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ethiopian in dc?

lambhammer May 14, 2014 04:44 AM

Best Ethiopian in dc?

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  1. hill food RE: lambhammer May 14, 2014 08:54 PM


    1. d
      dinwiddie RE: lambhammer May 15, 2014 01:43 PM

      Best is relative. And as hill food said, you are a troublemaker. Suffice to say that there is better Ethiopian here in the DC area than almost anyplace else in the US (and yes, I include NYC in that statement.) It is all a matter of you personal taste. I like the old standbys, Dukem, Etete, and Queen Makeda. But I also like some of the ones in the burbs, Addis Ababa, Bete, and Langano in Silver Spring, Soretti's in Burtonsville.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dinwiddie
        mselectra RE: dinwiddie May 16, 2014 04:59 AM

        Is Queen Makeda back?

        1. re: mselectra
          Steve RE: mselectra May 16, 2014 06:03 AM

          Totally a goner as far as serving Ethiopian food..... last I heard it was a nightclub for a while still serving Ethiopian, but eventually morphed away from that. Maybe now closed down.

          I saw a very giood report on an Ethiopian market next door that has some tables for eat-in..

          1. re: Steve
            mselectra RE: Steve May 16, 2014 06:36 AM

            That's what I thought, Steve. Got excited that maybe she had returned when I saw it listed here. I've been to that market back when Queen Makeda was still open, I think for dessert or some groceries - will try to remember to check it out again.

      2. EatFoodGetMoney RE: lambhammer May 15, 2014 01:48 PM

        Ask Steve.

        5 Replies
        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney
          Steve RE: EatFoodGetMoney May 15, 2014 04:14 PM

          I live in Arlington, and there are some really terrific places here rather than DC, so I am not up on the DC choices like I used to be. Etete used to be a favorite for their vegetarian plalter and the derek tibs.

          1. re: Steve
            Worldwide Diner RE: Steve May 21, 2014 06:09 AM

            What's your favorite in VA? I haven't had Ethiopian in over 10 years...

            1. re: Worldwide Diner
              Steve RE: Worldwide Diner May 21, 2014 08:11 AM

              As I mentioned downthread, I like Eyo in Falls Church. Anywhere new, I always start off wth the vegetarian platter and add meat. They also make an injera slathered with shio, rolled, and toasted, which for some reason takes them a really long time to make. Not that you need more injera.....

              1. re: Steve
                DanielK RE: Steve May 21, 2014 09:14 AM

                I haven't been to Eyo, but Meaza (also in Falls Church) is very good and reliable.

                1. re: Steve
                  Worldwide Diner RE: Steve May 21, 2014 09:30 AM

                  I'll try both.

          2. hill food RE: lambhammer May 15, 2014 02:07 PM

            I like Dukem, some swear by Etete, others prefer the laidback air at Makeda, others prefer the more stylish Ethiopic and those are just the obvious tips of that iceberg.

            1. t
              The Big Crunch RE: lambhammer May 19, 2014 10:53 AM

              I like the Kitfo at Ettete, but honestly, after years of eating at over a half dozen places, I think most of it tastes the same from restaurant to restaurant. My GF and I live about five minutes from Lalibella and for a basic things of tibs and veggies, it's as good as any other place I've eaten.

              6 Replies
              1. re: The Big Crunch
                Steve RE: The Big Crunch May 19, 2014 11:09 AM

                For rme, Lalibela is a really poor choice, so I am not sure what the difference is in our experiences. Eyo in Falls Church and Sheba in Fairfax are both very, very good. I have little reason to go into DC anymore for Ethiopian, but I will try Habesha Market on 9th St because it was raved about on Chowhound:


                Once upon a time Queen Makeda was a clear winner, but that is now "the sweet used-to-be."

                1. re: Steve
                  The Big Crunch RE: Steve May 19, 2014 12:30 PM

                  Why didn't you like Lalibella? Off the top of my head I've been to Ettete, Ethiopic, Madjet (now closed), Dukem, Lagano, and Adis Abbaba, and for most dishes, I don't taste much of a difference. I've been to Dukem at least a dozen times in the last 7-8 years and Lalilbella 4-5 times in the last two years and I really can't say they were all that different in terms of the things I've had at both places. The tibs and Yebag wat are about the same as everywhere else I've been, and the beer is dirt cheap :)

                  Ettete is my favorite of all of them with Ethiopic a close second, though I've only been to Ethiopic once (and Ettete at least 7-8 ties) so I've got a bit of an Ettete bias. I love Ettete's raw kitfo and I think they do the best job of all the places I've been in terms of cooking lamb.

                  I have heard in multiple places that several of the places down in NOVA are turning out excellent stuff, so I really should check them out, however, it always feels odd to live in Logan Circle and drive down to NOVA for Ethiopian.

                  1. re: The Big Crunch
                    Steve RE: The Big Crunch May 19, 2014 01:42 PM

                    From the last time I went to Lalibela I remember dishes that were not distinctive in flavor or texture. I've been to Dukem only once and didn't like it for the same reason.

                    1. re: Steve
                      The Big Crunch RE: Steve May 19, 2014 02:01 PM

                      That's how i feel about just about every Ethiopian place in general. Granted, I'm not Ethiopian and have never been to Ethiopia, but I don't feel there is much of a difference between one Ethiopian place and another. I do enjoy them all, but I can't say any of them really stand out for having radically different menus or dynamically different takes on the standard dishes. I do prefer to cook my own Doro Wat for the simple fact that I can do just as good a job and I refuse to pay $12-$14 for a leg or two of chicken. Plus, Doro Wat tastes even better over rice where you can use a nice pilaf to catch more of the sauce.

                      It just seems to me that if you like one Ethiopian place, you'll like them all...or maybe my standards are just too low and my palate not refined and sophisticated enough in things Ethiopian. I do look forward to checking out Eyo in the near future as it does seem to get a lot of love on Chowhound. Any recommendations for my first meal there?

                      1. re: The Big Crunch
                        Steve RE: The Big Crunch May 19, 2014 02:34 PM

                        I go for the vegetarian platter and the derek tibs or an awaze.

                  2. re: Steve
                    wineo1957 RE: Steve May 21, 2014 02:29 AM

                    Habeshaw is very doos. The combo plates are an incredible value. I had a deep fried shortrib recently that was over the top good and filling. Dullat is tripe, beef and lamb. The cooked version was super and I can't wait to try the raw.

                    For Kitfo, Yetenbi next door is even better.

                2. b
                  braver RE: lambhammer May 19, 2014 08:21 PM

                  sit-down: Etete or Dukem (have heard good things about Ethiopic but never went).

                  takeout: zenebech injera...they do have a table or two but are usually taken up by cab drivers when I've been there.

                  a veggie platter is enough food for two (they really have to struggle to fit it in a foam carryout box) but you could always add a meat dish or some sambusas too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: braver
                    Steve RE: braver May 19, 2014 08:28 PM

                    At some places you can add a fried fish to the vegetarian platter for just $2 or so.

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