Though there are a number of Ethiopian restaurants in the greater D.C. area, co-owner Philipos Mengistu says they’re focused on making Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant stand out.

By Alexa Epitropoulos (Alexandria Times) |

Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant, a collaboration between New York restaurateur Philipos Mengistu and Alexandria resident Daniel Solomon, opened Monday on Alexandria’s West End.

The 95-seat restaurant, located at 516 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria, Virginia, features traditional and authentic Ethiopian fare, served with injera, a sourdough flatbread. The restaurant also includes a full bar, which will serve the Ethiopian specialty honey sangria. Chef Senait “Mimi” Tedla is running Makeda’s kitchen.

The restaurant’s co-owners have known each other since they were children. Philipos has been running restaurants for more than two decades and founded Queen of Sheba, which is still operating in New York City’s midtown section, in 1997.

“We opened [Queen of Sheba] to introduce Ethiopian food to New Yorkers and to serve the international community. We’ve loved sharing with family and friends and now we’ve brought that experience to Alexandria,” Philipos said.

Daniel has lived in Alexandria since 1992 and is a longtime fan of Philipos’ New York restaurant. He wanted to bring the same experience to his hometown, so the two have been working on opening the new restaurant for about five months.

“For me, this is a new experience,” Daniel said. “It looks very promising so far.”

Philipos said he and Solomon have done their research in the greater D.C. area, dining out and assessing the competition. Though there are a number of Ethiopian restaurants, Philipos said they’re focused on making Makeda stand out.

Continue reading this story at Alexandria Times
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