Archive for August, 2009

Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant

1114 – 1118 U Street (12th Street NW)
Washington DC 20009
202-667-8735
http://www.dukemrestaurant.com/

Pros: Combination platters, Live music & dancing

Cons: Noisy; service can be shoddy during the busy periods

We are definitely fortunate to have friends who make some wonderful restaurant recommendations. This restaurant was recommended to us by a friend who has lived in Washington DC for quite a while. (There is also apparently a Baltimore location, but so far we have only visited the DC location.) As with most of the Ethiopian restaurants we have visited in the past, the biggest bang for the buck is the combination platter. The injera tastes wonderful with all the different sauces and spices. Honestly, with the different sauces and meats, you can’t go wrong with these platters. A lot of times, we have visited Ethiopian restaurants that seemed to be fairly stingy with the injera, but this was not the case here.

My only complaint would be that this is not a place to for an intimate romantic meal, as this was quite a noisy restaurant. This is, of course, a side effect of the benefit of having live music and dancing. The service can be a little stretched during the busy periods, so be sure to be assertive with the staff.

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Helmand

806 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-5308
410-752-0311
http://www.helmand.com/

Pros: You can’t beat the food quality; wonderful meat-filled and vegetarian options

Cons: A bit pricey, but it’s well worth it; can be very crowded for dinner

After being introduced to Afghani food by Maiwand Kabob, we were looking forward to Helmand, especially after being invited to dinner by my supervisor. Helmand has apparently become quite a fixture in the Mt. Washington area of Baltimore; it has a reputation for fine dining and superb food. The food certainly lived up to my supervisor’s raves.

We started off with pumpkin Borawni, which is so good, you might not want to share your appetizer. The entrees encompassed a great range, and it was definitely hard to choose from the menu. Many of the entrees are served atop a bed of rice, which goes perfectly alongside the various vegetable and/or meat lawand dishes. The beef tenderloins were indeed marvelous, as were the sauteed mushrooms. They were so good, that it was difficult to put my fork down. In addition to the amazing entrees, the desserts were also wonderful. The prices were a little high, as compared to Maiwand Kabob, but you definitely will not be complaining about quality.

Helmand is clearly not a secret to the community, as the restaurant was definitely packed. If you come, be sure to make a reservation.