Posting two days in a row! I should advertise on Facebook more often...
I lived in Tanzania for a few months back in 2006 and learned a tiny bit of Swahili. So when I heard there was an Ethiopian restaurant on the East Side called Karibu, I thought the name was cute.
[Karibu means "Welcome" in Swahili. And Swahili, while a commonly-spoken language in most of East Africa, is not considered an Ethiopian language...]
Anyway, I'm trivializing this place by calling it "cute." I'm not an expert in Ethiopian food at all, but I was really impressed with the overall atmosphere and dining experience at Karibu. Sadly, there were only a handful of people there last night, and I hope it does a better business in general.
It's a simple place with a pretty simple menu. I had the vegetarian combo plate, with the yellow lentils, green beans and sauteed cabbage, along with a salad. All these dishes have Ethiopian names that I can't pronounce and are served with the traditional fermented flatbread. You eat it all with your hands. It's not as hard as you think.
Apparently, the lamb is also really good, so when I'm in a meat-eating mood, I'll have to return.
Location: 1209 E. 7th St., near the intersection of 7th and Attayac St.
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 to 2 a.m.; Lunch buffet 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sundays
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Bottom line: Eating with your hands has never been this good.