Ethiopian Restaurant Crawl: Ras Dashen

We stopped by for weekday lunch at Ras Dashen, located at 2801 East Cherry Street.  It is owned by Bogalech Tessema, who can occasionally be spotted socializing at the Ras Dashen bar with regulars.  Upon walking into this corner building, the first impression is of airiness and light.  The floor is a blonde wood, and the interior is studded with woven baskets and folksy, patterned curtains and tablecloths.  It is hard to envision that this space was formerly a church.  The air is sometimes redolent of incense and the televisions were tuned on this day to the French Open (though at a volume that was hardly discernible).  Ras Dashen takes its name from the tallest mountain in Ethiopia.

We ordered the Dashen Vegi Combo for $11.  On that day, the combo consisted of the following: Gomen (collard greens), Fosolia (string beans with tomato sauce and carrot), Misir Wot (red lentils), Shiro Wot (yellow lentils), Okra Alich’a, cabbage and salad.   Our favorites were the Gomen, the Misir Wot and the Shiro Wot.  The Gomen and the Shiro Wot complement each other, and so we used the injera (spongy bread that Ras Dashen serves at room temperature) to grab a bit of each in one bite.  Our least favorite dish was the Fosolia, which tasted a bit too sweet.  If you like spicy Ethiopian food, ask for some Awaze (a mild chili paste) on the side.  

The hostess/server was personable and responsive.  We did not have the opportunity to take advantage of the full bar, the honey wine, nor the great variety of Ethiopian beer that they carried.  We will save that for our next trip.  

Ras Dashen is one of the newest and most accessible Ethiopian restaurants, set in the heart of “Little Ethiopia” at 28th and Cherry.  It distinguishes itself from others in the area with its cheery airiness.  Ras Dashen is open Tuesday thru Thursday from 11 am to 11:30 pm, Friday to Saturday from 11 am to 1:30 am and Sunday from 12 pm to 12 am.  It is closed on Mondays.

The Ethiopian Restaurant scene in the Central District is somewhat of an undiscovered gem.  Starting this week, we will visit each and every Ethiopian restaurant in/around the Central District.  Here are the restaurants we plan on visiting.  Let us know in the comments, if we have missed any:

  • Adey Abeba
  • Ambassel (formerly Addis)
  • Assimba
  • Blue Nile
  • Cafe Selam
  • Hidmo
  • Kokeb
  • Lalibela
  • Meskel
  • Mesob
  • Ras Dashen
  • Saba
  • Zobel

Madison Valley Parking Walking Tour on Thursday 6/3

SDOT (Seattle Dept. of Transportation) , as part of its Community Parking Program, will be studying parking in the Madison Valley neighborhood.  The process takes about a year.  The initial step is a walking tour of the neighborhood.

All interested residents and business owners are invited and welcome to join the walking tour, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2010, commencing at 1:30 p.m. at the entry of the Bailey-Boushay House.

If parking in our neighborhood is a serious concern of yours, this is your first opportunity to get involved in understanding the challenges and developing a parking plan.   Please RSVP to ruth.harper@seattle.gov if you can attend.

Health, Equity and Transportation Forum on Wednesday 5/26

Seattle Department of Transportation invites Central District residents to a discussion of  the impact transportation choices have on communities from a health and equity perspective, and is part of the recently announced “Walk Bike Ride” initiative.  

The discussion will be moderated by C.R. Douglas, host of Seattle Channel Programs Ask the Mayor and City Inside/Out

Panelists will include:

Jen Cole is the director of the Safe Routes to School Program at Feet First. Safe Routes to School programs aim to increase the number of students walking and biking to school safely.

Dr. Ben Danielson is a pediatrician at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. Located in Seattle’s Central District, the clinic provides medical, dental and mental health care under one roof to all families regardless of their ability to pay.

Ed Ewing is the director of the Major Taylor Project at the Cascade Bicycle Club, which has the mission of creating a multicultural bicycling community where teenagers have equal opportunity to spend time outdoors and on a bicycle.

Carla Saulter, “Bus Chick”, blogs for www.seattlepi.com. Carla is a third-generation Seattleite (on her dad’s side) and is one of a growing number of Seattleites who have chosen to live without a car. She takes the bus everywhere she goes.

Anne Vernez Moudon, Dr. es Sc., Professor of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. She also directs the Urban Form Lab, which studies neighborhood and street design, non-motorized transportation, and physical activity.

Wednesday, May 26th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Yesler Community Center
917 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

El Mestizo begins offering weekend brunch today

El Mestizo announced Thursday that they will begin offering weekend brunch beginning 5/22/10.  Highlights of the breakfast menu will include “huevos a la mexicana, huevos rancheros and homemade tamales with atole”.  Atole is a porridge-like drink that typically includes masa (corn hominy flour), water, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), cinnamon, vanilla and sometimes chocolate or fruit.  

They will also offer chilaquiles.  Chilaquiles are crispy triangles of corn tortillas that are bathed in a red sauce and served with thinly sliced onions, queso fresco, cilantro and sometimes eggs.  They will offer the brunch from 8 am to 12 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

El Mestizo joins CDNews Sponsor Twilight Exit in launching a brunch offering this year.  Twilight Exit’s brunch is available from 10 am to  3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.   

Marjorie opens today: get a sneak peek inside and at menu

Marjories is set to open its doors on May 18 at 5 pm at 1412 East Union.  We had a chance to attend a friends and family event over the weekend.  Below are some photos and the dinner and dessert menus.  

The garage door and cozy patio allow for nice flow

 

Tagliatelle with Fava Beans

Chef Kylen McCarthy confers with a guest

 

Dinner

To begin with…  

Farmstead Butter  3

demi baguette, fleur de sel 

Castelvetrano Olives  7

fennel seed, orange, chiles 

Soup  7

chef’s choice  Anson Mills Grits  8

mushrooms, braised pork 

Tabouleh  9

quinoa, huacatay, caviar 

Artichokes   10

arugula, fava bean, saba 

Burrata   12

balsamic, basil Miss Marjorie’s Plantain Chips  10

chaat spice, pineapple, avocado 

Hamachi  16

smoked salt, cucumber, lavendar 

House Terrine   9

house pickles, grain mustard 

Artisanal Ham   14

featured ham selection Charcuterie Plate  18

selection of meats Fromage

selection of raw milk cheeses  16

by the ounce  MP         

…moving on to…  

Pizza

sheeps milk ricotta, summer truffle  12

add artisanal ham  3 

Asparagus   12

walnuts, feta Eggplant  13

yogurt, Bottarga …from the sea… Gulf Prawns  17

creamy grits, braised greens 

Mackerel  17

carrot, pomegranate, chermoula 

Scallops  20

lobster, mussels, saffron 

…to the land… Tikka Masala  15

poussin, naan Rabbit  17

chef’s choice  Sirloin 20

fried onion, pepper mignonette  

Dessert

…and to finish 

Anise cookies  8

earl grey, orange flower, citrus Olive oil-lemon cake  8strawberry, pistachio Chocolate-coffee tart  8

caramel, peanuts, coconut Bread Pudding  8

brioche, toffee Fromage  4/16 a plate of four or by the ounce     

Taylor Cheney-sous chef

Manda Mangria- consulting pastry chef 

Roslyn Night at Bottleneck Lounge

Today marks the beginning of 2010 Seattle Beer Week, an annual celebration of Puget Sound brews that closes this year on 5/23.  2010 marks the first year the Central District has a venue taking part in Seattle Beer Week.   CDNews Sponsor The Bottleneck Lounge is hosting Brewer Kent Larimer of Roslyn Brewing Company tonight from 5 to 8 pm.  

  • This event features their one and ONLY batch of IPA to be served ANYWHERE in Seattle (they normally make just two beers)  
  • Featuring Roslyn beer exclusively on tap: Brookside Pale Lager, Roslyn Dark Lager AND Introducing Roslyn IPA!
  • All Pints $4
  • Brewer Kent Larimer will be on hand to sip some brew and answer questions
  • Giveaways all night long

We also have the option of taking part in the Seattle Beer Week events taking place on Capitol Hill.

Marjorie opening date postponed until 5/18

CDNews stopped by the new location of Marjorie at 14th & Union yesterday evening to verify that it had indeed opened, but found that it had not. We spoke with owner Donna Moodie, who told us that the finishing work inside the new space took longer than expected.  

But the official opening day is getting closer. They’re planning some private events this weekend for friends and family. And Moodie was confident that Marjorie will open to the public next Tuesday May 18 at 5 pm.

Thompson’s Point of View suffers a loss, stays within family

Gail Thompson, the widow of Carl Thompson Jr., has taken charge of Thompson’s Point of View due to the unexpected death of her husband last month at the age of 51.  Carl Thompson Jr. had been a fixture in the Central District community, since Thompson’s Point of View started serving up its Southern (North Louisiana) food in 1986.  Sir Mix-A-Lot, for one, called Thompsons’ Point of View one of his favorite Seattle soul food eateries.

CDNews spoke with the Ms. Thompson, who told us she had no plans to change the menu.  However, she may change the layout and design of the interior in coming months.   

Thompson’s is open 11am – 2am daily.

New casual eatery Luc (Rover’s little brother) opens today

Since 1987, when Thierry Rautureau first took over Rover’s, it has been the fine dining establishment of choice for many Seattleites.  Now, in recognition of the straitened circumstances of some of his loyal diners, Rautureau will offer more casual (read lower-priced) French food at his new eatery Luc.  

Here is Rautureau’s description of Luc in an email to Rover’s customers:  “Named after my late father: Luc.  More casual than Rover’s,  LUC is a Bar/Kitchen/Luc 2 Go in the heart of Madison Valley.”

The space is dominated by a large bar (which was built from the remains of Rautureau’s old porch) and a back room and counter that peer into an open kitchen.  The chairs are made of rattan and rilsan, common in bistros and cafes all across France.  The food offerings range from standard French bistro fare such as an aioli beef burger with fries to more exotic Middle Eastern influenced fare spiced with harissa and saffron.  Luc opens its doors to the public today at 4 pm.  It is located at the Northeast corner of Madison Street and 28th Ave E, adjacent to Rover’s.  Call 206.325.7442 to see if you can score a reservation.

Cinco de Mayo (and Cinco de Jamon) options in the CD

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico itself, It is a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican city of Puebla (and throughout the State of Puebla), with limited recognition in other parts of Mexico.  Here are a few options in and around the Central District, if you’d like to celebrate on behalf of Mexicans.

If you want to opt out of this gringo holiday altogether, enjoy some honey baked ham at home

  • Over in First Hill, Blue Water Grill is offering $5 specials all day: “choose any burrito or two tacos (sorry, no seafood) and chips and salsa or a fountain drink for $5”
  • CDNews Sponsor Bottleneck celebrates Cinco de Mayo beginning at 5 pm: “We’ve got a great Taco Bar (veggie options abound as well), Tecate on draft, our hibiscus-infused margarita on special and tequila options galore.  Plenty of seating and a great neighborhood atmosphere.  If you’d like to enjoy the evening and avoid the mayhem of a frat scene then please come have a cocktail with us!” 
  • You’ll probably be able to nab a table at El Gallito and Twilight Exit
  • $5 gets South of the Border Dog & Sol at Po Dog
  • Neighborhood favorite El Mestizo has a great offer: party hours are “4-10pm with mole verde, tamales, half price drink specials and mariachi”. 
  • Barrio offers a special food & drink menu beginning at 3 pm:

SPECIAL FOOD MENU

  • Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings – $6
  • “Special Heat” Chicken Wings – $6
  • Fried Calamari with Chipotle & Lime – $8
  • Mini-Tostadas – $8
  • Mini Queso Fundido – $5
  • Yucca Fries – $3
  • Fried Hominy – $8
  • Platter of 6 Tacos – $20 (2 Chicken, 2 Al Pastor, 2 Asparagus)
  • Border Sliders – $3 each
  • Smoky Pork Sliders with Chipotle BBQ Sauce – $3 each
  • Mini Masa Cakes – $5
  • Spiced Mixed Nuts – $4
  • Albondigas – $9

 BOOZE SPECIALS

  • El Diablo – $9 Herradura Reposado, Crème de Cassis, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer
  • Ghost Chile Michelada – $9 Carta Blanca Beer, Sangrita Verde, Spicy Maria Mix, Lime Juice, Ghost Chile Infused Jose Cuervo Tradicional
  • Tecate Draft – $3glass/$13pitcher
  • Puebla Punch – $7glass/$28pitcher