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I don't know good Ethopian food from bad, but as an FYI a new restaurant appears to have opened in the spot (briefly) occupied by Sangam on Columbia Pike a couple doors down from Thai Square. I have no idea how long it has been there, but sign says Ethiopian food so there you have it. I hope they have better luck then previous tenants.

Sangam had a pretty good run, eh?

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Keep hearing good things about Zenebech -- haven't yet been.

Is there a German word for that feeling where you want to tell someone to go somewhere and do something, but you like that thing so much that you are terrified of telling people about it, especially on some sort of open internet forum, because then the tiny thing will be overrun? Get the fish. Get the kitfo. First rule of Zenebech is...

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Is there a German word for that feeling where you want to tell someone to go somewhere and do something, but you like that thing so much that you are terrified of telling people about it, especially on some sort of open internet forum, because then the tiny thing will be overrun? Get the fish. Get the kitfo. First rule of Zenebech is...

Das Tollerplatzerdrückendenschrecklichkeitsgefühl?

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Is there anyone here who likes another Ethiopian restaurant more than Zenebach Injera right now? If so, what are your preferences? My single favorite Ethiopian course in the area (although I've surely not had them all) may be the raw kitfo at Abay Market (with a hat-tip to Tim Carman). It is one hell of a dish.

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Is there anyone here who likes another Ethiopian restaurant more than Zenebach Injera right now? If so, what are your preferences? My single favorite Ethiopian course in the area (although I've surely not had them all) may be the raw kitfo at Abay Market (with a hat-tip to Tim Carman). It is one hell of a dish.

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My favorite is Enat. Their food is top-quality, the prices seem to be the most competitive, and their service is always very friendly and can even be endearing. I frequented the place many times over the course of a couple years. The owner is frequently there to maintain operations, which I appreciated. He always greeted me with a slight bow and thanked me for my patronage. I took my girlfriend and her parents to dinner here a few months ago. It was her parents' first time trying Ethiopian food. He made his personal suggestions on the menu, including some items which were not on the menu. The staff is always attentive. No one has ever tried to upsell me. I enjoy that their offerings are usually not swimming in clarified butter, which creeps me out. I find this to be a problem at many Ethiopian restaurants, including Ethiopic. I also think, aside from the overwhelmingly positive responses on Yelp, that the consistent patronage of local Ethiopians can be a strong indication of the quality of this establishment. I also enjoy that it is never a hassle to dine here-- it always seems that at least one table is ready, or one will be within a five or ten-minute wait. Their coffee is excellent. 

 

Now that I'm living in DC, the best place for me is Habesha Market. Don, I'd be curious to know how you would compare the gored gored (kuart, as they have it on the menu, - I think this is the same thing) or kitfo at Habesha Market to that at Abay Market. I have yet to check that place out. I enjoy the casual, easygoing environment, the relatively quick preparation of the high-quality, authentic dishes offered here. My Ethiopian coworkers are also convinced that this is their favorite place in DC. I always need lots of awaze and mit mita to go with my food and am always frustrated with how little most restaurants give you when you request extra (however, this hasn't been a problem at Enat). Habesha Market never frustrates me. 

 

Ethiopic seems to get really great reviews as well, both on Yelp and in the papers, but I don't enjoy that this place is about 50% more expensive than Enat or Habesha Market. Portions are definitely much smaller. Their dry tibs were swimming in butter on the three times I visited. It's still definitely a good Ethiopian restaurant, and when I don't want to go further than across the street to satiate my kitfo craving, I go here. 

 

I also used to like Zenebech Injera. They offer a half kitfo/tibs with a bit of veggies (IIRC) for $16 or so after tax and tip. But their kitfo isn't as high-quality as Habesha Market.

 

Dukem/Meskerem/Etete/Little Ethiopia and some other places I've been to just blend together to me and don't stand out. Watch out for Dukem because it might be difficult to get a table on Friday or Saturday. I get tired of dinner having to be an orchestrated event that requires coordination and reservations. 

 

There's Warka Ethiopian Restaurant in Herndon off Herndon Parkway across from where I sometimes work. That place sucks. Their injera isn't fluffy or elastic because they don't use teff. I just ate that because there weren't many options in the area as far as flavorful ethnic cuisines.

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Our neighbors and we have a reservation for Tuesday evening (New Year's Eve) at Meaza, as we were all recently reminiscing about having enjoyed Ethiopian food several (many) years ago.  It appears, though, that Enat may now be the frontrunner in the Virginia suburbs.  Has anyone eaten at both recently and have an opinion one way or the other?  We are not trekking into DC on this occasion, so it comes down to these two, unless I have overlooked somewhere else in Northern Virginia. Ambiance is secondary to food quality and taste. 

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Our neighbors and we have a reservation for Tuesday evening (New Year's Eve) at Meaza, as we were all recently reminiscing about having enjoyed Ethiopian food several (many) years ago.  It appears, though, that Enat may now be the frontrunner in the Virginia suburbs.  Has anyone eaten at both recently and have an opinion one way or the other?  We are not trekking into DC on this occasion, so it comes down to these two, unless I have overlooked somewhere else in Northern Virginia. Ambiance is secondary to food quality and taste. 

At the moment I tend to go to Enat more than Meaza mainly because I always order the vegetarian sampler, and I think Enat does a better one (more variety). As I rarely order the meat dishes, I can't really say about those.

But, you say that ambiance is secondary to taste, but do you actually want some ambiance? Because Enat is, essentially, a sports bar. A sports bar that serves food, yes, but a sports bar. Meaza actually feels more like a restaurant (and has a bit better parking situation, not much better, but anything is better than Enat's).

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I agree with TheMatt's comments. In addition to preferring the vegetarian platter at Enat, we also really like their beef dishes. I would choose it over Meaza for the food. However, Meaza is much larger and nicer. Enat is tiny and loud. Enjoy your evening! Happy New Year!

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Hmmm. Now wondering if we have a current Ethiopian thread somewhere, with the operative word being current? A thread where DanielK the more seasoned dad might have commented or where 14th St denizens reported on newer places? May be unrealistic?

We haven't gone for Ethiopian in over a year. My way of taking full blame for Meskerem I guess.

But, looking to redeem ourselves. It's a great cuisine.

My current preferences are Zenebech Injera in DC, Sheba in Rockville, and Addis Ababa in Silver Spring.

---

Bati (MSDCX)

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Hmmm. Now wondering if we have a current Ethiopian thread somewhere, with the operative word being current? A thread where DanielK the more seasoned dad might have commented or where 14th St denizens reported on newer places? May be unrealistic?

We haven't gone for Ethiopian in over a year. My way of taking full blame for Meskerem I guess.

But, looking to redeem ourselves. It's a great cuisine.

The food truck Lilypad on the Run has a killer yebeg wot. Sorry to hear about Meskerem. I hadn't eaten there in years, but I liked the place. My introduction to Ethiopian food was The Blue Nile, which was inside the Chastleton apartment building on 16th St. That was a long time ago, probably before 1980.

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I do believe the Blue Nile was the very first Ethiopian restaurant in Washington, so being responsible for its demise could be a crushing burden to bear. As it happened, though, the Chastleton kicked them out, I think, as part of a massive renovation of the building (which may have been as part of a conversion; I think it's a co-op now), so I guess I'll have to be content with having closed Meskerem down.

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I do believe the Blue Nile was the very first Ethiopian restaurant in Washington, so being responsible for its demise could be a crushing burden to bear. As it happened, though, the Chastleton kicked them out, I think, as part of a massive renovation of the building (which may have been as part of a conversion; I think it's a co-op now), so I guess I'll have to be content with having closed Meskerem down.

Are you sure the first wasn't The Red Sea on 18th Street?

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Red Sea is definitely the first place I went to.  Meskerem was always a distance second.  I was in Adams Morgan for lunch about 2 weeks ago and ended up at Awash for lunch because Meskerem was was only open for lunch on weekends.  (No signs indicating it was closed/for lease at that time.)

I've got to get the family over to Sheba.

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Are you sure the first wasn't The Red Sea on 18th Street?

Actually, according to this, it was Mamma Desta on Georgia Avenue in 1978. I remember being aware of a restaurant of that name, but I never ate there. There was a review of the Blue Nile in the Washington Post on August 26, 1979, but I've been unable to find an opening date for the Blue Nile or the Red Sea. I do see that there was a review of the Red Sea in the Post on August 2, 1984, but that doesn't mean it wasn't in business before the Blue Nile. Some may think this unimportant, but not I.

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Actually, according to this, it was Mamma Desta on Georgia Avenue in 1978. I remember being aware of a restaurant of that name, but I never ate there. There was a review of the Blue Nile in the Washington Post on August 26, 1979, but I've been unable to find an opening date for the Blue Nile or the Red Sea. I do see that there was a review of the Red Sea in the Post on August 2, 1984, but that doesn't mean it wasn't in business before the Blue Nile. Some may think this unimportant, but not I.

I know I went to The Red Sea in the summer of 1983, right as I was preparing to move here, and I'm not sure if it's the first time I went there or not.  For some reason I think that wasn't my first meal there, and I have no idea how many years they'd been open at the time of that visit.

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But speaking of Ethiopian food, I had a rather delicious doro wot from the Fasika's food truck for lunch just now, which reminded me to wonder: What do Ethiopians do with the rest of the chicken?

Since they're in the truck, it's easy to cross the road...

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Enat has been my go to as well lately. For me, it is hands down the best vegetarian combo to be had in terms of both variety and quality. Eyo and Meaza were my previous favorites and I believe still quite good. I would give Eyo a slight nod on their awaze tibs over Enat, and if I was taking someone out and required nicer ambiance, I would go Meaza. Enat's food is great but servers can be hard to flag down at times (the register across the bar seems to gather them). I have also had a few strange seating situations (I felt like I was in the musical act performing), but the food makes up for it.     

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I tried Zenebach yesterday and I really liked it. It was a nice spice level and the greens and cabbage were great, but I like Hawwi in Alexandria better. They're about the same price but I like the texture and flavor of the meat better at Hawwi. You can also control your spice level because of the chopped pepper served on the side.

The decor is nicer at Dama, but the price is literally two times that of Zenebach and Hawwi, and you can't get a combo! So you're only getting one meat where you can get 2 or 3 meats with the other places, and vegetables.

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Looking at their menu, I see photos of a few platters with cottage cheese.  This gives me hope that it might be possible to get some of the cottage cheese with a collard gomen dish, the thing I miss so much from Red Sea.  Fingers crossed.

 

Pat, if all you're searching for is cottage cheese with collards, I don't think you're going to have much trouble finding it - it's not that uncommon (I can't think of anywhere off the top of my head, which is why I'm posting this here instead of rattling off places that have it).

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1 hour ago, ElGuapo said:

Silver Spring's Beteseb Restaurant, which was featured in Marcus Samuelsson's PBS Series No Passport Required in 2018, is tops in Eater's Essential Restaurants Around D.C. list:

https://www.sourceofthespring.com/silver-spring/beteseb-tops-eaters-essential-ethiopian-restaurants-list/

Nope. That local Silvery Spring paper misreported it:  Eater's "rankings" are not quality-based but north-to-south.  There are 14 restaurants cited--basically all those you'd expect.

https://dc.eater.com/maps/best-ethiopian-restaurants-dc-map

 

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1 minute ago, Marty L. said:

Nope. That local Silvery Spring paper misreported it:  Eater's "rankings" are not quality-based but north-to-south.  There are 14 restaurants cited--basically all those you'd expect.

https://dc.eater.com/maps/best-ethiopian-restaurants-dc-map

 

Patch reported the same thing. “But there's one joint that stands above the rest, at least according to Eater.com.“

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Thrillist recently asked locals like Meseret Bekele, co-owner of Ethiopic Restaurant, and Elias Taddesse, chef-owner of Mélange who earned a Michelin star while at Caviar Russe in New York City, to help them curate a list of best Ethiopian restaurants in the area. Beteseb in downtown Silver Spring was listed as a favorite.

https://www.sourceofthespring.com/silver-spring/beteseb-named-one-of-the-areas-best-ethiopian-restaurants/

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7 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

Anyone have a good carry-out/delivery experience from any of the Ethiopian restaurants in Arlington/Alexandria/Falls Church area?

I've had good experiences getting carry-out with Enat a few times over the last few months. I always get the vegetarian combination and get food enough for two meals. Here's a pic of what I get:

IMG_6922.jpg.50b4bf05858cee9ecab27f9b93e67462.jpg

I think there were two little containers of shiro in this. I don't mind that though as I like shiro. Everything else was unique. 

I also had a good experience with Sora Market as well, but I tend to stick with Enat.

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