Utah Eats: Eat with your hands at this SLC restaurant

Two events for International Womens Day; Crumbl ventures into pies.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Vegetarian sambusas, photographed at Oromian on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

This article is reprinted from the Utah Eats newsletter, compiled by Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune’s food and drink reporter. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday, become a subscriber by going to sltrib.com/newsletters.

Hello, Eaters!

I have always wanted to try Ethiopian food, and I’ve heard good things about Oromian, at 1522 S. State St. in Salt Lake City, so I thought I’d check it out.

My dining companion and I went on a Saturday evening and were quickly seated, which gave us the chance to look at the beautiful wooden tables, African art on the walls, and traditional mesob cooking baskets placed around the room.

We started our meal with the vegetarian sambusas ($4, pictured above) — fried pastries filled with lentils, onion, spices and diced jalapeno peppers. The spices did magical things to those lentils, which were very flavorful and slightly creamy. The sambusas paired well with my beverage, a honey-based drink called berze ($3, pictured below), which tasted like a nonalcoholic mead and looked like a potion in the bottle it came in.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A bottle of berze, photographed at Oromian on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

For the main course, we decided to share our meal and got the two-person “ultimate platter” (more on that below), which came with two beef dishes and a variety of vegetarian items.

One important aspect of Ethiopian dining: No utensils are used. Instead, all the food is served on a thin, spongy flatbread called budenaa (also called ingera), made from barley, rice and wheat flour and fermented overnight, according to the menu. Each person is also given a basket of budenaa, and you’re expected to tear off small pieces of the flatbread and use those to scoop up your food.

The experience of not only sharing a meal but also eating it with my hands was very homey and intimate. When you visit Oromian, bring someone you love.

Live deliciously,


Food News

• Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with two different events. The first, an international dinner and market hosted by Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources (PIK2AR), will be held at the Salt Lake County Government Center, at 2001 S. State St., Salt Lake City, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.

The second, hosted by Proper Brewing, at 857 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, will be a special Ladies Night from 6 to 9 p.m. that will raise money for Planned Parenthood, Equality Utah and The Refuge Utah. The featured beverage of the night will be Frau Kolsch, brewed in partnership with women-run Pink Boots Society Utah. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online.

(Corner Bakery Cafe) A stack of Corner Bakery Cafe's buttermilk pancakes.

• Corner Bakery Cafe is offering stacks of all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes for $5.99 starting on National Pancake Day — that was Wednesday — and going through March 31. Pancake lovers can also enter a sweepstakes to win free pancakes for a year.

• Dessert chain Crumbl has acquired Crust Club, a Utah pie shop specializing in sweet and savory pies, as well as family meals like soups, pasta dishes and casseroles, according to a news release. As part of the change, the South Logan Crumbl store will transition into the first franchise of Crust Club, where the business will eventually serve ready-to-bake meals, the release said. For updates, follow Crumbl on Instagram at @crumblcookies.


• Houston TX Hot Chicken is holding a grand opening for its new Lehi location, at 1085 E. Main St., on Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m, according to a news release. The event will feature a spicy food challenge, complimentary sandwiches and more. Locations of Houston TX Hot Chicken are also coming to Fashion Place, Salt Lake City’s 9th & 9th neighborhood and St. George, the release said.


• Fast-casual Hawaiian restaurant Side of Aloha will be closing its Draper location in March and moving to South Jordan — specifically, 11580 S. District Main Drive, in The District, according to a news release. The new location, which is slated to open this summer, will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner, the release said, and feature a poke and musubi bar.

Dish of the Week

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The two-person "ultimate platter," photographed at Oromian on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

The two-person “ultimate platter” at Oromian is really more like eight dishes, if you include all of the different entrees composed on the flatbread, but I’m counting it as the singular Dish of the Week since it’s one big experience.

I’m an omnivore, so I was surprised to find that I actually preferred the vegetarian dishes to the ones containing meat. My favorite was the kikkii alicha, which is yellow split peas cooked with oil, onions and mild herbs, according to the menu. Next to the kikkii alicha was the dimaa, a bright-red beet-and-potato dish that was delicious when scooped up with the yellow split peas.

My other favorite dish was the kochee misira, which is lentils simmered with berbere red pepper sauce and seasoned with garlic, ginger root and serrano peppers. I was blown away by the rich flavors that the chef could coax out of these legumes, and I savored their hidden depths.

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