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Ethiopian House Restaurant

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Location: 4 Irwin Ave., Toronto, ON
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(416) 923-5438
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Value :Atmosphere : [About Rating]
Website: http://www.ethiopianhouse.com
Cuisine: African  Ethiopian  Vegetarian  

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User Reviews

  (20 reviews)
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reviewed by sharon,   visited on 2009-05-01 ,  overall
Tags: cranky waiter
Ethiopian House, the service is too sloooooow and there is only one server/waiter/cashier and he is cranky and very rude. Some one even found him cheat b/s he charged him more. Some one else commented on the the attitude of this server (the braided hair server) when the customer pointed out about some issues with the food (veggie stew was not fresh). I know there are other Ethiopian restaurnts, number of them on the Bloor and Ossington area and also on Danforth once your passed Pape some where around Greenwood.

reviewed by Torfoodie,   visited on 2006-10-16 ,  overall
Tags: coffee
I too have tried to Ethiopian House and highly recommend it.

I was the one vegetarian in the group that we went with, but was quite satisfied. I suggest getting a few sampler platters as well. We ate with our hands using the bread as 'scoops' as the Ethiopians do, but you may be able to get utensils.

And yes, be sure to order the coffee. I don't normally even drink coffee, but Ethiopian is such a unique experience that I thought I should this time.

Don't expect great service, however. But the food itself will no doubt be memorable

reviewed by markdsgraham,   visited on 2006-10-13 ,  overall
I live just around the corner from Ethiopia house and have loved it every time I've been. They have a great lunch special.

I am a huge coffee fan and always wanted to try the coffee "ceremony" but had never had time. A few weeks ago I did order it and, unfortunately, was very disappointed. I don't know what I was expecting, but the ceremonial part was relatively unremarkable. And the coffee tasted, as one friend put it, a lot like the Ethiopian blend at Starbucks. There were about 20 of us that time, so maybe that was a problem - xtal, what did you like about the coffee?

Again, I recommend Ethiopia house to everyone. Enjoy.

reviewed by xtal,   visited on 2006-10-11 ,  overall
I usually end up at Ethiopian House, which is a decent choice for a first-timer.

they offer 'sampler' platters, that have small amounts of each of the dishes. These can either be vegetarian, meat, or a combination of the two. The menu is on the website, and the prices are very reasonable. My personal favourites are the veggie samplers, and the tibs (pan-fried beef).

I've not been a fan of the salads and appetizers, so stick to the mains. They're served all together, so everyone shares from the same platter. You can request for this not to happen, in case someone is a strict vegetarian, or prefers to have their own dish.

One tip, be sure to order the coffee. It's fantastic, and totally worth it. It takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare, so you have to order at the same time as you order the food.

reviewed by orangewasabi,   visited on 2006-10-01 ,  overall
If you haven't been to Ethiopian House yet, here is our favourite order:

- House Green Salad (I don't know what' in the dressing, but it's addictive)
- Azifa (spiced cold lentil stew, don't knock it till you try it, it's very delicious)
- Sherro wat (spiced chickpea mash)
- Kitfo special (ground beef, we get it well done, though it's supposed to be eaten rare
- Goman wat (the collard greens).
- the spiced tea is very nice, though, when we go for brunch i.e. just after waking up on a Sat at about 12noon, we order the coffee service.

These were our favourite picks from trying the taster platters, and what we go back to all the time. We do, however, prefer our food on the spicier side with bolder flavours.

The tibs dishes, which are often recommended, are a bit to stringy for me. And the veggie platter is okay, but a lot of the dishes are less flavourful than the sherro wat, so we just ordered our fav.


reviewed by pocky,   visited on 2006-05-09 ,  overall
I have tried Ethiopian House, Queen of Sheba and Addis Ababa. Ethiopian House is small and you can feel a little cramped, but the food is good and has a much better atmosphere/decor. Addis Ababa is a little bigger, but I didn't like the dim lighting, I could barely see what I was eating. Queen of Sheba is bigger in size, but the food seemed to soak through the Injera more than others. Out of these three, I would recommend Ethiopian House.

visited on 2005-05-24
The price average for all the meals was $10.18, which I think is a little over priced. However, Some dishes are under priced like the first dish, which is 95 cents. I think that if youíre going to be ripped off here is a good choice because all though it may be a little overpriced itís worth paying a little extra for this food. I think the reason they are over priced is because they are trying to get by and pay the bills and improve the restaurant and if thatís the case I think itís a good thing weíre keeping this wonderful restaurant in business. I think that in this case overpricing may not be such a bad thing because these ingredients are very rare and should not be sold cheaply. final part-:)

visited on 2005-05-24
The service was better than most restaurants Iíve been to. For example, when I went there I forgot to bring a small notebook, to make tiny notes in when people werenít watching. I asked the waiter if she had a notepad and a pen I could use and she helped me out and got me one within the next three minutes. She was very friendly and kind and came back every five minutes to make sure everything was all right. She was always smiling and very descriptive and honest about the food. When I read a couple of other reviews before I went there they said the service was slow. However, when I went there the service was quick and friendly. Our server was Ethiopian and she educated us on the traditions of all the things in the restaurant. When we came in the people greeted us and welcomed us in. One of the first things they did was tell us to wash our hands. part 3-:)

visited on 2005-05-24
The food was by far the best part of dining at the Ethiopian House. It was savoury and satisfying. The injura, which is bread that is often folded like a large napkin, serves as a spongy scoop that helps, you eat your meat or vegetables, delighted my taste buds. When we sat down to order I looked at the menu and realized that the dishes were very different. So we got a dish called Bayaaynatu, which is a large platter of many small samples of the entrees. My dad, who has recently become a vegetarian, ordered the same dish but it consisted of small samples of the Vegetarian menu. My dad and me were the only ones who were fond of this new cuisine but everyone liked the tea. The tea was made up of orange peels, lemon peels, cloves, camomile, rosehips, wood baton and cinnamon. It was very strong and scorching hot but delicious nonetheless. We also had a coffee ceremony where they burned frankincense in a small fountain and poured fresh made coffee for all the adults. I had a sip of my dads and I actually liked it. We learned that the coffee was hand roasted Ethiopian coffee. We also learned, Keffa, Ethiopia was where coffee originated. I was looking forward to dessert. What a letdown when I found out that there was no dessert. I couldnít imagine what it would taste like. part 2 -:)

visited on 2005-05-24
The atmosphere of the Ethiopian House had a nice warm feel to it but the incense were quite over powering. It took a while to get used to and it stung my nose but when the food came the smell subsided and then I was fine for the rest of the meal. The walls had beautiful old Ethiopian paintings and pictures and beside us there was a mural of an Ethiopian. There were two floors and when you went up the stairs to the second floor there were many pictures and one particular picture of an Ethiopian woman with something in her lip that stretched it out to a little less then the width of this paper. The one thing I noticed was that only 54 people could dine at a time in the restaurant due to lack of tables and chairs. There was a very relaxed mood and people were noisily just talking away I noticed that when we came at around 5 pm to 6 pm that there were about 10 people other than us in the restaurant and when we left only about 4 were in the restaurant. From outside the restaurant looked very shabby because of the old building but as Iíve learned over many years never judge a book by its cover. I judged it wrong, as it turned out it was a good-looking choice and created a diner friendly environment. part 1 that was just the ambience-:)

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