September 18, 2007 at 1:03 pm | Posted in food | 5 Comments

Friday night, Brumaire and I traveled to a far distant land — a land known to great explorers like ourselves as the 17eme arrondissement.

And what exalted mission could have caused us to leave the cozy familiarity of the left bank, for an area so remote? Nothing less than the promise of decent Ethiopian food.


Brumaire was on a hunt for a sublime coffee experience — Menelik is apparently well-known for their weekend coffee ceremonies, featuring rich, complex brews made from green coffee beans that are grilled right in the restaurant.

I, on the other hand, was hoping to track down a dish I’d only ever read about: kitfo. The dish consists of raw, ground beef mixed with herbs and spices and, in this case, served with a mild cheese and cooked greens; the New York Times described it as “warm and spicy, not unlike steak tartare, but with more kick.”

I’ve been to a few Ethiopian restaurants in America, and have always enjoyed my meals, but given the American distaste for little inconveniences like E. Coli, I knew I was unlikely to find this particular dish on menus back at home. But Paris! That’s a different story.


I know that looks about as appetizing as a feature on the surgery channel, but that’s only because we’d already beaten it up a bit. Seriously, it was delicious — meaty and spicy and incredibly decadent. And the rest of the food was equally terrific.

Ethiopian platter

My photos aren’t doing this place justice. Kids, this is what happens when photographers get really hungry and start devouring everything in sight before they remember to take a picture. Be warned. That disgorged egg, in particular, looked a lot better before I mutilated it.

Still, don’t let my sloppy journalism put you off! The food was delicious and cheap, and the was coffee superb — all in all, well worth a trip to Paris’s hinterlands.



  1. Try as I might, I can’t get excited about Ethiopian food. I’ve eaten that pancake thing more times than I care to remember and am a big fan of spicy meat but I just don’t find it very memorable. The coffee thing sounds interesting, though…

  2. I feel the same way about most chinese food, oddly enough. Except dim sum… I *love* dim sum.

  3. Mmm that sounds rather delicious. And dim sum?? J’adore le dim sum! Any suggestions for where to find it cheap in Paris? I’m here now for the next two months, perhaps we could meet up for some steamed dumplings *drool drool* ? Cath x

  4. Cath, unfortunately I’ve never heard a recommendation for dim sum in this city that I found particularly credible… On the other hand, I’ve never tried one, either. Maybe we should try to track down some decent dumplings…

  5. Hey Amy, we just ate at that Ethiopian place around the corner from us, and what do you know, they do actually serve your raw beef thing (they have an option to have it cooked rare instead). We didn’t try it, though.

    love, Karen

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