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Because the Ethiopian community has historically been tied to the District, whether in Adams Morgan or the U Street corridor, the suburbs typically get overlooked as a source for fine injera-based food. Yet I can’t escape the simple fact that Meaza is often far superior to the restaurants on that strip of 9th Street NW known as Little Ethiopia. There’s a reason for that, and her name is Meaza Zemedu, a veteran restaurateur who, for years, supplied homemade injera to every Ethiopian eatery that mattered in D.C. She still makes her own injera at her namesake restaurant, including an all-teff version, which has basically disappeared at most Ethiopian eateries. But her place has many other pleasures besides these spongy sour pancakes. First among equals is a sizzling platter of beef-rib tibs, all charred meat and veggies, which is essentially the Ethiopian version of fajitas. But don’t overlook Meaza’s doro wat, either, a covered pot of chicken that’s been simmered in a sauce as dark and complex as Oaxacan mole. Finally, a version of Ethiopia’s national dish that lives up to its lofty title.5700 Columbia Pike, Arlington, (703) 820-2870
Next up: Moroni & Brothers