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Sep 14, 2008 11:52 AM

Scrambledeggs takes it to da DC proper (Zed's Ethopian)

Ok -- having bashed Alexandria's overrated tourist traps of mediocrity, I've decided to move on and take the trip to the Federal District proper. Starting with Zed's Ethiopian in Georgetown. Am I happy compared to Alexandria? Partially, but I take some of the blame this time.

I never had Ethiopian before so I had nothing much to compare it to. I tried the Cheese appetizer, and the Beef in Berbere spiced sauce for entree.

I was not as happy as I thought i would be -- partly because of my mistakes. My first mistake was assuming that the lunch prices would apply because it was lunch time. Oops. No, the dinner menu was forced on me because it was the weekend. Same dish, but 50% more expensive. Hmmm.

Next, I ordered the appetizer -- the cheese was simply to me a sort of bad tasting egg salad thing, and it didn't go with the injera bread. I normally have a high tolerance for cheese and like it in general, but this was too much. Bland and bad tasting at the same time. I couldn't finish it despite my reluctance to waste the $8 starter. Later the waitress told me she thought I was an expert at this because beginners don't
order it normally.

The maincourse was good -- the beef spice was perfect, as I'd expect. The berbere spice mixture is the only thing Ethiopian I've made in the kitchen, and this was as good as ever. The beef was good, not the most tender as you might expect, but acceptable. The braising should have tenderized it more. But in any case, good enough. The only thing I didn't like was the traditional bread, injera, as I am so used to western style that it was a bit of a shock. I just don't like its texture or coldish taste. Nevertheless, the spiced maize side was good, and overall the portion of meat was gigantic, especially considering the restaurant isn't that expensive (relatively speaking).

Having too much culture shock for the day, I decided to call it quits and take dessert elsewhere.

Good, but not my style. I think I need more exposure to the cuisine to appreciate it. I will withhold any conclusions of the overall area until further reviews.

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  1. Zed's has sadly been eclipsed. check around U and 9-14 NW. and technically G'town is not the District proper, wasn't absorbed until a bit later. Parts of Alexandria stayed out (of the original VA portion) 'cause GW was an astute real estate speculator.

    1. I've found that Ethiopian is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinda cuisines. hill food is right, if you want the good stuff, you want Queen Makeda or Etete near U Street. "Georgetown" and "Ethiopian" don't really go together in my mind. Price-wise, it's pretty much in line with what you'll find in Georgetown. Not too many lunch bargains in that neighborhood.

      While it has been derided as "eating baby food with dishrags," it can be surprisingly tasty. If you're having a hard time finding steak tartare or raw meat lucullus, kitfo makes for a spicy alternative.

      1. Of all the Ethiopian in DC, you chose ZED'S? Seriously? I think people have quit including Zed's in the "go to" list for Ethiopian about 5 years ago. Head to U Street. Now. Etete is fun for a first-time experience.

        1. How about before you try a restaurant, you post a "Thinking of going to..." message here. That way, we can save you the time/money/hassle of going to truly lousy places like Sequoia or even Market Inn?

          1. It seems that you don't listen to the recommendations that people are giving you. It also seems like you would never be satisfied either.
            Regardless my two favorites in DC are Ceiba and Proof. Ceiba's restaurant group hires CIA graduates so more so a chance for a great meal. Also the theming and service style is fun.
            Proof is a great place to have a nice glass of wine and snack on great cheese, salumi and SWEETBREADS (sorry those are my favorites).
            Like you I have really high expectations of food and service but at some point you need to shut off and just enjoy the meal like a regular person. so chill out dude!

            2 Replies
            1. re: CIAinDC

              Commonwealth in Columbia Heights does some decent sweetbreads as well. Not as good as I've had at Eve's, but still pretty good.


              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Thanks for the rec I'll have to check it out...