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Apr 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Ethiopian restaurant in Tucson

Anyone tried the ethiopian restaurant on Broadway? would love to hear a review before we try it?

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  1. Go, by all means! Zemam's is amazing. Unless you've been to an Ethiopian place before, you won't recognize anything on the menu, and lots of folks are unfamiliar with the eating style, too. Basically, you should expect to be eating family-style, and without silverware... so don't go with anyone whose personal hygiene really puts you off. ;-) Food is brought out on large metal trays and placed in the middle of the table. The tray is covered with a flat "bread" (almost more like a crepe) called injera-- it's made from teff, and has a slightly tangy taste. The "entrees" are then placed on top of the injera. You'll also get some additional injera. Tear off a piece and use it to scoop up the food-- most dishes are like very thick, chunky stews. Toward the end of the meal, you'll be using the injera from the tray to finish up what's left, which is GREAT because all the juices will have soaked into it. This is messy eating, but delicious. Plenty of spicy dishes, but they tend to be clearly marked on the menu. You'll find stuff based on chicken, beef and lamb, but there are also some offerings without meat. (I won't say vegetarian, because I've never asked how they're made.)

    If you're new to Zemam's, their samplers are a great way to try lots of stuff. I think we usually get about one sampler per two people, which sounds like a lot of food, but it tends to disappear fast, and we've even been known to order a second round of food.

    Zemam's doesn't have a liquor license, but you're welcome to bring your own beer/wine (don't know how they feel about hard liquor), and they'll happily provide glasses and a corkscrew. There might be a nominal fee for that, can't recall, but it'd be like a buck.

    Hope this helps!

    2731 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

    2 Replies
      1. re: mscaroline

        I've liked everything I've tried at Zemam's but find their collards are particularly tasty. I've been very tempted to go in someday and do one of the "samplers" with 6 or 8 servings of the collards on the injera and call it good! The "pot-likker" soaks into the injera and it just gets better and better! It's a family-run place and some of the "kids" visiting during the holidays also come in and work shifts. It's one of those places I like to tell people about, so they get a steady enough flow of traffic to stay in business. Good folks, great food.

        2731 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

      2. This is a very good restaurant. I have been many times with my family when I have visited over the years. I have eaten Ethiopian all over the country and this one definately holds its own. Mind that service in Ethiopian restaurants is not really a concern. The food here is wonderful. A vegetarian sampler with a couple meat dishes are a good way to go. I love doro wot, alicha, yebeg tibs and kitfo which is an Ethiopian steak tartar that you dip in to a fiery chili powder called mitmita and home made cheese.