the highway).

The food was all terrific. We had a combination plate, 3 meats and 3 veg. As far as I can remember, we tried the lamb in curry sauce, beef cubes in berbere sauce, and chicken (doro watt?). Our vegs included collard greens, curried lentil stew, and mixed vegetable stew.

I've only had Ethiopian before in NYC, and I was sorry not to see some of my favorite dishes from there at Asters, especially on the veg side (half the choices available are variations on lentils), but everything we had was really tasty and nicely cooked.

They were generous with the injera, too, and provided cutlery without being asked, in case you are unfamiliar/uncomfortable with stews as finger food.

Sorry for the short and superficial write-up, but as I said, I wouldn't feel fair doing a full critique of a restaurant's first night.

If you have any curiosity, it's definitely worth checking out. You might try calling ahead to see if it's BYOB (definitely no wines or beer on the menu, but I don't know the laws around here).

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  1. wonderful news, thanks for the early report. I hope they can get enough business in that location.

    1. Good news, I used to go to her place over on Rundberg back in the day and the food was always top notch. Looking forward to checking out the new digs.

      1. I brought a group here last night and the food was great. Best Ethiopian I have had. We ordered a meat each and they brought two veggies sides for each so we basically had all the veggies on the menu. A feast. It was all good. Especially the spicy lamb. It is BYOB, and they were very happy to bring glasses. The decor is a bit bright, but the patio is nice and a little more comfortable. It's a family business so you'll be served by the daughters or other family members. Go eat here now cause it would be a shame to lose this restaurant. Every great city needs Injera!!!

        1. We went last night, and found it satisfying. It's definitely worth going if you are in Austin and craving Ethiopian food, or if you have never had it before. The doro watt chicken was a little hotter than I'm used to, the vegetable dishes were a little plainer, but everything was good. Two dishes were a pleasant amount for two people, and extra injera bread was served on request.

          1. Just got back from our first dinner there (we live in the neighborhood, so didn't mind driving five minutes thru the sleet), and I can echo the positive sentiments. The lamb (available for dinner, but not on the lunch menu, apparently) was luscious and the veggie combo (seven or eight different veggie dishes served family style on top of injera) was delicious. Service was friendly, and the place was *packed*. We got there at 8:35, 25 minutes before closing time, and the place was half-filled. (Judging by the high-brow conversations I half overheard, most of the customers were UT-related.) Within 15 minutes every table was taken. When we left at 9:40, 40 minutes after closing time, the place was still 2/3 full. Very encouraging.