Friday, July 18, 2008

Eat inexpensive, wonderful flavors with your hand

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 1:02 PM

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I had one of the best meals for the money I've had in a long time last week at Desta (3086 Briarcliff Rd., 404-929-0011), after hearing my friend Broderick rave about it.

That's saying something for me. Desta is Ethiopian, which has never been on my list of favorite cuisines, partly because I get tired of picking up every bite with the injera, the sour-dough bread on which the food is typically served. But I expect Desta to become one of my regulars.

The restaurant is located in a shopping center that contains two other Ethiopian restaurants. This one's chef, Titi, prides herself on depending as much on high-quality meats as the usual spices. I don't mean that the food doesn't feature exotic flavors — it does — but you'll immediately notice the difference in quality if you've eaten Ethiopian cuisine before.

Above are two of the restaurant's most ordered dishes — fish tibs in the foreground and a vegetarian combo platter. Do not fail to order kitfo (raw ground beef), seasoned with hot chiles, served with cooling aiyb (similar to cottage cheese).

It's a very convivial place with a wonderful staff.

Read more in next week's Grazing column.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)

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