Dirt Cheap Eats 2007: Zenebech Injera

Cafes & Carryouts

You may never have set foot in this unprepossessing carryout, but if you’ve had Ethiopian food in DC, you’ve probably eaten here by proxy. The two-table grocery makes most of the injera—the spongy sourdough that constitutes serving platter, utensil, and breadstuff at a communal meal in an Ethiopian restaurant.

Zenebech Injera boasts some of the best cooking in the six-block stretch of U Street known as Little Ethiopia. The beef tartare called kitfo ($8.50) is a mound of pungently spiced meat. An intensely rich stew of cabbage, potatoes, and carrots ($7.50) hardly deserves the label “side dish.” Kik alicha ($8), a yellow-lentil stew, is as creamy and soothing as a bowl of cheesy grits. On the way out, pick up one of the kitchen’s breads—baked, as is the custom, in swaddlings of banana leaf.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.