Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ethiopian lunch buffet at Dukem, need I say more?

I love a buffet! And Baltimore has several great ones, largely Indian and Nepalese, that I frequent. However one buffet opportunity that is still rather novel to me is the Ethiopian buffet.  I've been to only three Ethiopian buffets so far in my life and the lunch buffet at Dukem, 1100 Maryland Avenue, is a fine example of the form. Available weekdays only, the lunch buffet offers five vegetarian dishes and ample injera at an affordable price.    

It seems to me that you lose the communal nature of Ethiopian eating when dining from the buffet but you gain individual control of your plate. (This buffet style can be helpful, if you are dining with non-veg friends too). 
Photographed above is a buffet plate with mild yellow split peas, spicy berbere-flavored lentils, garlicky collards, savory tikil gomen (cabbage, carrot, and potato stew), and the requisite tomato, onion, and jalapeƱo salad. Everything on this plate was excellent. The friendly waitstaff also brought my boyfriend and I a pitcher of refreshing lemon water and even more injera. Because, of course, we had practiced bad injera management in our buffet glee.    
Baltimore's Dukem is like the quiet sister of their thriving DC location. Instead of a VIP bar scene, this Dukem has a chill atmosphere, with a wood-paneled interior and soft Ethiopian music playing in the background. They also have a rather secluded upstairs with a good view of the street below.

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