Demera

By Molly Durham

Demera is the kind of place where you can really get your hands dirty—eating with them, of course. For an authentically Ethiopian visit, start off with a glass of honey wine, and try to resist the urge to stick to just a couple of dishes. Some of the best choices aren’t even offered as mains—the sambussa appetizers, made of thin and crispy dough resembling phyllo, then filled with meat or cheese mixtures, are awesome. But the best way to tackle the variety on the menu is to order messob, a traditional communal meal consisting of several items of your choosing, letting you sample and share a cross-section of Ethiopian dishes. All come served on top of injera, a spongy flatbread, and you get a generous portion for grasping and soaking up the dishes any way you please. You might be tempted to roll the whole thing up into a burrito it’s so good, and the spicy option is okay even if you’re not a heat freak. End with a pot of piping hot Ethiopian coffee and the hibist volcano dessert—vanilla ice cream, cake, lemon sauce, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves—and before your meal ends you’ll already want to come back.

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authentic drinks
The house specialties of honey wine and coffee are both imported from Ethiopia. The wine is sweet without being sugary, and the whole pot of coffee arrives fresh and hot—you may even have to wait a bit to drink it!

at your service
The servers are at the ready with suggestions—and great ones, no less. A recommendation for sambussa options wisely paired a creamy cheese to balance out the spicy sauce on the side, while the advice to start with some honey wine was spot on.

decibels
Low. During early dinnertime, it’s still intimate and quiet enough to talk to your dining companions.

hours

Sun–Thu 11:30 AM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 11:30 AM–11 PM

price range

$4.75 (beef sambussa appetizer) to $16.25 (ye-asa tibs)
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