Located on 1942 9th St NW, Etete is a Nomster’s dream come true. We’d never had Ethiopian cuisine before so we weren’t sure what to expect, but everything ended up being delicious. They recently remodeled their space so the interior looks great, and the restaurant’s vibe is trendy yet intimate. Seating’s fairly limited on the first floor, but they have ample space above with extra tables and a large bar. Owners Yared & Henok Tesfaye’s mother, Etete, recently revamped their menu with Chef Christopher Roberson, and the result is pure perfection.
We started our meal off with their Injera Chicken Tacos ($12). These were made with berbere chicken, collard greens, pickled peppers, and ayib farmers cheese. The chef charred the injera to create a makeshift taco shell. For those of you unfamiliar with the ingredient, it’s a spongy flatbread made from fermented tef, a gluten-free grain that’s a staple in Ethiopian cuisine. You’ll see it presented in a different way later so keep an eye out.
The ingredients in this dish came together so well – we can definitely see why it’s one of their most popular plates! The cheese tempered the bite of the chicken (berbere’s quite spicy), and there was so much going on with the texture; the peppers contrasted beautifully with the creaminess of the cheese.
Then came their Sweet Chili Wings ($10). Glazed with bird’s eye chili and soy, these were surprisingly spicy! We don’t mean that in a bad way or anything though – we were just thrown off because the heat was unexpected. In all honesty, these were some of the best wings we’ve ever had. If you’re looking to indulge in crispy morsels of perfection, head on over to Etete for chicken you’ll be dreaming about for weeks to come.
Next up: their Kitfo ($15), lean seasoned beef, mitmita, ayib, and gomen spices served on top of injera. Fun fact: Ethiopians don’t use utensils. You can obviously ask waitstaff for a fork, but what’s the fun in that? Use pieces of injera to scoop up the noms of your choice. FYI, you can get your beef raw, medium or well done!
And last but not least, we got an order of the Doro Wat aka Ethiopian chicken stew ($16). This actually tasted a lot like dakdoritang (spicy korean chicken stew). It came out piping hot with two chicken drumsticks and a hard poached egg! Dip your injera in this bowl of delicious for a serious flavor explosion.
Before we leave you, we want to tell you about their amazing happy hour (Monday through Friday, 5-8 PM) deals. House wine’s available for $4, specialty drinks for $6, and draft beers for $4 a pop. You can also get discounted food as well if you’re hungry: $7 for beef sliders, injera tacos, or sweet & spicy wings, and $5 for a serving of their hummus.
We only got to try one of their cocktails, but we have no doubt their other drinks slay. This was the 24 karat ($12) – made with tequila, St Germain, passion fruit, fresh carrot juice, fresh lime juice and bird’s eye chili syrup. This drink was legit, and we’re not huge fans of tequila to start with so that means a lot coming from us. We’ll definitely be back soon to try their Ethiopian Mule – we’re suckers for ginger – and indulge in more wings and tacos!
Happy eating, Nomsters.