Sunday, August 16, 2009


until last weekend, i had never had ethiopian food. at my friend elisa's suggestion, a bunch of us enjoyed a leisurely saturday lunch in the relaxing, zen-like atmosphere of emanu.
since we were all ethiopian cuisine virgins, we asked for just a selection of the server's (owner?) favorites. she was very accomodating and prehaps found us fairly amusing. of course, we were the only people in the restaurant, so she was probably hard up for entertainment.
to start, we shared the beef sambussa(s?) my sister found it impossible to wait for me to take a picture before reaching for one. absolutely delightful - suprisingly ungreasy and not overly fried.
below is not a presentation of refreshing hot towels. it's a plate of injera, the spongy flat bread made from teff flour east africans use as both bread and utensil (more info here). it also lines the serving bowl, soaking up juices as the meal progresses. it has a slightly sour taste, which was nice, but i don't think i cared much for the texture. it reminded me of the spongy lining in my kitchen drawers. as you can see, we had a wide variety of tidbits to try. in the center was a hard-boiled egg.

my favorite was probably the beef, which i think was zignie. i was kind of a bad blogger and didn't take proper notes.

everything was very delicious, with an unusual (to my palate) combination of flavors. even though i don't think i ate a lot, i was full quickly. we thought we were finished until the owner came by and scolded us for not eating more. we continued to plug away. apparently the meal is not considered finished until the injera "tablecloth" lining the bowl is also consumed.
all in all a very pleasurable eating experience.

Emanu East African Restaurant on Urbanspoon


5chw4r7z said...

We ate at the ethiopian place down the street from Emanu a year ago. I couldn't wrap my head around the spongy bread or the food and couldn't enjoy it.
I tried, but just a little too weird for me.

liz said...

i am glad you guys tried it. i love ethiopian food and injera. the first time i tried it (probably 5-6 years ago) it kind of weirded me out, but i think it's an acquired taste and if you try it a couple more times you might really like it.