According to the Ethiopian Embassy, approximately 200,000 Ethiopian émigrés live in the D.C. area, making it the largest Ethiopian community in the world, outside of Africa. Ethiopian cuisine, likewise, has found a place for itself in D.C.’s expansive dining scene, as immigrants eager to introduce Washingtonians to the authentic tastes of their country open restaurants here. In other words, if you’re already a fan of Ethiopian food or are curious to try it, D.C. is the place. And currently, Ethiopic is the best. Vegetarians, especially, rave about the vegetarian sampler: simmered collard greens; curried potatoes simmered with red onion, garlic, jalapeño pepper, olive oil, and herbs; split lentils in a spicy sauce; and yellow split peas cooked with onions and herbs. Located at the corner of H and 4th streets, it’s also a great people watching spot, as the restaurant overlooks both streets through front and side wall windowfronts (in good weather ask for sidewalk seating). In 2013, Ethiopic owners Samuel Ergete and Meseret Bekele decided to try something completely different: a European bakery/cafe. Open daily 8am to 8pm, Batter Bowl Bakery (www.the-bbb.com; [tel] 202/675-2011) is located right next door at 403 H St. NE, and serves pastries and breads, as well as breakfast items, sandwiches, and salads. Prices range from $3.50 for Belgian waffles to $7.95 for an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich.
- Elise Hartman Ford