Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant – Healthy Plant-based Dining In Knoxville, Tennessee

Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant
3609 Sutherland Avenue
Knoxville, TN e7919
(865) 544-4475

Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant

by Danielle Busssone




On one of our pilgrimages to Knoxville to visit the Apple Store and the most wonderful Asian market EVER (Sunrise Market on Kingston Pike), we discovered a restaurant we have somehow missed on previous visits to this bustling city. Gosh is one of the few family-owned restaurants in Knoxville where you can find a healthy, plant-based meal without the bother of a litany of questions. Ethiopia has a long history of religious fasting days in which no animal protein is allowed, so whenever you order vegetarian at an Ethiopian restaurant, vegan is what you get. You can count on that!




The menu offers individual stews a la carte from $7.99 to $8.99 each or you can opt for a vegetarian (actually vegan) four dish option from the vegetarian menu, plus a salad for $9.99. Finally, there is the option of six vegetarian dishes plus salad for $11.99.


We chose the six veggie combination plate including Kik Alicha (mild pureed yellow split peas seasoned with onions and turmeric), Yemiser Wot (red split lentils cooked in a uniquely Ethiopian spice blend called Berbere), Yemiser Alicha (red split lentils cooked in a mild sauce of onion, garlic and curry), Tikil Gomen (a mild stew of carrots, potato and cabbage), Gomen ( a mild stew of collard greens cooked with onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers), Shurro Wot (ground split peas cooked in Berbere spice blend with onions and fresh garlic), as well as a house salad. This is served with a special flatbread native to Ethiopia called Injera, made from teff, a highly nutritious grain that is fermented to give the bread its unique sourdough flavor. It’s texture is somewhere between a crepe and a pancake and it is used not only as the lining of your plate, upon which the various stews are placed, but will also serve as your utensils. To eat Ethiopian food, unroll a piece of injera and pinch a portion of the stew within the folds of your injera. Then just pop it into your mouth!



What sets Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant apart from other Ethiopian restaurants we’ve visited is that the chef uses very little oil, making it a far healthier option than most. And for Knoxville, it is the healthiest restaurant overall that we’ve found to date. This being said, as far as the flavor is concerned, both Rich and I felt there was not enough distinction between the flavors of each dish. Ethiopian cuisine is a balance between spicy and mild, and chewy, soft and crisp textures. Yemiser Wot should have a distinctly spicy flavor, as should the Shurro Wot, yet they were nearly as mild as the Kik Alicha. If the Tikel Gomen contained potatoes and carrots, we did not find them. It was basically stewed cabbage. Still, it was a very satisfying meal we could enjoy without guilt and the injera was among the best we’ve had.




I suspect Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant has tamed the infamous spiciness of their dishes to cater to the more staid American palate, especially the Southern palate, unaccustomed to the fiery flavors of the African continent. I find that I have to do that myself when preparing food for guests who do not have a penchant for heat. For me, the important questions that must be answered before I recommend an establishment is: 1- Is the food healthy? and 2-Does it taste good?  Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant receives a resounding YES! to both.


If you want to enjoy healthy plant-based food without worry, Gosh is a restaurant you will certainly enjoy. We plan to make it a regular stop when traveling in the Knoxville area.

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle creates recipes and cooking demonstrations, writes restaurant reviews, and conducts interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!” and is currently working on a series of cookbooks featuring healthy plant-based cuisine from around the world.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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