Either the cook here is better than any at Ethiopian restaurants or the food is very different, because although the food is similar, this place outshines the Ethiopians. Eritrea is a teeny country on the southern border of Ethipia and I understand they aren't very compatible.
The spices are subtle - cumin, cinnamon, cloves and things we couldn't identify. The foul, a staple, doesn't leave the fava beans whole as in Turkish foul, but pulverizes them, adds spices and is served with garnishes of chopped bermuda onion, diced tomato and sharp cheese. They make an excellent tea from herbs available in the grocery next door. Tastes great iced.
Cafe Wieni is owned by a couple and has been open just a few months. Although it's in a seedy strip mall off of 15th Ave. NE at around 130th, once you enter, the Italian decor, marvelous smells and African music make you feel like you've travelled much further.
Go north on 15th NE from Northgate Way about 1/2 mile. As you enter a business district on your right, you pass a large Ethiopian restaurant and the white strip mall with Cafe Wieni on the opposite end is about a block further - also on the right. Closed Tuesday.
The first Eritrean restaurant in Seattle!