- Parent Category: Food
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
- Published on Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:03
- Written by A C Powell
- Hits: 695
On any given late Sunday afternoon, you just might catch my family enjoying a meal together at Merkamo. Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro is a family-owned and operated restaurant in the center of downtown Springfield, a DC suburb in Northern Virginia (NoVA). In a metro area littered with Ethiopian restaurants as far out as Herndon (VA) and home to regional favorites like Dukem and Etete, Merkamo instantly becomes a preferred dining destination for just about anybody who visits. Merkamo impresses not just from the standpoint of serving outstanding food, Merkamo offers a very well-appointed dining room that provides a warm, family-friendly setting during the day and an intimate dining experience when the sun goes down. Additionally, Merkamo delivers a jolt to the Springfield nightlife scene. No matter where you live in NoVA, Merkamo is every bit worth the drive to Springfield!
When Merkamo opened in 2010, my wife and I had to try it, being the Ethiopian cuisine aficionados that we are. We were not prepared, however, for what we found on our first visit. For starters, Merkamo is one of those places that is more spacious on the inside than the eye can perceive from the outside; moreover, the décor of the dining room captures your gaze from all angles. Everyone who enters the restaurant is greeted with a warm, inviting smile. In fact, either co-owners Alex or his brother, Yeti, is usually on hand to greet guests. We were seated immediately and within minutes were able to put in our order. The staff treated our girls like royalty. We placed our usual order, a vegetarian platter with an order of lamb tibbs. The food was simply amazing. To top it off, the bill was less than we anticipated. As we left, smiling, we just kept asking each other on the drive home, “In Springfield … ?!?”
Merkamo satisfies even the most discerning Ethiopian cuisine enthusiats. Since our inaugural experience, we have taken an Ethiopian friend or two to Merkamo to gauge their reaction. No one we have taken to Merkamo, Ethiopian or otherwise, have ever balked at going back. The lamb tibbs are so flavorful that you will likely find yourself devouring the injera lining the platter that gets soaked in the juices from the lamb. The brightly colored lentils encompassing the vegetarian platter hypnotize your senses, but the greens and green beans steal the show. Be sure to enjoy a glass of honey wine as you dine.
After many trips to Merkamo over the last two years, it remains one of my family’s favorite places to eat. We are still greeted with hearty smiles, and our girls are still treated like royalty. Do your taste buds a favor, check out Merkamo for yourself.
Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro
7020 Commerce Street
Springfield, VA 22150
Amir Clayton Powell is an author, advocate, entrepreneur, father, husband, servant of God, and warrior. By the by, he also happens to be the Publisher of The Old School Journal™ (TOSJ) as well as the Founder & Chairman of A C Powell & Co. LLC. Find A C on Twitter: @AClaytonPowell. Follow TOSJ on Facebook & Twitter.
Please feel free to comment on this article here or join the conversation on our forum.