Monday, September 27, 2010


4801 N. Broadway, Chicago

Demera has some of the most delicious Ethiopian food I've ever eaten, and the prices are just awesome. The service leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm totally willing to deal with it just to get more of that tasty tasty food. I'd say it makes a great precursor to a show at the Riv or the Aragon, but it doesn't, because the itis is not conducive to live music experiences. But you should totally go.

While you can order a few dishes, the way to go is clearly the messob, which gives you a giant platter with a variety of things (that you pick). A two person option costs, at most, $32.50 - TOTAL. It's an unbelievable bargain.

We didn't try any of the cocktails, which I somewhat regret - incidentally, I think they're also byob? But I'm not sure. - but we did get the Ethiopian tea, which was wonderful, spicy and warming.

Food wise, we did:

ye-misir wot, ie, red lentils. This was pretty much the standard version you'd get anywhere, which isn't to say it wasn't delicious, because it most certainly was.
gomen - collared greens with onions, garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Fantastic.
ye-doro tibs - chunks of chicken sauteed in lemon and garlic, cooked with onions, tomatoes, jalapenos and rosemary. Absolutely fabulous, spicy and flavorful.
kitfo - Ethiopian steak tartare. We got it raw, and I must say, it was unlike any steak tartare I've ever had. If you're intimidated by the idea of raw ground beef, this is the place to start - in both texture and flavor, it's not much like raw beef at all. It's soft and chewy, yes, but not in that distinctive raw meat way (that I happen to love). Flavor-wise, it's wonderfully lemony and you mostly just taste the various herbs it's flavored with.
We also got a cooked beef of some kind and some shrimps, but unfortunately, I can't remember which ones. I can tell you that I loved both of them, and that the shrimp were perfectly cooked.

Definitely, definitely check this place out, just remain calm when you don't see your server for 20 minutes. It's a little frustrating when you're trying to get more injera, but the food is so good that you'll find yourself picking at it with your bare hands anyhow, clumsy as the process may be.

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