Ras Dashen

March 30 2008 - 6:39 PM

I’ve been to several Ethiopian restaurants and while the sour injera leaves my hand sort of dry and the dining process is really neat, I’ve never really had a craving for Ethiopian food. Maybe it’s a change of taste, maybe it’s a revved up appreciation for something different or maybe it’s the food and atmosphere at Ras Dashen that has me looking forward to more frequent Ethiopian dinners.

Ethiopian food is served on a big tray with a giant crepe-like piece
of injera covering the bottom. Your meal is arranged on the tray in
sections all atop the injera. You get more pieces on the side that you
rip up and use to grab bites of food. You eventually eat the injera
lining of the pan that has soaked up sauce.  It leaves your fingers a
bit dry but is a pretty comfortable, even intimate way to eat a meal.

All the entrees come with a choice of 3 sides that vary from a
chunky fresh cheese to spicy lentils. They are all pretty good and
accompany any entree. The menu is broken up into lamb, chicken, beef,
fish and veggies. I’ll confess that we’ve been avid carnivores the few
times we’ve been and had lamb and beef dishes each time. They range
from pretty spicy to tame but all have a rich gravy and even when they
are on the bone, they are manageable and easy to enjoy.  The Awaze beef
tibs are terrific and The lamb yebeg wat was pretty spicy but
delicious.

Out of the 12 sides we’ve liked every one that we’ve tried including
Gomen which is chopped greens, Qosta – spinach onions and garlic,
diblik atkilt which is green beans, potato and carrots. The
aforementioned ib, soft cheese, helped cut some of the spicy lamb and
the misser wat is my favorite side – red lentils.

They do have a liquor license and among other choices, serve Bedele,
a lager that’s brewed in Ethiopia with local barley and imported hops
and malt. Apparently there is a burgeoning beer business in Ethiopia.

The other nice thing is that there is live music every Friday night
from the afro-fusion house band "Magic Carpet". After a long week an
unusual meal eaten with your hands and a few beers with live music is a
very appreciated thing.

Ras Dashen
5846 N. Broadway
773-506-9601

Comments