The menu is pleasing to the most carnivorous carnivore and the most vegetative vegetarians. There are fourteen vegetarian offerings including a delightfully refreshing tomato salad made with tomato, onion, jalapeño, fresh garlic and a top secret specially-made salad dressing. Dukem also offers spicy split lentil, cabbage, greens, plus fish lovers will enjoy a crispy, meaty, fried croaker, but watch out for the bones.
Beef, lamb, and chicken are aplenty and each meat has its own tender mouthwatering quality owed to marination in Ethiopian spices. Dukem serves beef and lamb tibs which are fried with onion, rosemary and jalapeño pepper and their self-named Kitro, is a combination of minced beef seasoned with onions, mitmita, cardamon and salt and served with homemade cottage cheese. They also serve a lamb and doro wot (lamb and chicken stew) served atop the injira as well.One item not to be missed is the Ethiopian spiced tea. Forego the soda, and taste the rich and full flavor of this incredible beverage bursting with spiciness. This alone is worth the trip. Also, if you happen to visit on Sundays get a real cultural lesson in coffee. Coffee is served, and it's not Seattle's best either. Senedu Zewdie beams as she speaks about coffee being discovered in Ethiopia, and she expands on the issue by showing a piece of artwork depicting the daily common practice of women gathering together enjoying coffee. Zewdie also shows off the coffee utensils used to roast, boil, brew and serve the coffee the traditional Ethiopian way. The paraphenalia includes small wooden or metal roasting pan, Jebena (coffee pot), and cini (small serving cups).
Dukem achieves a wonderful paradox in allowing their guest to enjoy a very intimate environment and also a very social one as well. The upstairs dining hall of the Baltimore establishment is preferable to achieve either intent. The restaurant is not only a very special place because of the culture and history it offers, but the uncompromising will of its owners to preserve the integrity of the cuisine and its accompanying experience.
Website: Dukem Restaurant (Menu)