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The diminutive Blue Nile Market and Café is half grocery store, half restaurant. The modest menu works as a primer on Ethiopian cuisine, with each dish served atop injera, a spongy bread that's employed in lieu of a utensil. Dishes include tibs (sautés) with mildly spicy beef and, for the truly adventurous, kitfo (raw, finely chopped beef). The vegetarian combo brings small servings of four excellent vegetable dishes.
An Ethiopian restaurant likely to appeal to novice and connoisseur alike, Meskerem is a welcome addition to South Grand's multi-culti mix. Even the injera - the spongy, slightly sour bread with which you scoop up your food - is better than average here. Newcomers might want to try the Meskerem Combo, which offers both straightforward tibs wat (beef in the classic Ethiopian berbere sauce), and the more interesting gomen besaega (beef with collard greens). Vegetarians will find several delicious lentil, chickpea and sautéed vegetable dishes, while adventurous carnivores may want to try kitfo, raw beef chopped very fine and seasoned with clarified butter and fiery mitmita chile powder.
A fine introduction to Ethiopian cuisine, and a satisfying meal all around. You eat with your hands (or, if you're Ethiopian, just the right hand) from a communal plate with flat, spongy injera bread as a utensil. Key wat (beef stew)and yebeg wat (lamb stew) feature berbere sauce, a tantalizing blend of spices, sometimes hot, sometimes sharp, always delicious. Zilzil tibs (strips of seared beef, peppers and onion served on a sizzling platter, like fajitas) are a surefire crowd-pleaser. Almost every dish costs less than $10, and the menu features several combination platters for those who want to try a little bit of several different things or aren't sure where to begin with one of the world's oldest, most elegant cuisines.
Red Sea Cafe is restaurant serving African and Ethiopian food located in University City.
Just past the Loop and a bit south you'll find Selam Ethiopian Restaurant hidden away on Rosedale Avenue. Open Thursday through Saturday, the small, brightly decorated restaurant features a variety of Ethiopian foods, highlighted by beef tibs and thick stews, called wat, served with injera, large flatbread made from lightly sour teff flour. Several lamb, chicken and vegetable options are available, but please note that the Ethiopian serving style does not account for vegetarians who intend to keep meet from touching their meal, so please inform your server of any dietary requests. Street parking is available on Delmar Boulevard, and some spots can be found on Rosedale Avenue.
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