Being a Foodie

Ethiopian is one of those food genres that nobody really wants to try. People that call themselves foodies (such as myself), make a point to go to an Ethiopian restaurant solely to up their validity as a foodie and brag to other people that they’ve tried it and that it is a true experience (nah nah nuh nah nah). Recently, I decided to be that guy, go north of Lakeview for the first time in 6 years, and try Demera. I saw it on Check Please! (the show that foodies watch) and the segment gave me the overview I needed. A restaurant that lets you use bread as your utensils was all I needed to hike on over to whatever that neighborhood is by the North side Target. 

A 4:30 after-work Ethiopian dinner was exactly what I was looking for on a chilly spring Tuesday, I ceased it. I entered the restaurant with two friends and occupied one of two full tables. Frankly, I was a little disappointed that we were that close to getting the restaurant to ourselves and missed out. As my friends and I discussed which kids pick and eat their boogers, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen approached our table. Our waitress, a real Ethiopian, was going to be guiding us through this experience. When I say this woman was beautiful, what I mean is she looked like she walked right out of a Disney movie. If you are a single male or a single lesbian, or a straight woman or a gay man, I highly recommend going to Demera just to get a glance at this waitress. I didn’t catch her name but you’ll know which one I mean. Anyway, we quickly learned that Princess Jasmine was also extremely helpful and obviously knowledgeable about the menu. She had us pick the Vegetarian Meat Messob, a big communal plate of meat and vegetarian dishes that has more fancy Ethiopian names for all 12 things on the plate. The plate that I am referring to is really more like the lid of a garbage can lined with a spongy bread and a multitude of brown slop. I felt a bit like the grandparents from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The food was tasty, interesting spices that I could not identify and all the spongy bread you could possibly want. One surprise was that the unlimited spongy bread was ice cold, so it was kind of like eating a wet hand towel. I didn’t mind it.

Below are some highlights of the meal:

Best Section on the Garbage Can: Ye-Doro Tibs. (chicken breast cubes marinated in lemon juice and garlic, then cooked with onions, tomato, green pepper and rosemary. Perfection. juicy and flavorful, i would take this chicken home with me if i could.

Worst Section of the Garbage Can: Derek Tibs- savory lamb chunks dry fried with onions, green pepper and especial seasoning. Loaded with unforeseen bones, my friend almost cracked her tooth on this tasteless and overly dry mystery multiple times.

Ambience: Authentic and sparse. Supposedly there is a live band on the weekends which could be fun after a few spiked Bunas.

Price Point: More than I thought. We had one glass of wine and ended up paying $40 each. I guess eating like an Ethiopian King has its toll on your wallet.

Bottom Line: If you want to be portrayed as a real foodie, go to Demera.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5