CHIReview

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image
8.3

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine

This spot is Permanently Closed.

Ethiopian

Uptown

$$$$Perfect For:VegetariansCasual Weeknight DinnerBig GroupsBirthdays
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Tesfa’s entrance is a tiny room with a take-out window, cramped with delivery drivers and people picking up dinner. But hiding behind a curtained doorway is a room full of people chatting while tearing injera, scooping up tibs, and popping open bottles of wine. That buzz and great food make this BYOB Uptown Ethiopian spot ideal for a fun, family-style meal.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image
Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image
Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image
Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

The dining room is sparse, decorated with drawings and a TV streaming music videos, filling the space with Ethiopian pop. That seemingly endless playlist is rivaled by a long menu of stewed meats and vegetables. But don’t commit to a single dish: Get a sampler plate. It’s the perfect way to try a bunch of stuff and get everyone involved: friends, family, and the occasional part-time lover.

These platters are like a painter’s palette, with a choice of six to eight dishes laid out on spongy injera. But one should be front and center: the doro wot. Each bite of berbere sauce-covered chicken blankets you in warmth. The asa leb leb is also fantastic—the catfish is the ideal canvas for jalapeños, garlic, onions, and ginger. And vegetarian options like ater kik alicha, with cumin and turmeric-seasoned split peas, deserve a seat at the table (or spot on the injera), too.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Tesfa doesn’t force you to make compromises. Want to sample almost everything without over-ordering? Trying to have drinks with dinner without paying $16 for a glass of garbage wine? Need a spot for meat lovers, vegetarians, and someone who wants a sundae that's a cross between a funnel cake and a Dutch baby? A.k.a the B-Tesfa? All roads lead here.

Food Rundown

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Combination Sambusas

Start your meal with these. Each one has a different filling: chicken, beef, spinach, or, our favorite, spiced lentils. It comes with hot sauce on the side, so take a little dip before every bite.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Combo Platter

Sure, you could order a big serving of just one dish—but the meat and vegetable combo platter is the way to go. It’s the best way to try a bunch of stuff.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Doro Wot

This is the best of the meat dishes. The chicken falls off the bone, and is covered in a berbere sauce with enough garlic to double as a vampire deterrent.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Yetimatim Wot

The yetimatim wot is what tomato sauce dreams are made of. It's spicy and salty, and both are counterbalanced by the injera's sourness.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Asa Leb Leb

After spending plenty of time together in a hot pan, the catfish, onions, and tomatoes in this dish have gotten to know each other really well. The filets have absorbed all of the flavor, along with a bit of zing from some ginger and jalapeños.

Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

B Tesfa With Ice Cream

We’re always down for ice cream. Especially when it’s on top of a fried piece of dough, and layered with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and powdered sugar.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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