Cheap Eats 2009: Etete
Great food, low prices, lots of fun
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published June 19, 2009
Cheap Eats 2011 100 Best Restaurants (2011) Cheap Eats (2010) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Address: 1942 Ninth St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-232-7600
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable or meat side dishes and entrees, usually a wat or thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is 50 cm (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. One does not eat with utensils, but instead uses injera (always with the right hand) to scoop up the entrees and side dishes
Opening Hours: Open daily 11 to 1.
Nearby Metro Stops: U St./African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo, Shaw-Howard University
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Sambusas (lentil or beef turnovers); wats such as chicken-and-egg doro wat and yebeg wat, a lamb stew; vegetarian sampler of azifa (green lentils), yekik alicha (yellow-lentil-and-onion stew), and yemisir wat (red lentils); gomen (collard greens); kitfo.
Price Details: Appetizers $2.75 to $5; entrées $10 to $14.99.

Why go: Ethiopian is one of the city’s defining cuisines, and this stylishly appointed, bi-level cafe is the best place to appreciate it. The complex, spice-laden stews shimmer with the taste of loving home cooking.

What to get: Sambusas—crispy turnovers of lentil or beef; hearty stews called wats, including chicken-and-egg doro wat and peppery yebeg wat, a lamb stew; vegetarian sampler of azifa (green lentils in a spicy mustard sauce), yekik alicha (yellow-lentil-and-onion stew), and yemisir wat (red lentils in a rich, fiery sauce).

Best for: Big groups; late-night eats; vegetarian dining; an introductory course in the charms of Little Ethiopia.

Insider tip: If you call in advance, Tiwaltengus Shenegelgn—known as Etete—will prepare her shrimp wat, a dish made famous at the late Fasika’s and a favorite of Stevie Wonder’s.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here  

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/19/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews