The menu at Saviour’s Cafe and Bistro is relatively compact, with a few pizza options, sandwiches and paninis, and a half dozen classic Ethiopian dishes

By Mariam Ibrahim (Edmonton Journal) |

Walking through the doors of Saviour’s Cafe and Bistro, you’re first greeted by the aroma of dishes simmering for hours, the kind of scent that instantly awakens your appetite.

The restaurant is an interesting intermingling of Ethiopian restaurant and Italian cafe, with specialty coffee, paninis, Italian Center pastries and other light lunch fare offered alongside traditional Ethiopian dishes.

Somehow the marriage works, and had me and my dining partner spending the better part of two hours there on a recent lazy Sunday.

Our visit on a bright afternoon allowed us to take advantage of the many windows lining the cafe’s perimeter, settling into a table awash in a sunbeam.

The cafe’s owner, Solomon, or Solo as he is better known, opened the space last November. He’s a fixture in the cafe, busy in the back and front of the house, always stopping to exchange a few words with customers as he moves between tables.

The menu is relatively compact, with a few pizza options, sandwiches and paninis, and a half dozen classic Ethiopian dishes, all served the traditional way in a communal tray with plenty of injera, a sticky sourdough flatbread, with a slightly sticky texture.

Having been drawn by the Ethiopian fare, we opted to try the vegetarian platter ($14.99), along with the Chahcha tibs ($17.99), a medley of chopped sirloin, black pepper and onion, cooked in a spicy butter.

The menu doesn’t offer much by way of appetizers so we went with a bowl of small chicken soup ($5.50), a velvety broth full of diced chicken, potatoes and carrots.

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