Umana Restaurant & Wine Bar
236 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12210
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.
(Their other hours are irrelevant for Ethiopian food. As advertised on their website: Addis Ababa in Umana! Ethiopian fare offered every Friday & Saturday night!)
This is one of those restaurants that tries to offer items from all sorts of cuisines. No really. Their menu features samosas, “thai-style calamari,” Egyptian lo mein, Thai-style paella … and I have never tried any of them, given that they also seem pretty overpriced.
Anyway, twice a week on Fridays and Saturdays, they contract with someone (I’m pretty sure they are actually Ethiopian) local to Albany to make injera and a platter of assorted Ethiopian dishes which you can order for some absurd amount of money. If I recall, it was something like $18.
And they have a monopoly, because this is the only regularly available source of Ethiopian food (not made in your own kitchen) in Albany, New York. Buffalo and Rochester each have their own Ethiopian restaurants. Albany and Syracuse are both lacking, so Umana’s Friday/Saturday-only special is your only option.
The platter appears to feature doro wot, shiro (or maybe that’s kik alicha), gomen, the hardboiled eggs, a version of tikkil gomen/atakilt wot, yemesir wot, and timatim salad. There was definitely something in there that I couldn’t figure out what it was. It’s all on one piece of injera that seemed a bit thicker than usual, on a flat wooden plate.
It cost another $2 to order an individual injera roll.
The smile in this picture is one of both ecstasy for finally finding Ethiopian food in Albany, and pain, for the amount of money that suddenly disappeared from my wallet. At least you can’t say it’s a small portion.