Friday, June 8, 2007


1114 - 1118 u street (12th street NW), washington, dc 20009
tel: 202) 667-8735
hours of operation: sunday-thursday 11am - 2am, friday-saturday 11am - 3am (kitchen closes 1hr before closing time); carry out: 9am-midnight

what was consumed: combination sampler platters consisting of lamb, beef, chicken, and vegetables

i really really REALLY enjoy enthiopian food. A LOT. if there's ever mention of it, i'm totally game and will go high and wide (more or less) to consume of its deliciousness.

now, according to a number of sources (some professional, some personal), one of the best places to enjoy ethiopian food is here - dukem. found in the u st. corridor (one of the up and coming hotspots of dc), dukem offers a variety of dishes until the wee hours of the morning, as well as carryout services. delicious!

the first time i tried to go to dukem, my parents were in town and they had never had ethiopian food before. with dukem's reputation, i knew that it was a safe bet. too bad everyone else in the world thought so too. the entire restaurant was packed, with a wait of almost an hour (whoops). granted, it was dinner time. i had thought, earlier in the day, to make a reservation (which they take), but foolishly thought that it would be ok. i was mistaken and my family and i decided to venture to another location (which we totally enjoyed).

so, the first time i actually went to dukem, my friend, stacey, was in town. she had never had ethiopian food either (though she's had multitudes of dishes from all around the world, being the world traveler that she is). it was a monday night, there were 2 of us, and it was well before dinner time, so i (once again) did not make a reservation. luckily, my thoughts about the circumstances were correct and we were quickly shown to a great spot next to the window. since stacey had never had ethiopian food before, she left the ordering to me. too bad i had no idea what i had had in the past. our server, though, graciously pointed out the combination section (a sort of "set" menu with a variety of different things), which we quickly decided upon. the combinations have a variety of different options, so for newcomers as well as veterans to this cuisine, it's a good way to go. anyway, we got 2 "combinations," a combination of lamb, chicken, beef, and veggies. when the food came out, we knew that we were going to eat to our hearts' content and still have left overs. between the injera (which i ABSOLUTELY love ... i can't get enough of it!) and the different dishes, there was definitely enough to feed twice the number of people at our table (and still have some left over).

the next time i went to dukem, it was with my friend, angelina, and a larger party of individuals. because of our number (there were 6 of us), i made sure to make reservations. the servers were accommodating (though they thought my name was "rice." yeah, i don't know where that came from) and were seated pretty promptly. the restaurant wasn't too packed, yet, but it was a good thing the reservations were made because we would've had to wait a good amount of time before being seated. again, this time around, we ordered a number of different combinations. if i recall correctly, we ordered 4 combinations (or was it 5? point is, it was fewer than six) and the six of us were able to eat until our bellies were totally filled (we also had a couple beers each, adding to the fullness that we felt).

dukem also has a line of "raw" foods. we didn't know what that was and asked our server if we should order it. she sort of gave us a look that said, 'well, you would know if you wanted it,' so we decided to pass (seeing that some people, aka angelina and also jess (i believe), were having ethiopian food for the first time). but next time, i want to try! even if it's only to taste ...

now, about ethiopian beers. whenever i go, i always forget which beer i enjoyed the previous time and end up having a number of different ones, only to conclude that i find myself enjoying the same one over and over again. of course, it's always the last one i try. oh well~ so, i finally just took a picture of the ethiopian beers that were available (that is, the ones that we chose, one of which was the one that i like most). but now that i look at the picture i've taken, i forget which one i liked! darnit. it's either the meta beer (on the left) or the harar beer (in the middle). i want to say that it's the meta beer, but if i am incorrect, it won't be the first time. but heck, it's beer! definitely a nice compliment to the meal at hand. enjoy!


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