DC is known for its Ethiopian food and for good reason: there are probably more Ethiopian restaurants in this city than there are lame, overpriced steakhouses that K Street lobbyists frequent (THANK GOD!). But this overabundance of Ethiopian restaurants poses a conundrum: which should I eat at? Zenebech and Keren (technically Eritrean) are word-of-mouth favorites and Ethiopic is the home of bougie Ethiopian food (all are excellent). But Chercher is the lone Ethiopian restaurant on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list, making it worth a try. I started my meal with tej (Ethiopian honey wine). I brew tej from time to time at home and have had the homemade tej from Habesha- both my home-brew and Habesha’s were significantly funkier and drier than the tej at Chercher, which I suspect is made sweeter to conform to the American palate. That said, it was tasty and Chercher does boast an impressive selection of Ethiopian wine and beer. For food, I ordered kitfo, an Ethiopian version of steak tartare that comes with a side of cheese and collard greens. It’s worth noting that kitfo (best eaten raw) is mixed with ghee, making for a very rich and heavy meal. It was delicious, but I felt overstuffed without even finishing it. Also of note, it’s not worth ordering the delux version that comes with qocho, a flatbread. A few pieces of bread is simply not worth an extra $3, especially when you’re given plenty of injera. Decor is cute, prices are fairly reasonable and the spot is date-friendly.
Chercher is located at 1334 9th St NW.