Help Me Choose in DC - Ethiopian, Asian and Brunch...
I'm living in Madrid right now but I'm gearing up to return to the DC area. My time is very limited. If I can just pick ONE from each category where should I go? Although I am an Alexandria native I have never been to any of these places. Shame Shame. I know.
this is my list:
Queen Makeda for Doro Wat, Yebeg Alicha, Kitfo or whatever they come up with
Etete for ?
Florida Avenue Grill for smothered fried pork chops, spareribs, biscuits, stewed apples, baked stuffed chicken, Half n' Half to drink.
Colorado Kitchen for scrambled eggs, home fries, donuts, roast chicken
Ben's Chili Bowl for the "half smoke."
The Market Lunch Counter at Eastern Market for blueberry pancakes (has this been closed bc of the fire?)
Oohs and Aahs for the turkey chop, lemon pepper wings, shorts ribs of beef
CF Folks for peach cobbler, pistachio rice pudding, corned beef or pastrami
Nam Viet for roast quail, bun cha w. pork, grape leaves, lemongrass pork
Full Kee for oyster casserole, chicken + eggplant casserole, clams w. black bean sauce, dumplings, pile of roast pork, tofu stuffed w. shrimp, duck w. shrimp paste
City Lights for Kung Pao, chicken and garlic eggplant.
Thai X-ing for Salmon Red Curry
Rita's Trinidad for Polori (fritters) w/ tamarind sauce and Jerk Chicken
Chez Auntie Libe for yassa chicken, manioc stew, cassava leaf stew, thiackry
Akosombo for whole croaker in red sauce, black eyed peas, plaintains
Pyramid Moroccan for lamb tangine, spinach, carrot salad, seafood b'stilla, coffee
Thanks to all the posters who I complied this list from! Esp. Steve.
Queen Makeda does not exist anymore.
Etete for Fastening Food platter (add the fish) and derek tibs
Florida Avenue Grill Used to be a favorite of mine, has gone way downhill.
Colorado Kitchen for scrambled eggs, home fries, donuts, I wouldn't fool with their other brunch selections, though.
Ben's Chili Bowl for the "half smoke." Cheap enough, but DO NOT go here in lieu of the other great eats in the neighborhood.
The Market Lunch Counter is closed because of fire.
Oohs and Aahs for the turkey chop, lemon pepper wings, shorts ribs of beef, shrimp may be the best order yet.
CF Folks for peach cobbler, pistachio rice pudding, only open M-F for lunch. Order anything on the chalkboard. DC's best crabcake.
Nam Viet for roast quail, bun cha w. pork, grape leaves, lemongrass pork, vietnamese steak
Full Kee for oyster casserole, chicken + eggplant casserole, fried dumplings, leed flowers, duck w. shrimp paste
City Lights : I wouldn'r waste my time.
Thai X-ing for Salmon Red Curry. Opens at 4pm. DO try to go here.
Rita's Trinidad for Polori (fritters) w/ tamarind sauce and Jerk Chicken. Amazing stuff. CHicken is unfortunately baked, like most jerk around here, but appropriately zesty.
Chez Auntie Libe for yassa chicken, manioc stew, cassava leaf stew (same thing as manioc, I think), thiackry - they don't have this anymore. Whole fish is very good. Maffe (stew with peanut sauce)is very good, but incredibly rich. Order this only if you can share it.
Akosombo for whole croaker in red sauce, black eyed peas, plaintains. Haven't been there in a while, not %100 sure it's still open.
Pyramid Moroccan for lamb tangine, spinach, carrot salad, seafood b'stilla, eggplant, maybe DC's best bargain.
I've been to many of the ethiopian places in DC and I'd say Dukem, Etete, and Zed's have been the most consistenly good (both in food and service), with Etete edging out the others both in terms of food and value. I can only comment on the vegan/vegetarian offerings at the aformentioned places but Etete seemed to have the most balanced seasonings (ie their berbere was the most complex and subtle I've tasted and their gomen was particularly well crafted). Dukem has the most variety with larger number of offerings that you won't find at most other establishments including Etete and Zed's. In terms of ambiance they are all different: Dukem is what I would consider a "traditional" Ethiopian reseraunt with a large central bar and tv's tuned to the latest soccer match. Etete has a very modern/chic feel with modern tables and chairs in a fairly narrow space. Zed's is cozy and upscale with tribal paintings and other accrutements in what looks and feels like a colonial villa.
Hope this helps and enjoy; you won't find much better ethiopian anywhere.