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ppsailor01

Ethiopic, Samuel Ergete and Meseret Bekele's Charming Ethiopian on 4th and H Streets in the Atlas District

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Any recent experiences worth sharing? 7 of us are going to hit an Ethiopian place for dinner this Friday night, either on 9th or U. I've always been happy with Dukem but my last meal there was a little dull. Besides Etete, what else is fresh and good in the area?

There's a new spot called Ethiopic that just opened at 401 H Street NE. My vegetarian sampler there on our first visit was very good. Yelp reviews are favorable thus far. Having met the owners who live nearby, I'm confident in saying the reviews aren't because they've been extrorted by Yelp. The restaurant is small and the staff is still getting up to speed, but the food is good and I don't think there's any other competition for them this side of 9th and U.

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Tom Sietsema does his First Bite on this place today. It's a nice piece on a nice spot with very solid Ethiopian food.

Has anyone else been yet? We have been meaning to make another visit for a while. It's a small spot, so if Tom's piece drives up traffic and you have to wait for a table, stop by Toyland (421 H St) for a drink beforehand. Tom likes that place too -- called it his favorite new bar recently.

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The starting of this thread got me interested, so the +1 and I headed up the street to Ethiopic last night. It's only a 10-15 min walk from my apartment, which is great to know. It's fairly small with only 12 or so tables in a converted corner row house with a small bar at the back. While we were there there were only 2 other tables seated and only a couple people at the bar (definitely didn't fill up last night due to Tom's First Bite review).

After we ordered we were brought a small serving of what the waitress called "Ethiopian bread" to dip in a small bowl of oil with red chili. This was very good, and I would've eaten more if she hadn't brought only 5 small bites! For our entrees we split the Vegetarian Sampler for one ($18) that included GOMEN (Collard green cooked with spices and herbs), MISER WOT (Pureed split red lentils simmered with red pepper sauce), KIK ALETCHA (Yellow split peas simmered in a mild sauce) and DINICH WOT (Curried potato simmered with onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, olive oil, fresh herbs & spices) with a small salad of tomato, onion and jalapeno in the center, all served on injera. I think the red lentils were our favorite, but everything was really good. The +1 doesn't even really like collard greens, but loved these. Be aware of the slices of fresh jalapeno in the center salad cause they are hot!

We also split SEGA KEY WOT (Prime beef sautéed in butter, and simmered in hot sauce seasoned with spices. - $16), which, while good, was not really that spicy at all (despite the indication on the menu). The sauce was great for dipping leftover injera. Both entrees were very good serving sizes and we left stuffed. We probably could've fed a third person for as much as we put away.

I'd only had Ethiopian one other time, maybe 6+ years ago, and remember not liking it, mostly because I didn't like the injera. I'm so glad I've given it another shot (tastes change after all!) and am now an Ethiopian convert. We both agreed the prices seemed a bit high compared to what's available at other places, but all in all it's a good addition to the neighborhood, and I'll be heading back at some point.

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We hit up this joint on Friday night. Every table was take and there seems to be a buzz about this place right now. The space looks sharp and is different from any other Ethiopean place I have been to in the city. It is hard to explain but it seems more upscale than Dukem and Etete. We got the Signature Lamb Tibs and the vegetarian sampler. Both were exceptional. The Lamb Tibs actually comes in a small pot that has a candle under it keeping it warm as you progress through the meal. Dittos to a previous poster about the collard green, I usually am not a fan but these were fantastic. Their service still has some kinks, it took awhile to get our check ,but my first impression of this place was very good!

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We were also there on Friday night. I think it's a great addition to the H Street dining scene and agree that the food is on par with, if not better than, Dukem and other spots around the city. But they definitely still need to work out a few kinks.

The four of us shared a Vegetarian Sampler for 2 and Beef & Chicken Sampler. All of the vegetarian choices got rave reviews with the standout being the remarkably tender collard greens. The meat sampler was also tasty, although I thought the flavors weren't quite as interesting as those in the non-meat dishes. In particular, the Dora Key Wot and Sega Key Wot lacked the spice advertised in the menu description.

I agree that service is a a problem here, although they were quite busy on Friday. We had to flag people down for water and bread refills and we were never given napkins (which made eating the bone-in items on the meat platter especially messy). Also, despite repeated inquiries, our wine order didn't show up until we were nearly finished with our dinner.

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I was there for an early dinner last night, and I really liked what I saw. The place is both beautiful and cozy.

I really *really* liked what I ate! I have had a lot of Ethiopian food over the last 20 years (pretty much once or twice a week for a few years there), and this was as better than 90% of it, and definitely as good as any I've had. We ordered the veggie sampler for two, and found that everything was cooked perfectly and appropriately spiced.

All of the vegetarian dishes are vegan: I am going to say that this is likely the reason why each of them had a quality to them distinct from any other Ethiopian food I have had. The flavors of the vegetables came through more. I would never have characterized other veggie dishes as "oily", but by comparison these were far less oily. I have a tendency to eat the injera on the platter towards and then of the meal, and it was noticeably less greasy in the places it had been sitting under the food. The awaze was a little different than I'm used to as well. A little more flavorful, I tasted more spice that wasn't overpowered by the heat.

I was really hoping that this place would be good. These hopes were well exceeded.

I hope to go back with a carnivore friend and try some of the other dishes, but the veggies were so perfect that I'm already wondering when I can go get them again.

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Had the Veggie Sampler Platter at Ethiopic last night, seven different items (basically all their veg offerings), I'm no expert on ethiopian food but really really enjoyed it.

However, we added the fried fish for an extra $2...way over fried and boney, not even worth the extra $2.

Next time leave the fish, take the veggies.

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Ethiopic gets the Sietsema Treatment - Two Stars

he liked the croaker least, but plain with lemon is the way i usually find it served, as a supplement to the fasting vegetables. i thought ethiopic's was better, moister than etete's. and most of our vegetables did not benefit from the layering of flavors he mentions in his review. this is a longer bus ride for me than etete, but worth the trip (a 10 minute walk from union station). he is definitely right that the tables are too small.

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A bit sweaty and in my t-shirt, I sat at the bar, intent on quick bite before heading home. Figuring it wouldn't be super huge, I ordered the ETHIOPIC SIGNATURE KITFO ($16) -- the raw beef tartare -- and an ethiopian lager ($6) (which was quite refreshing).

My eyes must have popped out upon the kitfo's arrival. Conservatively, the serving was about 15 ounces of the tartare. Spicy and delicious. A couple of sinews, but wow what a value. It was served with a steamed collard green, a spicy tomato salad, and their house cottage cheese. So much food, that I unilaterally cancelled our family dinner plans and ordered the remainder of the tartar to be boxed up, and got a Veggie sampler ($18) to go. The Wife enjoyed the veggie sampler more, although it didn't seemed as generously portioned as the kitfo. Then again, what could?

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Went to Ethiopic tonight.

Not so much.

Daughter got the vegetarian platter. Everything served walk-in cold (including the injera) and underspiced.

Wife got the kitfo. Way too salty.

I got the "signature" shiro. Inedibly salty.

So we mentioned it to the wonderful waitress who said she'd take it off our check. And then the eager and friendly owner (?) must have seen it all go back into the kitchen and came to the table to ask for a do-over. And although we had mentally moved past a disappointing dinner we stupidly said yes and were stuck there waiting for food we really didn't want to get cooked and then tasting it and assuring everyone that it was lovely -- which it may have been but not a go-out-of-your-way lovely -- and eating three bites and having it wrapped and paying for food that will never be eaten. We handled it poorly, but who wants to be dickish to a friendly guy when you're trapped there anyway at least until the check is delivered?

It's not just that it was a mediocre and annoying meal, it's that even if it had been done right the first time I can't figure out how Tom gave it two stars.

As always, YMMV.

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We handled it poorly, but who wants to be dickish to a friendly guy when you're trapped there anyway at least until the check is delivered?

What's the right way to handle this folks? I was way beyond my capacity/desire to consume more food but I was sure that they wanted to make it all right. Which they really couldn't by the offer of more food at that point. I really didn't care if they removed anything from the check I just felt they should know that we thought the dishes over salted (not over spiced). My taste buds were already shot, my desire to leave great. Do you decline honest hospitality and risk looking like the (fill in the blank) or do you accept it and risk looking like the (fill in the blank)when you can't eat what is set before you?

Ethoipic is a beautiful space, the chickpea salad is wonderful and refreshing I enjoyed the vegetable platter (my daughter prefers a different temp)and the service was great. The replacement shiro will be re-evaluated tomorrow when my saline addled buds have had a chance to recover.

My first reaction though, on tasting the replacement shiro is that this is something I could not only grow to love but to crave.

I still think the mitmita is too salty. Though I wouldn't mind having it rim the glass of a bloody mary one day.

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it's that even if it had been done right the first time I can't figure out how Tom gave it two stars.

I don't understand this part? Are you saying the chef's style is doomed from the start?

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What's the right way to handle this folks? I was way beyond my capacity/desire to consume more food but I was sure that they wanted to make it all right. Which they really couldn't by the offer of more food at that point. I really didn't care if they removed anything from the check I just felt they should know that we thought the dishes over salted (not over spiced). My taste buds were already shot, my desire to leave great. Do you decline honest hospitality and risk looking like the (fill in the blank) or do you accept it and risk looking like the (fill in the blank)when you can't eat what is set before you?

I haven't had that happen with an entire meal, but I've declined having food remade or extras brought out by saying that I was too full to eat anything more. I suppose the ethos of the particular restaurant would make a difference, though, and it might have been considered rude to leave there without taking more food as opposed to, say, at Clyde's. The hospitality component would be different at the two places.

The only other options I can think of are to plead an imminent engagement elsewhere that means you can't stay and/or to say something about trying the dish again next time, which gets you off the hook if you don't intend to go back and gives them the opportunity to remember you and serve it gratis if you do indeed go back..

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I don't understand this part? Are you saying the chef's style is doomed from the start?

Saying that even when it wasn't over-salted, nothing that we ate last night -- with the possible exception of the chickpea salad -- was particularly memorable. Nice space, lovely staff. Meh food.

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Saying that even when it wasn't over-salted, nothing that we ate last night -- with the possible exception of the chickpea salad -- was particularly memorable. Nice space, lovely staff. Meh food.

Are there any Ethiopian restaurants in the area worth 2 stars? Is Ethiopian food worth 2 stars? I don't dislike Ethiopian food (there're few things that I won't eat) but I've never been wowed by it either. Definitely never craved Ethiopian food. If anything, I feel obligated to eat Ethiopian food every once in awhile just to refresh my memory as to why I don't like it.

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Are there any Ethiopian restaurants in the area worth 2 stars? Is Ethiopian food worth 2 stars? I don't dislike Ethiopian food (there're few things that I won't eat) but I've never been wowed by it either. Definitely never craved Ethiopian food. If anything, I feel obligated to eat Ethiopian food every once in awhile just to refresh my memory as to why I don't like it.

Sorry to go off-topic, having not dined at Ethiopic, but to answer your question, yes, but only if it is your thing. If it is done well, Ethiopian can be wowing in a comfort food sort of way. It will never be the 4 star or Michelin restaurants you are accustomed to, but yes.

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Are there any Ethiopian restaurants in the area worth 2 stars? Is Ethiopian food worth 2 stars? I don't dislike Ethiopian food (there're few things that I won't eat) but I've never been wowed by it either. Definitely never craved Ethiopian food. If anything, I feel obligated to eat Ethiopian food every once in awhile just to refresh my memory as to why I don't like it.

Well there's the possibility of judging by the method used by the Westminster Kennel Club.

Best in class, best in show. It still comes down to an individual judges preference and well "judgement" when confronted with the best of the best that are not all apples.

For what it's worth I believe that kitfo is my biggest food craving ever, if I don't get a fix at least once a month I'm a very sad camper.

Chocolate has nothing over raw meat in my world.

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For what it's worth I believe that kitfo is my biggest food craving ever, if I don't get a fix at least once a month I'm a very sad camper.

Mine is mesir wat. I can not even begin to tally the number of places I have eaten mesir wat over the years (20+, going back to heading to Meskerem in high school because we could order Tej and not get carded). The version I've had at Ethiopic is definitely amongst those that have been the most to my liking.

I'm bummed that Waitman had meh food - the description doesn't match any of the (only a few) meals I've enjoyed there, and if it's one thing that I think really does any restaurant a disservice it's inconsistency.

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Another good outing at Ethiopic over the weekend.

The veggie sampler was once again tasty, the chicken and beef sampler was decent (it lacks variety, you get two types of doro wat and two beef dishes), also sampled one of the lamb dishes which was good (not sure which one since we had a large group and it was ordered on the far side of the table, but if I was to order a meat dish I would go lamb.)

Beer wise I like the stout off the ethiopian beer list, it's more of a dark amber than say a British style stout.

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Another good outing at Ethiopic over the weekend.

The veggie sampler was once again tasty, the chicken and beef sampler was decent (it lacks variety, you get two types of doro wat and two beef dishes), also sampled one of the lamb dishes which was good (not sure which one since we had a large group and it was ordered on the far side of the table, but if I was to order a meat dish I would go lamb.)

Beer wise I like the stout off the ethiopian beer list, it's more of a dark amber than say a British style stout.

A friend and I ate here last night, splitting the vegetarian sampler for one (which was more than enough for two) and adding a lamb dish, yebeg aletcha wot. I enjoyed the lamb but it was more a mince than the chunks of meat I thought it would be. The vegetarian sampler was quite satisfying--I especially loved the split peas (kik aletcha)--but the real highlight of the meal was our appetizer. We ordered a bowl of the butcha, which is described as "Chilled chickpeas purée seasoned with red onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, lemon juice & spices." We both simultaneously remarked that it was "fresh" (me) and "refreshing" (her). It had clean, bright flavors, a little hot but not too sharp. I would absolutely recommend this. There was a lot of it (more than there was bread for it) and we held it over to add to our sampler platter when that came out.

Thanks for the stout recommendation. I doubt I would have gone for it otherwise.

It's great to have an Ethiopian restaurant that doesn't require a trip to Northwest, and I hope the mess of a construction zone that H Street is doesn't keep people away.

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Ethiopic was FULL saturday night around 9pm. The restaurant is fairly small and with 3 large groups hogging tables seating was even more limited! Waited about 30 minutes before we cobbled together some chairs and a couple low basket tables (I'm sure those wicker tables have a real name :) ).

Tried the Signature Lamb Tips for the first time...not sure if the chef was in a bad mood or just likes to torture people, but the dish was blistering hot with jalapenos...delicious but spicy!

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low basket tables (I'm sure those wicker tables have a real name :) ).

Mesob.

(Addis Red Sea in Boston's South End used to have a sign on each one: "Hello! I'm a Mesob!")

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