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Ethiopian Recommendations - Danforth

f
foodiefiend Jan 11, 2012 06:52 AM

Hi,
there has been a couple of great threads regarding Ethiopian in the city. I was hoping to get a fresh opinion on which restaurant would be recommended on the Danforth would be recommended for a group of four on Saturday night..... we are all meat eaters but also love veggies. I was thinking Dukem but a couple of other of folks have mentioned Le Rendesvouz (sp).
Any advice on which restaurant and menu items would be great.

  1. Dr. John Jan 16, 2012 03:58 PM

    We have eaten at Dukem, Wazema, Lalibela, and Rendezvous. Of these, Dukem is our favourite in terms of variety and quality of dishes. Lalibela is a close second, and one of the few places that serves some of the breakfast dishes we had in Ethiopia. Wazema was fine but has less variety. Rendezvous was oversalted and unimpressive.

    Dukem also beats all the others we have tried elsewhere in the city: Ethiopian House, Queen of Sheba (good stews but weak injera), and Addis Ababa (oversalted).

    We'd be interested in hearing about the others on the Danforth - Ibex, etc.

    -John

    1. hal2010 Jan 13, 2012 04:39 PM

      You should try doro wat - chicken in a rich red pepper sauce with whole eggs.
      I like Dukem and Lalibela on Danforth is also good. Their injera tends to be less fermented (sour) so it's more accessible to first-timers.

      1. Baelsette Jan 13, 2012 04:29 PM

        Thanks so much for the advice, we will definitely be going soon, sounds delish

        1. mariecollins Jan 13, 2012 07:53 AM

          Has anyone tried any of the new entrants? They seem to be popping up weekly.

          1. h
            helenhelen Jan 12, 2012 11:33 PM

            my friend's boyfriend is ethiopian and their family loves rendez vous. apparently the only ethiopian resto they ever eat at.

            1. Baelsette Jan 11, 2012 05:43 PM

              We moved into the neighbourhood just down the street from Dukem. I've been wanting to try it but haven't had the chance yet. Two questions, does anyone know if they are kid friendly and also what's recommended? I have never had Ethiopian cuisine and am aching to try!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Baelsette
                frenchcustard Jan 13, 2012 05:17 AM

                i've been with friends who have a toddler and it's not been an issue

                1. re: Baelsette
                  atomeyes Jan 13, 2012 05:20 AM

                  there are always kids in there. no worries about that.

                  food: ethiopian's pretty simple and Dukem's menu is relatively compact.
                  easiest thing is to get one of their combo plates. There's a combo plate with veggie options (usually around 6 veggie "stations" of various bean or lentil stews, cooked cabbage and carrots, cooked beets) and 1-2 meats.

                  with meats, they are called "tibs" dishes. stick to lamb (tastier meat). there is one served in a chaffing dish which is insanely flavourful and its not saucy. there are also cubed tibs dishes that are saucier/

                  there's an option called kitfo. its ethiopian steak tartare. i get it close to ethiopian style: they eat it rare and i ask for it to be medium spicy. i LOVE kitfo, but its not for everyone.

                  I *think* Dukem offers some chicken dishes, but I'm not a fan of how Ethiopian spices mingle with chicken. lamb tends to be the best protein.

                  1. re: atomeyes
                    grandgourmand Jan 13, 2012 05:48 AM

                    what do you mean they eat it rare? is it not supposed to be raw? I might be going tonight, love steak tartare, so was thinking of ordering this dish.

                    have you had the alicha fit-fit? it's the dish with bone-in lamb, and wondering if they have nice marrow pieces.

                    1. re: grandgourmand
                      atomeyes Jan 13, 2012 10:17 AM

                      bone-in lamb dishes, be it shank or fit-fit, don't tickle my wife's fancy. so i haven't tried it.
                      the owner's name is mike. he's almost always at Dukem. ask him whatever you like. sometimes he comps us food just because he's so bloody nice.

                      and kitfo: its served "heated in butter." i'd consider it to be rare, but its somewhere between rare and raw.
                      most of Dukem's early dinner service is to white people. the ethiopians tend to come later. if you get kitfo, make sure you tell them you want it ethiopian style, or else they'll serve it more cooked.

                2. Full tummy Jan 11, 2012 12:07 PM

                  I have eaten at both Dukem and Rendezvous recently. I think both are excellent, with flavourful food that's really good value. We generally stick to the vegetarian platter at both places. I find Dukem's portions were a bit smaller, but the temperature of the majority of the dishes was warmer, so it's a toss up for me, hahaha. Dukem's vegetarian dishes were more finely chopped, whereas Rendezvous tends to be chunkier. I did prefer Dukem's finer chop, but it's kind of a trivial issue, in my opinion. Hubbie and I enjoyed everything at both places, however, with him preferring Rendezvous, and me preferring Dukem, so, to each his own. They are both worthy destinations.

                  1. u
                    Ubervache Jan 11, 2012 10:41 AM

                    My wife and I went to Dukem recently and had a fantastic meal. The service was great and the food was very tasty. We used to eat at Ethiopia House on Irwin St., but we would vote Dukem our favourite hands down.

                    -----
                    Dukem
                    950 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L9, CA

                    Ethiopian House
                    4 Irwin Ave, Toronto, ON M4Y1K9, CA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ubervache
                      foodyDudey Jan 11, 2012 10:48 AM

                      We order takeout from Dukem a few times a month, and have no reason to try any other place. I just had some for lunch!

                      To the OP: you may want to try a veggie combo, a meat combo, and some other items like the tibs and kitfo.

                      1. re: foodyDudey
                        atomeyes Jan 13, 2012 05:16 AM

                        Ubervache: wouldn't even compare Ethiopia House to Dukem (or even Lalibella, for example). EH is ok, but the service is horrendously slow and they use more butter than other ethiopian restaurants. greasier and not as tasty.

                        foodyDudey: I kind of agree with you, but I feel that you work up to kitfo. i suggest getting it rare (or close to rare) for best mouthfeel and taste. for newbies, that may be slightly offputting.

                    2. atomeyes Jan 11, 2012 08:30 AM

                      we stick to Dukem. its awesome.
                      their only flaw is their lack of consistency on veggie flavours, but its just various types of awesome every time we go.

                      heard good things about Le Rendezvous, but there is no reason for us to stop going to Dukem.

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