Restaurant Guide 2013: Enat Kitchen

300 N Killingsworth St., 285-4867,

[GREAT GOOP] The thing with Ethiopian restaurants is they all serve the same basic lineup of dishes—the red lentil thing, the yellow lentil thing that's never quite as good as the red lentil thing, those collard greens that taste better than they look, something with lamb...if you order the combo plate (and you should always order the combo plate), you only know them by sight, anyway. So you go to your closest Ethiopian restaurant, and you're served some familiar-looking mounds of goop, and they taste fine, and so that becomes "your" Ethiopian place and you never bother trying anywhere else. Why drive/cycle/longboard further for basically the same goop when it's just fine right here? Enat Kitchen is worth the journey. Yeah, the menu is basically the same as your local, but no matter where you're eating now, this is just better. The spicing is more complex, the flavors are bolder, the injera is fresher and tangier. Even the salad—usually just there to bulk out the plate and take the heat off—is elevated here to a lick-your-fingers delicious standout. Whatever "your" local is, you really won't know how much better those mounds of goop can be until you make the trek up here—unless your neighborhood joint is at 300 N Killingsworth St., in which case you've already hit the holy grail of Portland Ethiopian cuisine; you need look no farther.

Ideal meal: You should always order the combo plate.

Best deal: There's a lunch buffet for $8.

Pro tip: The dishes aren't super-hot by default, so request spicy if you're into that sort of thing.

11 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday. $$.


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