Zenebech D.C. - May 2015

Photo: Lydia Brown (that’s me!) smiling over a plate of yesiga tibs alicha firfir, or cubed beef in a mild sauce with pieces of injera flatbread cooked into the dish, on a large platter with injera underneath and rolled to the side, and a bottle of Mira brand mango pulp on the side. Zenebech Injera at 608 T Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia, May 2015. 

I’m not Ethiopian or Eritrean. I’m Chinese American. But I have an enormous love for Ethiopian / Eritrean / Habesha cuisine, and I decided to create a blog devoted to my nommy noms. (To be clear, I’m not an expert or authority of any kind on Ethiopian/Eritrean/Habesha food. I’m just a fan from a totally different cultural background. Also, I’m autistic, and injera is the stimmiest bread in the history of stimmy breads.)

I travel quite a bit as a public speaker on disability rights, LGBTQ issues, and race, and every time I go to a new city (or return somewhere I’ve been!), I try to visit any and all Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants nearby. Over the past couple of years, that’s added up to a lot of places!

(I have enough class privilege that going out to eat can be a thing, but not so much class privilege that I can always afford it on my own — which is why I often go out to eat while a guest, since my host usually covers my meals.)

This blog aims to catalog and review the various Ethiopian/Eritrean places I’ve been! I may add entries for places I’ve been in the past, but I will definitely add entries going forward. I’ll talk about awesome injera versus terrible injera, as well as just generally ramble on about which places had great food and which, well, really didn’t. And yes, Ethiopian food trucks are also a thing, and yes, I’ve eaten from those too.

I’m currently suffering through 1L — commonly known as the first year of law school — so updates might not be incredibly frequent. BUT. I am planning to put up a whole series of posts — a picture glossary of Ethiopian/Eritrean food, an argument for why you can take pretty much anyone ever to Ethiopian/Eritrean food (assuming that the money and transportation exist, anyway), and of course, the aforementioned reviews of places I’ve been.

So far (as of October 2016) I’ve been to Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants (or markets or bakeries) in these cities/places (and in many cases, more than one place in the city, where more than one exists):

  • Albany, New York
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Berkeley, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Boylston area
    • Northeastern/Symphony area
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Falls Church, Virginia
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Hyattsville, Maryland
  • Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Malden, Massachusetts
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • New York, New York
    • Midtown
    • Harlem
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • University City District
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Portland, Oregon
    • Richmond/South Tabor (Northeast)
    • Food Carts
  • Roxbury, Massachusetts
  • San Francisco, California
  • SeaTac, Washington
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Somerville, Massachusetts
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Washington, District of Columbia
    • H Street Corridor
    • U Street Corridor (unofficial “Little Ethiopia”)
    • Downtown
    • Shaw

… and the list continues to grow!

Next stops include San Antonio, Texas; Reykjavik, Iceland; Dorchester, Massachusetts; and Burlington, Vermont!

(Unfortunately, I have occasionally been in or near cities where I could have tried Ethiopian/Eritrean places there and didn’t actually do so, including Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia. BUT I plan to change that, one day, if I ever am back.)

4 thoughts on “About

  1. I AM SO HAPPY THIS BLOG IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    While in Portland, Oregon, I recommend Queen of Sheba on MLK. There is a dish with cracked grain I can’t remember the name of right now but it’s fucking fantastic. And amazing injera. They also sell their injera at the convenience store across the street. Such good injera


  2. Dear Lydia,

    I love your blog, your website and I am impressed by what you do, And of course your love of injera. I am Ethiopian and live in a place where I don’t have access to injera. So, I have started a small business that delivers injera to homes. That way, I am able to have some as well. Its not a booming business yet, but its really satisfying when I manage to deliver injera to someone who is dying for it as I was for a long time. Check out my site and let me know what you think. http://www.injeraforall.com.
    Keep up the good work on all fronts!

    Elsa Abraham


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