First, let me just say that for the last five years, I thought I didn’t like Ethiopian food.  I had gone to this one restaurant twice and didn’t like it.  I thought I had tried it and it wasn’t for me.  I had been talking with a friend and we agreed we wanted to try Ethiopian — specifically, Etete.  Well, I used to not like it.  But then I went to Etete.  I love it!  Here’s their menu.

  • Food: First, we ordered Sambusa with lentil.  This was delicious!  The fried pastry was hot (temperature and spice).  I can’t remember exactly what the title of what I ordered was, but it was the spicy lamb while my friend ordered the spicy beef.  My lamb was awesome.  It was tender and spicy.  The beef was good, but I definitely think I ordered the best!  On the side, were given sauted cabbage (in butter?) with carrots which was yummy.   Then there was a plain iceberg salad with tomatoes and lots of oil.  I ordered an ice tea which had a strong but yummy nutmeg and cinnamon flavor and smell.   And here’s the shocker — it also had cardamon but I liked it.  BTW, I’ve been here twice with the same friend.  We still ordered the sambusa but changed our main entree.   I ordered the Etete Kitfo with minced meat and it had a sutle but good kick.  I really liked it.  My friend ordered the vegetarian Goman and it was good. 
  • Service:  Despite the fact the restaurant wasn’t busy, our server was frequently MIA.  We had to find her to ask for a refill on water and get another round of beer.
  • Atmosphere: Inside it’s very comfortable and cozy.  Be prepared to have neighbors listen to your conversation — at least we did!  Seriously, they didn’t talk to each other at all during their meal.  Instead, they listened to our conversation.  Funny.  The downstairs has a bar with 10 stools and there’s a few tall tables and stools as well.  There’s a wall of wooden bench seats which are higher than the chairs.  So if you’re sitting  in a chair, you’re going to be shorter than the person on the wooden bench.  Photo gallery is here.  Upstairs there’s more seating, another bar, and another bathroom.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Can you tell I ws surprised to love Etete?  I talked to my friend post-dinner a few days later and we concurred that we must go back and soon!  I’m starting to have a serious craving for Ethiopian.  Etete is absolutely one of the best Ethiopian restaurants — if not THE best.  It changed my opinion of Ethiopian food!

Details:

  • Hours: Daily 11 AM-1 AM
  • Address: 1942 9th St NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: (202) 232-7600
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