February 27, 2024

Bahel - A Chimney Rock Ethiopian Restaurant Worth Its Weight in Berbere

 On a recent food group, two Ethiopian restaurants showed up, that I was unfamiliar with. Knowing this would be a great option for a vegetarian friend of mine (note: there ARE plenty of meat dishes), as many Ethiopian vegetarian options really shine.

What a surprise. Bahel is in the building once housed by another Ethiopian place. And back in the day, excepting Lucy and Blue Nile, most Ethiopian places were dark and usually empty during the day if one went for lunch for example (Ethiopians are a late night crowd I believe).

Walking into Bahel one is first greet by a display cabinet of traditional musical instruments and garb. To the right is a wonderful grocery store with spices and cookware ( I picked up a pound of green Ethiopian coffee beans to roast at home). Walking into the dining area, beautifully decorated walls and thick wood tables and chairs. Teff flour in the corner. Berbere chili spice refrigerated to preserve its shelf life (as it should be). Behind the cashier, trimmed goat meats ready for stewing. 

For the two of us, we ordered the $26 12 item vegan sampler. It would have been sufficient for 3-4 people imho, as, we both took a lot home to have for breakfast or snacking later. I held a quarter out in the photo so you could get an idea of just how big this sampler plate is.

The Ethiopian coffee ceremony presentation is available here. You should do it at least once. Coffee tends to be over roasted, thus, not a favorite of mine, being a coffee aficionado.

Highly recommended.