Ras Dashen, a wonderful Ethiopian Restaurant on the northside of Chicago

Chicago as a city has so much to offer; fun sightseeing, good theatre, great nightlife and definitely some good eating! When you come to Chicago you are bombarded with an array of different cuisines that will blow you away. I try to venture out to a new local restaurant that I have not been to about once a month. Let’s be real guys, most of us are not billionaires, so like the rest of us I’m trying not to break the bank and still be able to enjoy what Chicago has to offer.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some friends at ‘Ras Dashen’, an Ethiopian restaurant. It is located on the north side of Chicago on Broadway. If you are traveling from out of town and staying with us at the Hampton Inn & Suites, just take the red line at the grand stop and head north! This was such a great experience! Beware! If you do not like spicy food, this is probably not going to be for you. Since it was our first time there we did not know what to expect. Totally exceeded my expectations. As we entered the restaurant, there was a band playing which was awesome! Then, we were seated at a table that was not really a table (they have actual tables there too, but we wanted the full experience!). They had four chairs surrounding this tall basket in place of a table. As the table top, they used a round tray with Ethiopian art.

The Dining Room at Ras Dashen

The Dining Room at Ras Dashen

We started off with some drinks. I ordered a Peach Martini, usually not a fan of very sweet martinis, but the restaurant recommended it, noting it was quite popular. I took a chance and it was delicious. For the appetizer we ordered the Sambusa, this is such a great dish. It was a little spicy but light and full of flavor. We all ordered our entrées and sides (with an entrée order every table gets a choice of three sides) with the thought of sharing in mind, and good thing too because they prepare the meal on one plate for the entire table. The preparation of the food is so unique. They use a very large round tray as a plate. At the bottom they put Injera, which is the traditional word for flat bread. Then they place the entrée on a section on the Injera in front of the person that ordered it. In between each entre, they place one of the sides in order to provide a little variety. Then you dig in! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they do not use utensils. You use the Injera to grab the food and you eat with your hands!

Whether you are a local or someone that is visiting from out of town, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that is daring and likes spicy food.