R has officially moved Mexican cuisine out of the bottom slot and put Ethiopian in its place on the list of his favorite foods.
Habesha has been getting great reviews, in the press and on Chow.com, so we went with Mj and Brian last weekend. The consequence of all the positive exposure is that restaurant was packed and overwhelmed on a Sunday night. It took an hour to get our food. I felt like I was in a Gordon Ramsey reality show.
We ordered Awazie Tibs (sautéed beef with onion and tomato), Doro Wot (chicken stewed in a traditional curry like sauce), Gored Gored (a beef tartare mixed with butter) and the vegetable combo (cabbage, lentils, green beans, potato, and spinach). It is all served communally on a large platter lined with injera, a fermented flatbread. It is spongy in texture and a similar flavor to sourdough. You use the injera to pick up the food. No utensils needed.
The tibs were massively overcooked; the beef was tough little chunks of shoe leather. The chicken was okay, but it consisted of one drumstick and a whole egg, not exactly easy for sharing. I was scared of the tartare, it was lukewarm and I had no interest in getting sick. The veggies were probably the best part of the meal; Mj really liked the beans and I liked the spinach. The service was dismal. The meats were extremely spicy, and we had no luck getting the attention of our waitress to procure more water.
On the ride home, R declared it the worse restaurant meal he has ever had and he is done with Ethiopian food. He wanted to leave without paying. My feelings are not quite as extreme. I know that this experience was probably not representative of the restaurant; they were just not prepared for this size crowd on a Sunday night, but I won’t be back.