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“Great atmosphere, delicious food”
Review of Aksum Cafe

Aksum Cafe
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Ranked #437 of 4,459 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 47th
Transit: 34st SEPTA
Reviewed 6 May 2013

Staff was friendly and fast. BYO: we brought a bottle of pinot grigio and it went well enough with the food. We had the tofu pil-pil and orzo arabiatta with salmon. Both were delicious, and the portions generous.

Outdoor seating and airy, comfortable indoor space. Definitely returning soon.

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1  Thank Rebecca F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (52)
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44 - 48 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2013

Aksum, another neighborhood joint, is a small ~12 table establishment located a couple blocks from Clark Park. Its name is derived from the Aksumite Empire that covered Eritrea, Yemen, Saudia Arabia, and other present day countries...or at least that's what the "About Aksum" says on the menu.

I'm not a big fan of Mediterranean food as I find it rather bland compared to the more powerful spices that are infused into other cuisines like those found in Latin America and Southeast Asia. And I don't like olives! But, I thought I'd give this a shot as it's in the neighborhood.

The decor and atmosphere at Aksum is not "high end" but certainly much higher end than most of the other restaurants in the Cedar Park area (the only comparable restaurant in this regard is Vietnam Cafe, which is a 60 second walk away). The prices are also adjusted accordingly. The question I had was - are the flavors and the service worth the higher price tag? Maybe.

The rosemary grilled chicken was plated beautifully, and the chicken breast marinated in the house's rosemary sauce was super tender. The olive pine nut tapenade that was layered on top of the chicken had a strong, bold flavor. The garlic mashed potatoes, however, was bland and blah. I wouldn't have known they were garlic mashed potatoes had I not been told there was garlic in them. The grilled asparagus were grilled asparagus.

For the entire restaurant, there was only one waitress. This seemed about right when I first walked in as the place was only at 20% capacity. But, when it started reaching 80% capacity, the waitress definitely had more on her plate than she could handle in a timely manner. It took 15 minutes from asking for my check to actually receiving it...and then another 5 minutes to get my credit card back. A third of an hour gone.

Aksum uses Square for credit card payments, and I was surprised when they brought out an iPad. I thought I had won something, but they just wanted my autograph.

Thank mcolt06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

A friend took me to this little place in his neighborhood and it was a delightful surprise!
Friendly server, great food! Nice atmosphere! The soup du jour we had was really really good. I'd go back just for that! I went back another time, and they didn't have that particular soup,but gave each of us a complimentary cup of their lentil and mushroom soup and BOTH were great!

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Thank freshfocusphotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

My husband took me here for valentines day, it was a lovely experience. The food was a prix fix menu and it was a 3 course meal. I had lamb steak that was perfectly cooked, a tomato bisque soup that was spicy,creamy and delish! The atmosphere was dark and quiet, which suited the evening. It was a small cafe but really well designed to accommodate the space. The bathroom was nice, clean and well maintained. I would go again and try the normal menu offerings.

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Thank Razzaam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

On two recent visits to Philly I ate at Askum three times ! Dinner was the shrimp phi phi and black jasmine rice. It was spicy delicious nutty and beautiful! Then, I tried some of my husbands smoky mashed potatoes and they were to die for...I kept sneaking some off of his plate! Next evening I had the fish special with asparagas and a creamy risoto...yummy and pretty ! Then, the Sunday brunch I had the salmon crepes pictured on the right and they were simply beyond delicious...smoky flavor with a sweet relish in a light crepe with crunchy glaxzed walnuts and fresh berries.....I only wish I did not have to travel back to my home city without having tried everything on the menu. So, run, don't walk to Aksum and enjoy an amazing ambiance, wonderful servers, a talented chef and a creative owner...this place is top notch !!!!

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1  Thank Barbaraandted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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