Aksum: A Hidden Gem in West Philly

Apologies for the lack of posts as of late, readers.  After 2 weeks stuck in bed with the mother of all colds, I am finally well again, and doing some much-needed catch up on blogging before heading off to spring break.  Reflecting back on the many meals I’ve had over the past few months, one that continues to stand out in my mind is brunch at Aksum, a new(ish) Mediterranean BYO in West Philadelphia.

As a resident of West Philly, I think Aksum is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.  The space looks polished and new, brightening up an otherwise nondescript block of Baltimore Ave.  The Mediterranean-inspired menu is also very appealing, as are the BYO and hookah options.

But what really drew my friends and I to Aksum was the promise of brunch–with free mimosas, as advertised on a sign outside the restaurant.  And Aksum delivered on both those promises.

I ordered the shakshouka ($11), a Middle Eastern brunch dish that I’ve been dying to try.  Shakshouka features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, served with pita bread to soak up all the deliciousness.  I’m not yet a connoisseur of shakshouka, as this was my first taste of the dish, but I was expecting it to be much spicier.  I thought the sauce could have used some extra heat, and the eggs a little less cooking (as the yolks were powdery).  But overall, it was a pleasant, albeit mild introduction to shakshouka, a dish I hope to be having more of.

My friends ordered the egg mezze platter ($9) and the sweet corn griddle cakes ($13, not pictured).  The mezze platter looked very refreshing, and from the bites that I stole sampled from my friend, it tasted that way as well.  My other friend really enjoyed her sweet corn griddle cakes, which were not overwhelmingly sweet and came topped with a blueberry compote.  And best of all, the three of us were able to wash down our meals with delectable complimentary mimosas.

I will definitely be back for more mimosas, and perhaps for a BYO dinner and some hookah.  With an appealing menu, inviting atmosphere, and affordable prices, Aksum remains a hidden gem in West Philly–and hopefully with more buzz, it won’t be so hidden anymore.

Aksum
4630 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(267) 275-8195
Aksum on Urbanspoon

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