I spotted the Fasika Ethiopian Cuisine truck late this afternoon at Farragut Square and immediately had a question for one of the employees onboard: Are you related to the Fasika restaurant on Georgia Avenue NW?
She had no idea what I was talking about. But then she started to explain that the truck has connections with another Fasika restaurant in Washington.
“Fasika’s? The place that used to be in Adams Morgan?” I asked.
Yes, she replied, the truck’s owners used to run Fasika’s on 18th Street NW, in the space that Grand Central occupies today. The very mention of Fasika’s brought back fond memories of the place that served Adams Morgan for more than 20 years, during that golden era when the neighborhood boasted a number of good-to-very-good Ethiopian restaurants. Alas, many have closed, including Fasika’s, which never recovered from a November 2005 fire.
But on further questioning, the employee revealed that the truck is not actually operated by the former owners of Fasika’s in Adams Morgan, but by a relative of theirs. An uncle, she said.
Apparently a smart uncle. For people of a certain vintage in Washington — raise your hand if you’ve lived in the area longer than four years — the Fasika’s name still conjures up good feelings. I wondered if those good vibes would continue once I sampled my No. 11 Meat Combo ($9) with key wat, doro wat, bozena shiro and, in a play for arterial health, cabbage and carrots.
Alas, the cabbage and carrots were AWOL (replaced by split peas), and the beef in the key wat stew was on the dry side. But the doro wat chicken stew, that much-abused national dish of Ethiopia, was a magnet, directing my hand to pinch off pieces of the dark leg meat slathered in a rich, aromatic sauce made fiery with berbere. Sometimes I even used the supplied squares of injera to eat the stew. I spent most of my appetite on that doro wat — and can’t wait to do so again.