I am sort of incapable of eating Ethiopian in moderation. It is too delicious!
But it was a special occasion because one of my bestest friends from college, Eireni, was in town! She also graduated early and it was beyond amazing to catch up and hang out in DC. here is her gorgey self admiring our gorgey lunch!
If there’s one ethnic cuisine DC is really known for, it’s Ethiopian. Based on geography, we were close to Zed’s but I’ve already been there… and we were a bit of a trek from the U Street corridor, where there is SERIOUS Ethiopian.
My beloved Yelp came to the rescue and we set out for Lalibela, on 14th by Rhode Island. We arrived, after a lotttt of walking, at this adorable corner:
It was small and cozy and I was a little too uncomfortable to take pictures inside but my ultimate judge of a good ethnic restaurant is if my white self is in the minority, which I most certainly was!
Both of us being Orthodox (and she’s vegetarian year round!) it was easy to decide on the vegetarian combo platter. This is in general in my opinion the way to go at Ethiopian restaurants because most Ethiopians are Orthodox and also spend much of the year fasting and they’ve figured out how to make vegetables taste REALLY REALLY GOOD. Vegetarians, take note!
Oh. Em. Gee.
Let’s break this thing down.
On the left:
At the top, yellow split peas (a bit milder, cooked almost al dente). Center, two lentil dishes, one pureed and one chunky, both sweet-spicy. The pureed one I think was my favorite dish of the day. Front left is tomato salad, which was almost exactly like pico de gallo with hot pepper and onion. Refreshingly vinegary. And finally, cabbage and carrots, which was tangy and yummy.
On the right:
Collard greens! Oh collards. And in the back there, seriously succulent and comforting potato and carrot.
All served atop injera, with more on the side, just for good measure!
And you had better believe we DEMOLISHED that platter. Ethiopia, you WIN.