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Gourmet Ethiopian?

Hello!

I'm new to the DC area (and consequently the DC board), but I am really excited to begin dining out and interacting with you guys. Since DC is known for its Ethiopian population, I was wondering where I could go to get a truly spectacular, high-end gourmet Ethiopian meal? I have at least five cheap places on my block, but I want to know where I can go to get a truly exceptional, blow-me-away meal in the District?

I don't mind traveling to pretty much anywhere.

Thanks!

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  1. What block do you live on?

    The 'fanciest' Ethiopian restaurant in DC I've ever been to used to be on Foxhall Rd. near the French Embassy. It was run by a French guy married to an Ethiopian woman. They ran a place in Ethiopia and then moved here. It was quite good, but didn't last long. Ultimately the food was hardly different than what you can find elsewhere and not as good as Etete in DC or Eyo in the Skyline area of Arlington/Falls Church, VA.

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    Etete
    1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Sorry, I think I might have misspoken. I'm not so interested in fancy in terms of white linen and fancy interiors, but would love to find the most excellent Ethiopian food there is in DC.

      1. re: SouthToTheLeft

        Yeah, high-end usually refers to cost which is mostly the result of fancier trappings. You said you live near a bunch of Ethiopian restaurants... where?

        Etete in the 1900 block of 9th St in between U and T Streets is my favorite in DC and Eyo, a fairly swank sports bar, is my favorite in NoVa. I usually get a vegetarian platter and add a meat dish.

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        Etete
        1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    2. Etete is my favorite place to eat in. Zenebech Injera has outstanding food, though you're better off getting takeout from them (it's a hole in the wall, but that's where all the Ethiopian cabbies go for dinner, so they must be doing something right).

      For a nice, upscale experience, try Zed's in Georgetown - the only white-tablecloth Ethiopian place I've been to in the District. I really enjoyed the food, though the cheap casual places are still better.

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      Etete
      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Zenebech Injera
      608 T St NW, Washington D.C., DC 20001

      5 Replies
      1. re: kathleen440

        Just an FYI-Zed's is no longer open.

        1. re: lilkimbo

          finally. no zombie for this Halloween.

          1. re: lilkimbo

            NO. I just called them and they are open. Website fully operational. OPEN.

            1. re: dcandohio

              But the sign out front no longer says Zed's. Don't remember what it says now.

              1. re: Lori D

                You are correct. Same space, still Ethiopian, now called "Das.".

        2. I just found an amazing Ethiopian place. Super delicious, super fresh, and super yummy!

          Ethiopian Restaurant and Mart on 14th St and Decatur NW. The staff barely speak English, but everything I've had so far has been amazing.

          7 Replies
          1. re: SouthToTheLeft

            Sounds good, anything in particular I should get?

            Also, I see you posted about Caribbean food in the summer. i was out of town at the time, but I really think getting out to Pimento Grill across the Anacostia River for oxtail brown stew is key. Maybe a difficult trip if you don't have wheels, though.....

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            Pimento Grill Restaurant
            4405 Bowen Rd SE, Washington, DC 20019

            1. re: Steve

              No wheels. Boo.

              I have really enjoyed Ethiopian Restaurant's vegetable platter. Their veggies are absolutely delicious, especially their misir wot.

              1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                It looks like Ethiopian Restaurant and Mart is between Buchanan and Crittenden on 14th. I'll have to go soon.

                Are there Ethiopian Restaurants in San Francisco? If so, how do they compare with what's here?

                1. re: Steve

                  There are a couple of Ethiopian restaurants in SF. And I actually think that the quality of the food in SF is higher than what I have found in DC.

                  My favorite place in SF, Moya, has a lot more flavor than I've found here. And they make 100% teff injera, which is dark brown and delicious. I asked the guy who owns Ethiopia Mart if you can find teff injera in DC, and he said it is unavailable.

                  1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                    I'm pretty sure Meaza still has 100% teff injera available. It has additional cost associated and you have to ask for it, but it's worth it. Darker, better taste...mmm...

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                    Meaza Restaurant
                    5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

                    1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                      My three favorite places right now are Etete, Eyo (No Va), and Ethiopic. Queen Makeda used to be my favorite, but I don't know if they are still operating as a restaurant (maybe now a nightclub?). I have heard very good things about Zenebech but I haven't been.

                      I've been once to Dukem and Madjet but didn't appreciate either at all. Lalibela is unacceptable to me. I've been to many other holes-in-the wall, and they all seem to be about the same quality: good but not better.

                      Meaza (per TheMatt) in Falls Church/Arlington does indeed offer pure teff injera. It's a good place to know about.

                      There is a shoopping strip near the Skyline area in Falls Church that is entirely N. African /Ethiopian places. Eyo is in that strip as is Abay Market:

                      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/ar...

                      1. re: SouthToTheLeft

                        "And I actually think that the quality of the food in SF is higher than what I have found in DC."

                        really? maybe the quality of the ingredients, but when I left SF for DC I was floored by how much better the Ethiopian is in DC, even the crappiest injeera was miles better. (SF does blow DC out of other races - stuff for another thread)

                        given that the metro area has the highest population of Ethiopians outside of Ethiopia, I find it seriously hard to believe teff injeera is hard to find much less unavailable.

              2. High-end? If I read you right, that means you want to get away from downscale environments. IMO, Meaza at 5440 Columbia Pike in Arlington is one of the nicest rooms anyone could want, and the food is very good.

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                Meaza Restaurant
                5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

                1. So I just wanted to add that I tried Ethiopian Restaurant and Mart's chicken and shrimp dishes. They are all stellar. Incredible flavor. The best in DC, by far.