Eating with your hands is a joy second only to playing a woodwind instrument with your feet. Dig in with all four hands with today's Groupon: for $10, you'll get $25 worth of Ethiopian food at Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, located in Adams Morgan.
Meskerem is one of the oldest Ethiopian restaurants in the country, and offers a truly authentic Ethiopian dining experience amid the lush textures and rich earth-tones of its authentic decor and invisible backrub-ghosts. The mouthwatering menu boasts traditional spicy meats and tons of tasty vegetarian options. Start off with a flaky and golden-fried sambusa ($3.75 with minced and spiced beef or chicken; $3.50 vegetarian). Those looking for a spicy kick without having to boot a soccer ball on fire will enjoy the gomen watt (collard greens in hot and spicy berbere sauce, $8.75) or yebeg kay watt (lamb in berbere, $10.25). For milder-meal-desirers, the alitcha watt lays lean beef to sleep in a flavorful onion-and-herb sauce ($11). Go with a group with each person getting something different to share, or try the Meskerem messob, a sampler of the eatery's beef, chicken, lamb, and vegetarian dishes arranged on a large tray ($11.95 for one; $23 will serve two people). Meskerem also offers a savory vegetarian messob ($11 for one; $21 for two) for those wishing to take a break from beef binges. All entrees are accompanied by Meskerem's popular injera, which is made from premium teff (a grain unique to Ethiopia) or whole wheat.
In the upstairs dining room, tables and stools are placed low to the ground, enabling parties to rub elbows around a communal plate in order to generate the static electricity needed to power a light bulb for the science fair tomorrow. In traditional Ethiopian etiquette, feeding your fellow diners is a gesture of friendship and loyalty. Though you are welcome not to eat from the hand of your friends, this tradition is a great way to reinforce old friendships or get closer to the father of a new sweetheart.
Zagat, Frommers, and Gayot reviewed Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant. Yahoo! Locals give the restaurant an average of four stars, 85% of Urbanspooners recommend it, and Yelpers give it an average of three stars.
-   - Meskerem in Adams-Morgan was one of the first Ethiopian restaurants and remains among the best, especially for newcomers to the food. Frommers
-   - An exotic adventure awaits at this popular Adams Morgan staple, a warm if understated triplex where diners park on hassocks on the floor to enjoy an addictive array of traditional Ethiopian dishes scooped up with spongy injera bread; the friendly staff is helpful to folks who havent wrestled with the genre before, and it offers excellent value for a casual meal with a group. Zagat
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