berkeley food #1: ethiopia restaurant

2955 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 843-1992

Yesterday, George and I went up to Berkeley to investigate the local climbing gym and take a class at Berkeley’s only ashtanga yoga studio, with plans to get dinner somewhere afterward.

The climbing gym was very nice. 45-foot lead walls, many, many routes, a complete attached fitness center, showers, everything. Along with the niceness came a nice pricetag: $60/mo. I suppose if I’m able to get down to it several times a week that will make sense for me, but a lower student rate would have been nice. We didn’t actually climb, since there was no time before the yoga class started at 5.

7th Heaven was great. It had all the things yoga studios that I’ve seen in the bay so far lacked. Multiple rooms, nice, hard-wood floors, heaters, a broad selection of classes. The classes run $12 a pop, or $10 if you’re a student. A reasonable discount, I guess… I paid $8/class at Yoga Yoga in Austin. Unfortunately, the ashtanga class we came in for had been cancelled, so we went to a “Vinyasa flow” class instead, which was good, but not quite as punishing as I’d like.

After yoga, wiped out and ravenous, we started trolling around Berkeley for a restaurant. What we found was Ethiopia Restaurant. The place was nearly empty when we walked in, and it never got much fuller. I always feel a little out of place eating Ethiopian, because I seem to inevitably be part of the only white table in the place. Still, the waitress was very nice and conversational, helped us pick something from the menu where our experience flagged, and came back several times to check on us. We ended up with a family-style combination of two combinations: vegetarian and meat. I don’t know exactly what it was called, but it was basically a huge plate with about eight different things on it ranging from mild lentils to spicy red lentils, spicy chicken, cabbage, spinach, and lamb all spread over a giant piece of injera bread. There were no utensils–just an accompanying basket of little rolled-up slices of injera you use (we guessed) to just scoop the different things up, curry-style. The food was delicious. It went across the whole range of spicy to mild, and it all had a slow-cooked taste and heartiness that really hit the spot after yoga. I also tried an Ethiopian Bedele beer, which I’ll just say was yummy because I’m really not qualified to describe beer in more complex terms.

It ocurred to me during dinner that I would probably be eating at many, many different and great restaurants while at Berkeley. So I decided to set a goal: before I graduate, try to eat at 100 different restaurants. And I’m going to try to write a little about each of them up here when I do. So consider “Ethiopia Restaurant” #1 / 100.

5 thoughts on “berkeley food #1: ethiopia restaurant”

  1. a few MUST-EATS in berkeley:
    intermezzo cafe (HUGE-ass sandwiches and salads for $5)
    christopher’s nothing-fancy cafe (shrimp chimichanga. SO good)
    zachary’s pizza
    there is a place on college & ashby that is burmese food. i can’t remember the name, but it is yummy, yummy, yummy
    of course, chez panisse
    oliveto, for a high-priced dinner
    truly mediterranian on college
    also, for amazing ethiopian, the red sea
    le cheval, for vietnamese (original in oakland)
    good luck with your epicurian searches.

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