Ethiopian food
September 12, 2005 10:19 PM   Subscribe

My friend and I are going to go check out an Ethiopian cuisine place tomorrow and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what we should try?

The only ethiopian cuisine I've had was from a friend, so I really don't know what to expect. What are everyone's favorite dishes that I might find at a typical ethiopian place and can you describe them a little?
posted by Slimemonster to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get the goddamned jama jama and plantains.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:22 PM on September 12, 2005

Chick peas and lamb on the gigantic tortilla like things. Spicy as hell, and tasty.
posted by atom128 at 10:24 PM on September 12, 2005

In SF at the ethiopian place on Haight, I would always get the vegetarian platter which was covered in 5-6 different vegetable sides, sort of like indian or thai food. The most tasty was a spicy mushroom thing that I don't know the name of, but it was totally amazing.
posted by mathowie at 10:27 PM on September 12, 2005

Here is an article by Chowhound's Jim Leff on eating Ethiopian food in Ethiopia. Or click here, for an article he was interviewed for about an Ethiopian restaurant here in Toronto. You have to pay for the article, I'm afraid.

My best suggestion is to put yourself in the waiter's hands. And if they do the coffee ceremony there, even better!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:28 PM on September 12, 2005

Skip lunch! It's delicious and in my experience i can't ever eat as much as i want because i am stuffed to the gills. I favor chicken wat, and I also like a spicy beef or pork dish, possibly gored-gored (?)

Be sure to order two or three veggie sides, they are super delish too. If possible, eat family style off one very large platter, and drink much beer!

oh now I'm hungry.

(Seattle peeps: eat at Queen Sheba on the Hill, it's the yummiest.)
posted by mwhybark at 10:33 PM on September 12, 2005

Best answer: Chicken Doro Wot is one of the most popular Ethiopian meat dishes. Basically, it's chicken simmered in a very rich mixture of butter, onions, garlic, and hot powder for hours, until the meat almost falls off the bone. The dish is hot and strong flavoured and (imho) heavenly, it's my favourite Ethiopian dish. It's served with a hard boiled egg on a sheet of injera, which is used to eat the chicken with. (You take a piece of the bread, wrap it around a bite of the chicken, and eat).

I also get the Ethiopian tea, which is black tea steeped with cinnamon stick, cloves, and whole cardamom pods, and served with sugar. Now I'm hungry!
posted by spinifex23 at 10:33 PM on September 12, 2005

Hey! you ARE a seattle peep!

Where are you eating?
posted by mwhybark at 10:34 PM on September 12, 2005

Best answer: Honey Wine!
posted by gramcracker at 10:35 PM on September 12, 2005

Oh - Seattle peeps: The intersection of 12th and Jefferson in First Hill has about 3 Ethiopian restaurants there, with a couple more merely blocks away. All of them are outstanding, with Blue Nile being my runaway favourite.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2005

Hey look!

Seattle Ethiopian Restaurant Review

"Created by the self-proclaimed "Veggie Combo" Ethiopian restaurant connoisseur queen herself," apparently 'Ms. Emenke,' whhich I believe is an Amharic name.

Here's a P-I review of Mesob, and here's one of Saba from the Weekly.

Can I come?
posted by mwhybark at 10:41 PM on September 12, 2005

Red lentils, red lentils, red lentils.

Sounds like we need a Seattle meetup at Queen of Sheba sometime soon.
posted by matildaben at 10:41 PM on September 12, 2005

Or Blue Nile...

We could eat at all the Ethiopian places around town! Like a tour!

But yes - the next meetup needs to happen at Queen of Sheba.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:47 PM on September 12, 2005


I'm a helper.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:53 PM on September 12, 2005

Second the suggestion of raw beef.
Maybe it's just me, but I think there's a bonus visceral delight in eating uncooked meat without the aid of utensils.
posted by juv3nal at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2005

Set your budget and then call ahead a couple days to talk to the chef. Sometimes you can get a good deal on a very special meal.
posted by mischief at 1:02 AM on September 13, 2005

If you love sourdough bread, get something made fit-fit (also spelled fir-fir or fin-fin). It has torn up pieces of injera mixed in with the meat and sauce. Do not eat the little green pepper unless you have a high tolerance for heat--it's dragon level. Get some of the homemade cottage cheese if they offer it. The honey wine is called tej; see if they have the cranberry flavor. Ethiopian is less messy than Moroccan because the bread is the utensil.
posted by brujita at 3:13 AM on September 13, 2005

Best answer: I second the recommendation to eat family style--they will give you 7 or 8 small dishes and a big pile of bread and you can just go to town. Just bring a list of everything mentioned here and see how many match up with the menu ;)

I was quite surprised the first time I went for Ethiopian in New York that the food was a lot less "scary" than I thought it would be--I'm no wuss when it comes to trying different things, but sometimes new cuisines can be a bit daunting, you know? But pretty much everything on an Ethiopian menu is "understandable" to a western palate.
posted by bcwinters at 6:48 AM on September 13, 2005

Whenever I mention eating Ethiopian food, I get OMG WHAT LIKE STICKS AND DIRT jokes.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:13 AM on September 13, 2005

I get "so like one grain of rice on a plate?" jokes.
It's my favorite cuisine, aside from Japanese. You will have tons of fun, Slimemonster!
posted by librarina at 8:28 AM on September 13, 2005

Just throwing out that it's a fantastic cuisine (that I was just recently introduced too), and definately try and get family style, because everything is OMG good.
posted by KirTakat at 8:31 AM on September 13, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. For the record, I think it's called Fasica in Columbia City. Anybody want to offer any more suggestions?
posted by Slimemonster at 11:47 AM on September 13, 2005

Minchet Abish (ground beef seasoned with berbera) with yogurt on the side... so simple, and... oh man, I need some.
posted by vers at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2005

Best answer: Every Ethiopian restaurant I've been to has some sort of "variety pack" option where you can sample a bunch of stuff. I usually get that and then whatever sides look especially interesting.
posted by Vidiot at 9:15 PM on September 13, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you all.My friend and I got the chicken doro wat and this sampler option. Absolutely delicious. Certainly not the last time we go there. We actually almost finished it too (supposedly for 4 people, but they don't know how college students eat). Honey wine was awesome too. Music - awesome. decor - awesome. Just a great experience and a great restaurant. It was called Awash ( i think it used to be called Fasica) in Columbia City on Edmunds St. Check it out.
posted by Slimemonster at 10:46 PM on September 13, 2005

So are you going to come to the meetup at Queen Sheba on 10/1?
posted by matildaben at 6:34 AM on September 14, 2005

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