Going to Empress Tatu is an Ethiopian experience. There are traditional basket table and thatched roof structures which look like huts in the restaurant. You can see some of the history of Ethiopia by the tapestries, tribal artwork, maps, the photos on the wall and the Ethiopian music playing in the background. . The menu itself gives a history and background of Ethiopian culture. We learn that Ethiopians are mainly vegetarian due the lack of meat. In addition, during Lent for about fifty-five days before Easter, they may abstain from eating meat. This is true for Orthodox Christian Ethiopians who do not even eat butter, cheese or milk during this time.
For those who have never eaten in an Ethiopian restaurant, the main and side dishes arrive on large trays covered with injera. Injera is light airy flatbread made with a blend of teff and wheat flo. It kind of looks like a crepe and it is what makes the meal. All food items that were ordered are placed on this one dish for people to share. No utensils are used, you scoop up the food with a piece of the Injera you break off. The sharing food from a common plate, signifies the bonds of loyalty and friendship. Admittedly, you should not invite people with bad
We each ordered our own drink. I think everyone like the iced tea which tasted like chi tea. For the main course we ordered the 2 meat combinations, the vegetable combination and the sega wat(lamb stew). The entrees were puree for the most part with pieces of meat or vegetable in them. Everyone tried everything and everyone had their favorite. Most of us like the meat dishes over the vegetables, although they all were pretty tasty. As for spice levels each food had their own level of heat to it. When in doubt ask the server what everything is and what is the heat level.
One thing I would have liked to do is try the coffee ceremony. Perhaps, the next time I will do this. This place is great to share a meal with family and friend that you are close with.
Empress Taytu Ethiopian Restaurant
Only Ethiopean restraunt in cleveland.
Favorite Dish: Beware, you will be eating sans silverware at this great restraunt! all the food comes served on big piece of flat bread, similar to pancakes, You dump the food on the bread and use it as you means of getting the eats fromthe table to you mouth!