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Recommended Ethiopian Restaurants in SEA?

Scott O Jan 31, 2010 08:55 PM

Seattle is blessed with some great Ethiopian restaurants, but some of my old favorites have not been as good of late as I'd like.

Where are Chowhounds currently going, that would be recommended?

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  1. e
    eat.rest.repeat RE: Scott O Jan 31, 2010 10:50 PM

    My two favorites are Meskel and Cafe Soleil. They're very different from each other but each great.

    1. dagoose RE: Scott O Feb 1, 2010 08:05 AM

      Meskel if you want good atmosphere and aren't planning on ordering the vegetarian platter. If you or someone going is veggie, strongly recommend Dahlak, beautiful veggies, wonderful presentation.

      1. r
        rbid RE: Scott O Feb 10, 2010 03:24 PM

        Habesha has both great food and a nice (gasp!) atmosphere. It's at 1809 Minor Ave 98101, sort of near the Greyhound station. I've been there three times or more and it's consistent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rbid
          dagrassroots RE: rbid Feb 10, 2010 06:43 PM

          Dahlak has the best atmosphere of all. Who doesn't like ex- vietnamese male strip clubs.

          Really though, its hella good.

        2. violetseverine RE: Scott O Feb 11, 2010 01:36 PM

          I used to love Kokeb but it's been years. Haven't tried them since their move.

          6 Replies
          1. re: violetseverine
            equinoise RE: violetseverine Oct 12, 2011 09:58 AM

            I just visited Altaye for the first time and I highly recommend a visit. Say what you will about the Yelpers, but they have bestowed 50-plus reviews on this place (with an average of nearly 5 stars) while it has otherwise flown mostly under the radar for the three years it has been open (there was a SW blog post from this July). As noted, the freshly made injera really sets this place apart. It has a lightness and sweetness that is just unparalleled by even the board favorite places. I would not say that every vegetable dish was as good as the best rendition you can get variously at Dahlak, Meskel, Ras Dashen, etc., but overall the combination was very good, and each ingredient very fresh tasting. The meat dish was warm and bright. Also, at $12.99 for a vegetable combo and a meat dish, the house special is a remarkable value.


            Ras Dashen Restaurant
            2801 E Cherry St, Seattle, WA

            1. re: equinoise
              babette feasts RE: equinoise Oct 12, 2011 10:19 AM

              Do you mean the injera is sugar-sweet or just less sour or something else? Sweetness in injera sounds very off-putting to me, AFIK, it is fermented/sourdough and should have some tanginess. Thanks.

              1. re: babette feasts
                equinoise RE: babette feasts Oct 12, 2011 11:08 AM

                Still tangy, just less sour than others, which I liked. I understand it is prepared in the traditional manner and fermented.

                1. re: equinoise
                  babette feasts RE: equinoise Oct 12, 2011 11:51 AM

                  OK. Sometimes it can be aggressively tangy, so a bit less could be good. I'm just so tired of sugar creeping into seemingly everything these days, ugh.

              2. re: equinoise
                val ann c RE: equinoise Oct 12, 2011 05:46 PM

                Another vote for Altaye. We tried it a few weeks ago. We had the vegetarian platter and a lamb dish. Njera and all the food was delicious. Service was lovely and welcoming.

                1. re: equinoise
                  grubn RE: equinoise Oct 18, 2011 10:11 AM

                  I also think Altaye is awesome. I had felt that many of the other Ethiopian restaurants had started to settle into not quite mediocrity, but the food started to become all the same and sort of average. The owners at Altaye are very accommodating and sweet, and the food is really good. Highly recommend the lamb.

              3. p
                PeteSeattle RE: Scott O Oct 20, 2011 12:12 PM

                See the thread on Injera prices. I noticed that a restaurant I've been going to a lot has been somehow switching to using more white flour, and less teff in its injera, until last time I went it was injera made of all white flour.
                That might be happening to more than one restaurant.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PeteSeattle
                  Lunabianca RE: PeteSeattle Oct 21, 2011 12:37 PM

                  That's one of my HUGE peeves about going out for Ethiopian. I want TEFF injera--not wheat. I'll try Altaye based on the comments here. Thanks!

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