Zenebech Restaurant comes with an amenity the original lacked: a full bar, just off the entrance. If you crave a martini with your food, no problem.
By Tom Sietsema (The Washington Post) |
WASHINGTON, DC―Ethiopian meals rank among the most intimate in the world. Even if a group of you order separate entrees, they’re all served on the same platter, invariably lined with injera, the tangy crepe-like bread that looks like a folded napkin but does double duty as both canvas and eating utensil. Sharing is expected, in other words. Among the sweetest displays of public affection is gursha (“mouthful” in Amharic), whereby one diner wraps some food in a swatch of injera and feeds another. If the feeling is mutual, the honor is returned.
Ethiopian cooking rates as some of my favorite, a sentiment born from my days as a student in Washington with an appetite for adventure but not a lot of money. Back then, Adams Morgan was ground zero for the stews known as tibs eaten around the basket-tables called mesobs. Celebrations — a new internship, the end of finals, the weekend — saw bottles of tej, honey-sweetened wine, being uncorked.
Nostalgia recently drew me back to the neighborhood, prompted by the news that Zenebech Restaurant, one of the city’s longtime East African outposts, had finally relocated to larger quarters in Adams Morgan after shuttering in pricey Shaw last year. Equally compelling is the flavor profile, similar to that of my favorite cuisine, Indian, a tapestry of warm spices and addictive heat.
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