Open daily for lunch and dinner
|#12. Mahibrawi ($12): A little bit of everything|
Strong, bitter, delicious coffee. Ethiopian Idol on TV. Large communal tables for families to sit and share with one another. And food with spices you're probably not used to.
If bland-tasting food is your thing -- and I know it is for many of us -- Ethiopian cuisine probably isn't for you. The overflowing bowl of chicken stew was reminiscent of Spanish adobo sauce, but there was something rather pungent in the spice mixture (berbere) that just didn't jive with my taste buds. After the meal I scoured the small grocery attached to the restaurant, trying to find the offending spice. Whether it was the fenugreek, rue, or possibly the korarima, I will never know. Recommending it would be like sticking something in your face and saying, "This smells really bad. Smell it."
|#7: Doro wet ($7.49):|
Traditional chicken stew topped with chicken leg and boiled egg.
In Ethiopian culture they must not have that "which came first" joke.
The Mahibrawi was the ultimate combo, served atop a large piece of the bread known as injera, which felt a lot like a cold, rubbery sex toy of some sort but tasted more like a sourdough pancake. Little piles of lentils, split peas, collard greens, and potatoes encircled a lamb shank that I will describe as "rustic." My favorite part was the ground fava beans, but that's 'cause I'm a yuppie hummus lover.
Some quick tips: Ethiopians eat with their right hand, because they evidently wipe their butts with their left, so keep that in mind if you want to feel like a real Ethiopian. If you like forks and knives and no sharing, then you're S.O.L. Go earlier in the day before they start to run out of stuff, and go only if you're in the mood for something new.
|Ethiopian Coffee ($1.50)|