Do you love Ethiopian food? If no, you’re wrong. If yes, me too! Also, perhaps you should marry it. Also, you should check out Das Ethiopian in Georgetown. As amazing as Ethiopian food is, it’s pretty much all the same, so I generally judge Ethiopian restaurants by the experience, and Das Ethiopian didn’t disappoint in that regard. I checked out a place called Meskerem a couple of weeks ago, and while the food was very good, the place was dirty, and the service was slow. Das Ethiopian clean, bright, and the service was great! I mean, we even had a psychic server! I ordered our appetizer and asked whether its “special sauce” contained dairy (it does not), then when I tried to tell our server our entrée order, she said “vegetarian sampler for two.” Chills. I don’t know how she knew, but I do know that she has a very special gift. Here’s what we had:
Here you have your typical [incredibly delicious] vegetarian sampler for two.
There was no room for dessert, but next time we’re going to try the lemon sorbet.
Our first experience of Ethiopian cuisine certainly won’t be our last after this delicious meal. We had the sampler for two which helpfully cut out the trepidation filled process of ordering from an unfamiliar menu, and we’re rewarded with a nicely balanced range of chicken, beef, vegetables, rice and bread (more like sponge, but perfect for mopping up the plate). All of this in a pleasant, old world, Georgetown dining room.
Warnings: no cutlery offered, this is a hands on experience, and the dishes come spicy as standard.
“Das is a restaurant to dine at romantically or as a group. The ambience suits both occasions. The Staff are extremely attentive and it was impressive to see the owner talking to all the diners as he did on the only other occasion we have visited this restaurant. We so enjoyed the sampling platters the first time we went that we tried them again, we were not disappointed. The menu is varied and interesting, next time something different.”
Das Ethiopian Restaurant at 28th and M Streets held its Ethiopian coffee ceremony June 21 on the outside patio of the restaurant. Invited dinner guests sampled the Das Ethiopian Exclusive roasted Sidamo coffee, which was introduced to the group and is available for sale. Guests delighted in the unique coffee ceremony. After all, coffee originated in Ethiopia.
Das is an elegant Ethiopian restaurant located at the beginning of Georgetown on M Street. The all white interior makes for an intimate, romantic atmosphere. The decor was more understated than at other Ethiopian restaurants I’ve been to, which are usually decorated with an ethnic theme. The only hint at the restaurant’s cuisine was in the beautiful black-and-white portraits of Ethiopians hanging on the walls.
During the warmer months, Das has outdoor seating on its front patio. It’s definitely the perfect place to see Georgetown and be seen in Georgetown.
I’m not a connoisseur of Ethiopian cuisine, so whenever I go to an Ethiopian restaurant, I tend to let someone else order for me. The simple choice this time was the Das Combination Chicken & Beef Entrée Sampler for Two ($35.95), which I shared with my boyfriend. The meal came with Chicken Doro Watt, Beef Kaey Watt, Beef Alicha and Beef Cubes Segana Gomen on injera, a traditional spongy Ethiopian flatbread.
Ethiopian cuisine is unique because you eat it with your hands! The food is served on a bed of injera, and it comes with rolls of injera with which you’re supposed to scoop your food up and eat it. The best part of the meal is eating the injera below the meat, because it’s been soaking up.
I couldn’t really differentiate which dish was which on the plate (with one exception), but it didn’t really matter; it was good food. The Chicken Doro Watt was placed in the center, and consisted of drumsticks buried under ground meat and served with hard boiled eggs. All of the meats came in varying degrees of spiciness. The servers were really attentive when it came to refilling cups with water. This dish came with two non-meat sides (the yellow and green blobs on the left of the plate), but I would have liked some more vegetables to break up the monotony of the meal. The past two times I’ve been to Ethiopian restaurants, my dishes came with more non-meat sides.
The Sample meal was definitely a lot, even for two people. I think we could have just split a one-person entree and filled up on the free injera that comes with the meal (your supply is replenished as you eat).
This meal left me satiated, not stuffed, which is always preferable. However, dessert was in order to cleanse my palate of the spicy flavors. I got the Chocolate Pyramid (about $8), which was a hard-shelled dessert filled with chocolate mousse. Below the mousse was a crunchy, praline layer, which was my favorite part of the pastry. It was the perfect end to the meal.
Das Ethiopian is the most elegant Ethiopian restaurant I’ve seen, and it’s in a more central location (relative to Foggy Bottom) than other DC Ethiopian restaurants, which can usually be found on U Street, Adams Morgan and near Howard University. I’ve enjoyed my meals at the other Ethiopian restaurants I’ve been to more, but I was usually sharing with about 10 people at these places, so I had a wider variety of dishes to try. I’d come back to Das and see what else they had to offer.
On a cold Feb. 20 evening, members and guests of the Georgetown Business Association gathered at the warm Das Ethiopian Restaurant at 28th and M Streets, NW, for its monthly networking reception after its board meeting. Beside earlier discussions on zoning and streetcars, some of the lively biz folks’ thoughts turned to spring and visions of cherry blossoms and Washington’s annual festival. GBA vice president Janine Schoonover said she wants to get a group together for a cherry blossom event in Georgetown. (One of Washington’s biggest annual event — the 101st National Cherry Blossom Festival — starts March 20.)
As for Das, the two-story restaurant provided drinks and heavy hors d’ouevres of the spicy kind that added to the lively conversations. The reception on the second floor prompted an editor of the Georgetowner Newspaper to remind those willing to listen that the very space they stood in was once part of the offices for the Georgetowner, along with another office for Bobby Poe’s music service — to which a few responded: where hasn’t the Georgetowner offices been over the course of seven decades?
Directly off M street in downtown Georgetown, Das Ethiopian has a very quaint atmosphere with charm and class. A friend and I made plans to visit during the weekend. Being that is was a Saturday night in Georgetown; I reserved a table the night before on Open Table. When we first arrived, there were only a few other couples in the dining room, but slowly tables began to fill up, so I was glad that I had made the reservation.
Formerly called Zed’s, Das Ethiopian had stellar reviews on Yelp and other sites, so I was eager to try it. Their menu, while a little more expensive than other restaurants featured a wide variety of meat and vegetarian dishes. For an appetizer, my guest and I ordered the Mushrom Inguday Tibs, which featured sautéed mushrooms, onions, and a special sauce with a touch of chili peppers. It was delicious and definitely big enough to serve two people. Additionally, it wasn’t too filling.
For a main course, we ordered the Das Combination Chicken & Beef Entrée Sampler for two, which allowed us to try a variety of different dishes, including Chicken Doro Watt, Beef Kaey Watt, Beef Alicha and Beef cubes Segana Gomen all served on a large plate of injera. Our server pointed out the different combinations, indicating which ones were mildly spicy and those that were spicier.
The injera at Das Ethiopian was very thin and light, which made it a perfect compliment to the meal. The beef and chicken were very tender and the spices were just right. Coupled with a glass of pinot noir and great company, the meal was delicious and very filling. We glanced the dessert menu, but considering we were taking a third of our meal home, it was safe to say that we couldn’t eat another bite.
The service at Das was great, they refilled our glasses of water frequently and were very courteous. The restaurant manager even came by the tables to say hello. Overall, I would come back to Das Ethiopian, perhaps with business colleagues or for an evening out with close friends. While more expensive than other Ethiopian restaurants, the meal and ambiance was well worth it. For an appetizer, two glasses of wine, and a beef and chicken sampler for two, the dinner cost $75 before tip.
While in DC, my family decided to try Ethiopian food. So, we headed to DAS (formerly under the name of Zed’s) in Georgetown. At first glance it looks like a restaurant for a more formal affair, with its leather back seats and clean white tablecloths. However, as you look more closely you’ll see something missing: silverware. That’s right- Ethiopian food is finger food! So, while you can go for a special occasion, it’s perfectly acceptable to take the whole family. : )
Because we never had Ethiopian food before, we got the vegetarian sampler, the chicken & beef (meat) sampler, and the Ethiopian style short ribs (Godin Tibs). Everything was very flavorful and multi-dimensional.
Additionally, my father tried a glass of Ethiopian wine. Being a more sweet wine, I thought it was alright. : P
Overall, it was a unique experience and I recommend everyone to try Ethiopian food at least once. If you go to DAS, I suggest trying the vegetarian sampler. Those were really good…and the ribs. : P
I have always had an affection for blunt flavors. Flavors that grab hold of you and threaten to overwhelm only to rescind before the figurative redline. Though every cuisine and kitchen has a dish or two that mimic this experience, there are few that base the entirety of their depth on this concept, with Ethiopian being one such fare. A culinary tour-de-force that is highly underrated, Ethiopian food hits your senses like a brick; its complex integration of spices and seasoning rivaled only by its ability to fill you up.
Originally called Zed’s, Das Ethiopian Cuisine is a bit out of place in Georgetown. Not so much the décor, which is right at home and offers unpretentious outside seating, but more so the food on offer. Despite being more at home on U Street, Das provides a welcome change of pace from the other, more traditional restaurants found on M street. Nonetheless, Das carries on the tradition started by Zed Wondemu by providing the same delicious array of Ethiopian classics that made the original Zed’s one of the most successful woman-owned restaurants in Washington D.C.
A safe assumption would be that most people who go to Das Ethiopian Cuisine have no idea or no knowledge of what is actually on the menu. As one of these people, I decided to order a vegetarian entrée sampler in a feeble attempt to make sure nothing was missed. Brought on a large white tray covering with traditional Ethiopian Injera (a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture made out of teff flour) the platter contained the following dishes:
- Ethiopian Harvest Vegetable Specialty: Cauliflower, string beans and carrots simmered in stewed tomatoes
- Split Pea Kik Alicha: Puree of yellow split peas mixed with onions, green peppers, and garlic
- Red Lentil Miser Watt: Red lentils spiced with berbere (red pepper) sauce
- Collard Greens Gomen: Collard greens mixed with onion and garlic
- Cabbage with Carrots in Sauce Tikile Gomen: Cabbage and carrots flavored with ginger and garlic
One of the distinct pleasures of Ethiopian food is the way in which you eat it. No forks, no knives, the use of hands is the only appropriate way. Breaking off a piece of Injera to then scoop up the desirable portion is primordial and immediately gratifying. Moreover, any sort of unease you had regarding the experience is wiped away once your animalistic tendencies take over.
Each dish has a definitive weight to them. The red lentils were cooked in such a way that the flavor resembled that of ground meat. Thickened by the red pepper sauce and mushed into a consistency that was smooth one moment and chunky another, the red lentils were appealing but only in small tidbits. Adding Injera to the mix quelled the underlying heat of the dish slightly but not enough to make you forget the sauce.
The puree of yellow split peas was tame compared to the red lentils. Holding its own as a milder dish, the peas played second fiddle to the trifecta that was the onions, green peppers, and garlic. The distinct aromatic qualities of each was held in check by the peas but in return nullified whatever taste the peas had. After the sweet undertone of the red lentils and yellow peas, the collard greens with onion and garlic was a complete 180. Revitalizing, if not slightly bitter, the collard greens were a perfect match for the sour Injera. Moreover, the juxtaposition created by the bitterness and tanginess of the collard greens was an appropriate evolution after the red lentils/yellow peas partnership.
Carrying on the precedents set by the collard greens, the cabbage with carrots flavored with ginger and garlic provided an entirely new aspect to the concept of bitterness. Using the one-dimensional flavor of the cabbage as the base, the ginger and garlic created a one-two punch that sucked you in with the smooth traces of ginger and moved you along with the sharper garlic.
The best part of the vegetarian platter was the cauliflower, string beans, and carrots dish. The simplest of the dishes, the inclusion of stewed tomatoes elevated the other ingredients to another level. Paired with the Injera, every bite was soft with the crisp string beans and carrots coming into the fray immediately. The tomatoes gave the dish some weight that was otherwise lacking but more importantly provided a distinct tang that brought the entire platter together.
Consequently, Ethiopian food is not for everyone. Its flavor and different dimensions may be too much for some to handle. But regardless, its genius; the way in which familiar ingredients are reinvented through simple applications is unrivaled. Das may not be the best Ethiopian restaurant in Washington D.C. but it serves as a fantastic introduction to those willing to try something new.
Das Ethiopian Reservation