Our initial destination was unavailable so someone suggested this place. Most of the Ethiopian restaurants in Dallas are within a 5 minute drive from each other apparently...
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
9191 Forest Ln. Ste 2
Dallas, TX 75243
There was only 1 other table there when we arrived, and it never really got busy... But the waiter and the lady that ended up serving our food (I'm assuming she's either the owner or chef, or both) both seemed to be Ethiopian. That's a good sign right? haha. This is totally out of my realm btw...
Since none of us have ever had this before we opted to just order a bunch of stuff and share. Ordering was a bit complicated because we didn't know what anything was, couldn't properly pronounce any of the dish names, and didn't really know what the proper etiquette was to eat Ethiopian food. haha. We decided to have everything put on one large plate and we'd all share. That was what the lady suggested we do...
Now.. I have to apologize.. I totally forgot to take a picture of the menu (which I normally do), but for some reason I thought they would have a website so I didn't. Epic fail on my part! :( So I did the best I could to recall the dish names and descriptions. I don't, however, remember the exact prices. But all the dishes we ordered were between $10-14 each.
Everything was served with (and on) injera, traditional Ethiopian bread. The bread is traditionally made of teff flour and has a soft spongy texture and sour flavor. The injera was used as a base for all the dishes and also served on the side. You basically tear off pieces of injera and use it to pick up your food.
Lega Tibs (tender pieces of beef sauteed with onion, garlic, jalapeno, tomato and herbs). The beef was a little tough but had a lot of flavor. It was pretty good.
Doro Wat (chicken leg simmered in berbere - red pepper sauce, spiced butter, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom; served with hard-boiled egg) $9.99~ The chicken was falling off the bone tender. I'd say this was one of my favorites during round 1. The sauce was good too. I was really hoping for a big bowl of rice to put it on though. hahaha.
Gomen? (greens slow cooked with ginger and spices with tender cuts of beef). I liked this because it had some veggies in it. The greens were cooked well and had lots of flavor.
Yebeg Wot (tender pieces of lamb braised in special berbere sauce). I don't like lamb but I tried a piece just to keep an open mind. Nope! Taste lamby... not for me. haha. But the meat was super tender. Everyone raved about the lamb dish.
So there were 6 of us. We devoured round 1 pretty quickly since we didn't really know what to expect and how big the portions were. Everyone seemed to love it. They liked the injera as well. Except me... I really did not like the injera. First of all, it has that sour flavor. I've heard it being compared to sourdough before which I don't like. But it's actually more sour than sourdough. Second, the texture is soft and floppy and kinda mushy... not my thing. Third, it was grey in color... not the most appetizing looking. I ate only a little bit of it and ended up using a fork to just eat the meats. I know, I know... party foul! haha. The meats were good and they were full of spices. Some spices were not familiar to me and with all the meats on one plate, it was hard to distinguish. Reminded me of Indian food for sure, but with a slight variation in flavor. I definitely prefer Indian food more.
Obviously it wasn't enough food so we ordered round 2!
Doro Tibs (pieces of chicken breast sauteed in herb butter with jalapeno, onion, garlic, and black pepper) $9.99~ I think this was the best dish of the night. The chicken was tender, it had tons of flavor. Everyone loved it.
Kitfo (steak tartar from lean ground beef, seasoned with spiced butter, hot pepper; served rare or well done). They told us this is usually served raw, but they cooked it for us. It had a very unique spice to it. I quite liked it! If I only had some rice!! Dang it!! XP
We got another lamb dish, and I cannot recall the name for the life of me. It looked just like the first one we ordered with a lot of sauce. haha. But it was a different one. I didn't bother trying it this time. I left more for the others.
I was pretty full at the end of it. But most of us had room for dessert. haha. Some people ordered coffee. Which was basically an espresso... I don't drink coffee so it was too bitter for me. But those who normally drink black coffee loved it. My bf, however, poured like half a cup of sugar in there. hahaha. :P
The lady (chef/owner?) came out and gave us some dessert on the house. How nice of her!
Fried Dough (topped with honey and powdered sugar).
They reminded us of beignets. There were black specs in it like black sesame seed, but it wasn't. It had a very unique flavor. The lady brought out the spice for me to see since she didn't know the English name of it. I believe it's black and white cumin (Tikur and Nech Azmud) after doing some digging in Google. haha. But don't quote me on it. It made it different than any regular beignet or doughnut. It was a nice end to the meal...something sweet.
Definitely an interesting experience. And it was fun to have tried it with a group of friends. I'm glad they all enjoyed it. I would probably have Ethiopian again, but definitely not often. And I'll have more knowledge about what to order next time. If you don't like foods with a lot of spice, this is probably not your thing... But I would recommend you try it at least once in your life, just for the experience. Be adventurous!
**Disclaimer: The ratings are based on my personal experience... My friends loved it way more than I did!**
Quality of Food:
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