:) = Friendly server who seemed comfortable with kids. Authentic Ethiopian dishes. Good-sized portions for sharing. Good location in the heart of Little 5. Casual, warm atmosphere. Clientele seemed laid-back and unfazed by kids. Ethnic décor that kids find interesting. Delicious crepe desserts.
:( = Some kids may not enjoy the exotic textures and tastes of Ethiopian food. Bathrooms are small and do not have changing tables - prepare to change diapers in the car or on your lap. Food prep is a little slow, and parking enforcement in this area is strict (we got a $35 ticket for leaving 10 minutes late) - overfeed your meter if you park on the street.
Note: A Groupon is currently available for this restaurant (for dinner or the all-you-can-eat Ethiopian/American brunch buffet that's served on the weekends).
|"Mommy said this is a pancake, but I'm not so sure."|
We believe that being a foodie doesn't mean you have to like everything you eat. There are times when we take a bite of something and projectile spit it onto the floor, feed it to the dog, or simply vacuum-seal our mouths shut and stop eating. That's just what toddlers do sometimes. What makes us qualified to be toddler foodies, though, is our willingness to taste every foreign food that's put in front of us. This is exactly what we did for this week's Groupon Excursion.
Mommy lived in Washington D.C. for a couple years and fell in love with Ethiopian cuisine while she was there. So when she saw a deal on Groupon for Kimi's Bistro, she scooped it up and decided to take us for our first taste of injera, tibs, and samosas.
Our adventure got off to an unusual start. One Toddler Foodie had called in sick due to an ear infection; so we had to enlist one of our favorite Junior Foodies, M.J. (name withheld to protect her foodie persona), as backup. We got to Kimi's Bistro around 5:40 PM and were lucky to find street parking right in front of the restaurant. We fed the meter $2.50 and it gave us a deadline of 6:57 PM to finish our meal.**
|Front of Kimi's Bistro on Euclid Ave.|
|Build Your Own Veggie Plate|
Disclaimer: This photo was taken by a 3-year-old.
To make our experience extra special, Mommy ordered us one chocolate besso shake to share. Besso is an Ethiopian drink made of barley flour which our server told us would taste "like a Cheerios shake." He was right, sort of. Mommy also let us get the strawberry and cream cheese crepes for dessert.
|"I don't know what a besso is, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.|
I'm just happy that I get to drink it out of a coffee cup like Mommy and Daddy."
What can we say about the meal? Well, we tried everything on the table except the jalapenos that were served with the lamb tibis (Mommy got them on the side). There were so many new textures and flavors, we just didn't know how to react. The injera was spongy, sour, and cold (this is how it is supposed to be); the veggies were spicy and mushy; and the meat was chewy and garlicky. The grown-ups seemed to enjoy everything, but we kids didn't fall in love with the entrees. However, we did fall in love with the strawberry cream cheese crepes. They were cooked perfectly - crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, heaped with fresh strawberry slices and a drizzle of tangy strawberry-infused cream cheese. And we totally dug being able to eat with our hands and not get into trouble for it. That never happens!
Overall, we liked the atmosphere of this restaurant but probably aren't ready for this type of food... Or maybe we just have to keep eating it until we get used to the unique mouth-feels and flavors. We've heard through our sources that Kimi's offers a great breakfast buffet featuring American brunch staples (French toast, crepes, eggs, bacon) plus Ethiopian fare. We might have to come back just for that.
|"Lamb tibis tastes best when you eat it with your hands."|
|"This crepe was actually our dinner." |
**Cooking time was a little slow, so we ended up leaving at 7:07 PM - to the tune of a $35 parking ticket.