Meals by Genet-Another Option?
Had dinner there this weekend. The food was quite nice. We ordered the vegetarian sampler and Doro Wat (chicken) for dinner, foul for appetizer (which tasted like a spicy bean dip to me, especially with the sour cream, onion, jalapeno and tomatoes on top, Ethiopian side spice added interesting zing). The spicing in the veg sampler and chicken was wonderful.
However, the service was very slow.
Is there another option where you can get similar food quality but with faster service? I have already tried Messob and I believe Nyala (across the street?), and like the food at Meals by Genet better.
Like amny others, I find Rahel the best in terms of food, value and service.
Keep in mind, however, that Ethiopians take life at a calmer pace. In Ethiopia, meals are to linger and get together and last hours. A more relaxed pace of service is not uncommon in any Ethiopian dining establishment in this counrtry. In fact, I think what we get here is "sped up" for the norm back in Ethiopia..
Relax, chat with your friends, and let the meal just happen. Linger over the food when it arrives, enjoy some coffee (order ahead) and dessert. You're free to take hours!
I will admit to being a big fan of this place because of the food. But I also wanted to post a very different experience of the service. My last time at Genet, in late August, I had a waiter who was so lovely, over-the-top, and concerned with our having an excellent meal--he was just incredibly fun--that it was precisely the service that made me think about why don't I eat at Genet's more often.
Personally, I wasn't too impressed w/Meals when I went a few years back, but ppl who are looking for more middle class ambience seem to rave about it; about the same for Nyala, both of which I've tried once. We love Merkato across the street, the one with the Ethiopian store attached to it. Doro Wat very tasty there, although not too much chicken involved. Also tasty is the whole fish dish (yum yum), and the Asa Tibbs, although we've only eaten it fully cooked.
I agree - Merkato is my favorite in the area. I always get the vegetarian combo and love their fried fish. Doro Wat is so delicious (I order it just for the sauce) and we got the beef with jalapenos (cannot remember name of it) last time and it was great (especially when I make my "special" concoction of the chili powder on the table, lemon juice, salt & a little water and dip the meat into it). Now my mouth is watering!!
The question regarding the service: apparently this is a problem in all Ethiopian restaurants. One of the biostatesticians at my workplace is Ethiopian and he has the same problem. He and his wife are friends with the owner of Awash and they go there quite frequently (when his wife does not cook it at home) and he says that he always gets the owner/friend to sit at his table hoping that the service will be speedier, but it doesn't help! ;-)
I say just go when you do not have time restraints and enjoy!
Meals by Genet is very good Ethiopian, but I agree about the service. But I don't think it was slow as much as they gave you time to enjoy the meal. I did think it was attentive though. So many restaurants these days bring you the food and the check at the same time so they can turn around the tables faster. Meals by Genet is very quiet and relaxed (and maybe a tad slow), but the food is very good. A more gourmet approach to Ethiopian.