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Sodere, 9th & U Streets, Little Ethiopia - So There.


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Long time lurker...first time poster.

Tonight would be a great night to check out an Ethiopian restuarant as today is the Ethiopian New Years day. Sodere is my favorite at the moment, although they always insist on cooking my kitfo, even when I request they don't. Every dish is a bit spicier than those at other places, I think they use more jalapenos.

Close seconds for me are both Etete and Dukem (which has the best kitfo in town).

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Sodere is my favorite at the moment, although they always insist on cooking my kitfo, even when I request they don't.  Every dish is a bit spicier than those at other places, I think they use more jalapenos. 

Close seconds for me are both Etete and Dukem (which has the best kitfo in town).

I visited Sodere yesterday, and I am now torn between once my very favorite Dukem and Sodere, the new heart winner. :lol:

The food took a while to come out, probably because we were the only diners last night (almost 9pm), but it was definitely worth waiting for. We had lamb and beef tibs and kitfo (meat combo for 1) and vegetarian combo that had the usual - tomato salad, potato salad, lentils (spicy!), chick peas, cabbage, greens - plus two more wat that I couldn't tell what the ingredient was. Everything was so delicious: especially beef tibs, spicy lentils, greens, and tomato salad. There was a lot of food atop our injera: I felt like I was at an Ethiopian thanksgiving dinner table, nibbling even after my stomach had reached its full capacity. :P

http://www.sodererestaurant.com/menu.html

I am a fan of al fresco dining at Dukem, but now the season is about to change, I am more likely to be heading to Sodere.

Edited by Jonu
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drawing distinctions with etete, the vegetable combination at a recent dinner at sodere was a bit perkier than at its practically-next-door neighbor, and even the lettuce and tomato salad started making sense, spiked with specks of hot green pepper. zelbo gomen with shiro (collard greens cooked with yellow pea flour) was unavailable; the dollop of greens in the combo suggested that we were missing out on something special.

a combination of doro wot (a chicken that has escaped, leaving its leg and an egg behind), beef wat and alecha fitfit (lamb bone) provides berbere and two other intriguing and rich sauces that are essential to these dishes. the presentation is a satisfying study in meat, rendering three unique mixtures of flavor and texture. with delicious, greyish injera in hand we made fairly fast work of the stews, picking off the bones like hyenas. one of my only complaints about this cuisine is that it is too fast too eat and you are full before you know it. spiciness lurks in the food at sodere, smoldering faintly when it appears, rather than burning. there were no appetizers on the menu, and there really is no need for them.

bigger than etete, though still not capable of seating a crowd, sodere is layed out in a similar gun-shot configuration of window tables up front, seating running up the sides, a bar and then the kitchen. it has more television sets, and the sounds of at least two of them were blaring along with ethiopian music, a cacophony that miraculously rolls over the conversation without drowning it out. if avocado green is your color, you've hit the jackpot, and the lighting is turned up almost high enough to start bouncing off the walls.

the service is endearing, with the opportunity to linger, but it's the food here that puts everybody on the same wavelength.

based on just single visits, i would say that things are pretty much ready to go in this kitchen, compared to etete, where what exactly is going on back there, hard labor and more, is a bit of a mystery. etete is darker, its food and ambiance capable of transporting you to an even stranger place.

Edited by giant shrimp
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I figured this would be the best place to add this. See the $20 Tuesdays attempt for background.

I returned to Sodere yesterday only to find the doors locked yet again. This time, though, they had a note in the window saying they were closed for renovations. Fortunately, this time I was coming from a meeting right around the corner.

I ended up, once again, at Etete.

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