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Jul 18, 2007 07:06 AM

Best Ethiopian? Old standbys are loosing steam.

What is the latest intelligence on the best Ethiopian in DC? The last couple of times I've been to Dukem on U St. it has been mediocre and nothing else I've found has a the same sort of fun environment. Suggestions appreciated! Will even, gulp, drive out of the city....

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  1. Have you been to Etete? It really outshines everything else. Get the fastening food platter, add the fish, and the derek tibs are outstanding.

    1. Tyler Cowen claims that Zenebech Injera is the best place in DC right now:

      I haven't been, but I hope to check it out eventually. Anyone else have any info?

      1 Reply
      1. re: alopez

        I'm pretty sure I walked past Zenebech Injera yesterday on my way from the Howard U Metro station to Pyramids restaurant for a chow lunch. I thought that was a curious name. It didn't look at all like a restaurant, nor did it look at all open at about 1 PM. I thought it might be a market, though there's no reason why a market can't prepare good food. You'd have to really be into dives in order to enjoy a meal there if you catch them when they're open and the table is available. <g>

        I'm not knocking it, just warning those who might want to give it a try.

      2. The last time I went to Etete was the last time. The women's rest room was dirty when we got there, mentioned it to the staff, but it was still untended an hour and a half later when we left even though they were not very busy at lunch. The incense was overwhelming.
        The fastening platter was cold. The fish was so hard it would cracked if we had smacked it on the table. The derek tibs were dried out as if they had been left over from the night before and refrigerated uncovered. The injera was unevenly warm like it had been microwaved.
        Nothing like the food I've had before. A real disappointment because I had taken a friend who has taken me to terrific places when I've visited her in LA. She said nothing but didn't eat much. Add the lackadaisical service and this one is off the list.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          I had a similar experience a year ago when a friend and I went for lunch. After all the raves, I was expecting some great food. It was just okay. I had much better meals at Meskerem and the Red Sea when they were in their prime. I don't need to go back there.

          1. re: Mulan

            I recently went to Zed's in Georgetown. Apparently this is not your typical Ethiopian experience b/c you sit at tables, not on the floor. And, to be honest, this was my first ever Ethiopian experience so I don't have much to go off of. But, I really liked it. They have both a vegetarian and meat sampler so you can essentially try many of their dishes. Not sure how well-priced the menu is in comparison to other places. Anyone anti-Zed's?

            1. re: gundy1814

              liked Zed's and Red Sea - but that was 10 years ago when I lived there. curious to hear...

              1. re: gundy1814

                You don't sit on the floor at any of the Ethiopian restaurants I've been to.

                1. re: Steve

                  Might as well add that they will happily give you a fork if you prefer not to eat with your hands.

          2. I have had a lot of Ethiopian which is is much like Eritrean. (by the way I have never sat on the ground). There is a place in Crystal City, VA which was WONDERFUL. Called Enjera (sp?) and the service was impeccable. The food was wonderful (we got the entree sampler and it was HUGE) and if you ask them to make it spicier for you they will. I highly recommend.

            1. I also love Etete the most. The only gripe I have is that they used Wish-Bone-style bottled Italian dressing on their salads. Totally ruined my much-love tomato, onion, potato jalapeno salad. Really great service. So unbelievably nice.

              The raw meat dish is the best of any of the joints in the area.