You don't get forks or knives; as is typical of Ethiopian dining, the food at Dukem is eaten with fingers and pieces of injera, the slightly sour crepe that also stands in for a plate. If you're a novice, be advised: No staff member I encountered at this corner dining room spoke much English, if any. But pointing and enlisting the help of native Ethiopian customers, who seem to treat this as a community center as much as a place to eat, can land you some pleasant memories to take back home. One signature is kitfo, a mound of raw ground beef blended with house-made cottage cheese, herbed butter and hot red pepper. Imagine steak tartare mixed with fire. You don't have to be a carnivore to eat well, though. Follow the lead of seemingly every other table and request the vegetable combination: Out comes a floppy round of injera, dolloped with a variety of earth-toned dishes, from chopped greens and yellow lentils to a tomato salad sparked with jalapenos. Afternoon soap operas and CNN on TV yield to live Ethiopian music onstage Thursday through Monday evenings.
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