South Seattle’s Ethiopian community has long thrived in neighborhoods like Rainier Beach, but North Seattle is a somewhat-newer area Ethiopians call home. In Pinehurst, at the north end of Seattle, you will find the hub of this ever-growing community: Jebena Cafe and its neighboring grocery store.
In this episode of Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon talks to siblings Martha Seyoum and Menge Ayele, who co-own both spaces. At the center of the offerings here is a warming injera — a perfected sourdough flatbread with a texture often defined as spongy. It’s a staple of Ethiopian cuisine, served with “toppings” such as beef and tilapia tibs, spinach, and kitfo, ground beef cooked in a berbere sauce and seasoned with chilies. “We do everything from our heart,” says Ayele. “That always pays off.”