Etete, courtesy of Pedro Alcocer

Etete, courtesy of Pedro Alcocer

My first taste of Ethiopian food was at Etete. While I might be quite an eater now (and some may say a bit of a foodie) in college, not so much. I don’t know whether it was of necessity or by choice, but a typical dinner usually included pizza, spaghetti in marinara sauce or maybe a chicken stirfry. I’ve broadened my tastes since then, and when I moved to U street in 2007 I knew I needed to try Ethiopian. Reading that Etete had made it to the WaPo’s dining guide, I chose that as my first foray into the cuisine. It’s totally converted me as an Ethiopian food lover.

What I love is the versatility of the cuisine, how it can be perfect for a meat eater or a vegetarian. How filing it is, and how tasty it is, spicy but not overwhelmingly so. It works on a cold night or on a summer day. And it’s difficult to spend more than $30 on a dinner for two, mostly because the food is so filling.

After going to Etete I’ve tried other Ethiopian in my area (which can be known as little Ethiopia). I still like Etete the most. Maybe it’s because it is a bit sleeker than the other Ethiopian restaurants in the area, maybe it’s because I had a really nice first date there, but I also like the food the most.

A regular feature in which I spotlight local businesses.

Beef Tibs, courtesy of Andrea Chiu (Flickr)

Beef Tibs, courtesy of Andrea Chiu (Flickr)

DCist does a review of local Ethiopian restaurant’s tibs dishes, and sort of declares the winners Madjet on U street and Queen Makeda on 9th off of U. Now, I’m more of a kitfo and veggie platter girl myself, but I like tibs, a stir fried or grilled lamb or beef dish, from time to time. I would put however, Etete, my favorite Ethiopian restaurant at the top spot, but DCist didn’t include it in their review (too bad).

Now, I can’t say I’ve ever eaten at either Madjet or Queen Makeda, I tend to stick to Etete for eat in and Dukem for take out. And with all of the choices for Ethiopian in my ‘hood, it’s good to have a few favorites with dishes you know you like, instead of experimenting in what can be some mediocre food, as the DCist reviewer finds out.

Now, what I’d really like to do is cook some Ethiopian food myself, as Dukem’s market sells berbere spices and injera bread. Another post, I guess.