Portland >Enjoni Cafe
My friends and I had wanted to try Ethiopean food for a while, and we stumbled upon E'Njoni Cafe because it had the best reviews. What a LUCKY day!
We came in just as they opened and were wonderfully greeted and sat down. Apparently on Sundays they have an "all you can eat" buffet, so you can sample almost everything on the menu. We couldn't turn down that kind of deal!
The food was amazing! The curry chicken and curry vegetables were my favorite. Everything smelled delicious and tasted just as good.
The owner really takes pride in his business and being environmentally, vegan, and vegetarian friendly. It's a great local family owned place. =)
I couldn't be happier with our experience and will definitely make more frequent stops here!
Simply Delicious African Food!. There are several reasons this restaurant pulls us back on a nearly weekly basis. The owners are exceptionally nice and welcoming and the food is fantastic. My vegan friend and I often share the 5 item vegetable combination. Relatively spicy so be sure to ask for mild if you don't want a lot of heat. All the items in the combo are terrific and even better if you use the injera and mix them together. The beet stew is somewhat sweet and makes a great compliment to the other spicy items. My partner almost always orders the Shiro mis Dorho - chicken in chickpea sauce. The flavor is amazing. It's always a tough choice for me between that and the vegetarian combo. I've also ordered the Lamb Tibs, again really great flavor although the lamb was a touch tougher than I expected but still so good I couldn't stop eating it. Another dish we've had is the Sega Tibs and again, equally as good. One other item that shouldn't be missed is the Shahi tea - an African spiced tea. E'Njoni is such an inviting, warm restaurant. Even though the service can be a touch slow sometimes, you never really notice because a pot of nice hot tea and the atmosphere here make it a great place to spend the evening.
We had a great time here. We didn't know they were going to have a buffet, but we're so glad they did. We got to try a lot of the food on the menu all at once and it was great.
The spicy dishes were definitely spicy which we loved. Everything was full of flavor. I'm looking forward to going back soon!
Without Question, Best African in Portland.
I am outraged that the only Ethiopian restaurant reviewed by Portland Monthly was Queen of Sheba! That being said, I quite liked Sheba UNTIL my girlfriend and I explored this joint. There is no comparison; Enjoni is a solid notch above Sheba in every way. Although we only sampled a touch of the menu, everything was excellent.
We started with a fantastic dish that I've never heard of called fuul. Similar in many ways to a wonderful chili, it was a chunky, stewlike brew of fava beans with dollops of condiments strategically positioned aroud the perimeter of the bowl. The accents of jalepeno, diced onion, chopped tomato, and feta cheese with a drizzle of olive oil gave plenty of accent to the dish, and a basket of pita-like wedges made perfects scoops.
Next was the vegetarian sampler, which was the standard mounds of Afriacan goodness strewn atop injera. First, the injera was gorgeous and pefect in every way. As we finished off the cooked greens (hamli) and curried cabbage (alicha) the surface of the sour pancake practically glistened!
Ahh, and then there was the beet pesto (key-sir wot)...it brings a tear to my eye just thinking that I mgiht not be able to indulge is such bliss until I can get back up to this NoPo spot. Seriously, this particular dish was so unique and sweet and perfect that anyone that steps foot inside Enjoni MUST be sure to try it!!
I could go on, but suffice it to say this surely must be the best Ethiopian food in town. The owners were very friendly and outgoing, the decor is colorful, clean and well chosen, and every single thing we stuffed into our faces was well spiced, flavorful, perfectly cooked (a rarity!) and worth every penny charged...including the baklava we took with us for our late night snack.
Support this establishment! They are good people who know what they're doing. You won't be disappointed!
Deliscious food, excellent service, family owned & operated. Enjoni is one of those special places. You're greeted with a warm smile and seated promptly. The owner and/or other family members provide excellent customer service the minute you walk in the door, which is definitely lacking in this city. The food is consistently tasty, warm, and reasonably priced. This hidden gem is waiting to be discovered. Great place to enjoy a meal.
Delectably Different Dining. We were looking for a different dining experience and we found a warm hospitable welcome at this delightful cafe on N. Killingsworth, not far from PCC Cascade. We ate family style, using our fingers. The lamb was spicy and tender. The vegetable assortment was a wonderful array of different flavors and textures. It was all good and very filling. We will go to Enjoni again!
Best Ethiopian around!. We love Ethiopian food, and this was the best we've had anywhere. We ordered the vegetable platter, shiro, rice, and baba ghanouj. The ingredients were fresh, dishes were beautifully seasoned, and portion sizes ample. Service was fabulous--the owners saw to our every need, and the injera was replenished without asking. We were too full to order dessert, but next time we'll make sure we have room for the beautiful desserts in the front case. This is our new favorite place to eat in Portland!
Amazing Ethiopian Cuisine!.
My husband and I went into E'njoni last night for an early dinner...it was wonderful! The proprietor seated us herself immediately and was very personable. The restaurant itself was very clean and done in beautiful earthtones with African artwork on the walls. We were a little early for the dinner crowd (arrived around 5pm) and initially had the place to ourselves. This was nice since we have a very rambunctious 3 year old. The owner brought us a couple of children's books to help occupy him.
Okay, the food...Can you say yummy! This was our second time at an Ethiopian restaurant and this restaurant is best by far. My husband had dahir hamil (chicken with spinach) and I had a shiro dish of chicken cooked in a chickpea sauce. They came on a large family-style platter with a lentil salad and a couple vegetable dishes (spiced cabbage & spiced potatoes.) Everything was absolutely delicious--perfectly cooked and perfectly spiced. It is good to remember when you are ordering that many Ethiopian dishes tend to be spicy! When we ordered we were asked our preference (mild, medium or hot) and the dishes were prepared as we asked. If you have not been to an Ethiopian restaurant before it is good to know that you eat with your hands using the injera (traditional pancake-like flatbread) to scoop up your food. They also have a wonderful glass case stuffed with fancy desserts (tiramisu, amaretto torte, etc) that are quite tasty. Really, we had to sample at least one of them! My son had the hummus platter and was quite happy with it (also had to sample, also tasty.)
All in all this restaurant met all the marks for us: great food, reasonable prices, personable service, and great atmosphere. Check it out. They have a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony on Saturday and Sunday between 4-6pm(? double check times before going)
Service staff lacking in organization/multi-tasking abilities, some problems with food. My sister had eaten at Enjoni once before (though she and her friend were the only customers in the cafe at the time) and recommended we go there for dinner. We were wonderfully greeted at entry by a woman I believe was one of the owners and it took about 10 minutes to get seated. During that time, another couple was seated before us. There was one waitress working with the person who greeted us helping out. We waited about 15 minutes before the waitress came and took our order, the other couple who sat before us had to track the waitress down to get their order taken after about 25 minutes of sitting at their table. It took an additional 45 (YES 45) minutes just to get our drinks served to us after asking the waitress 3 different times, and it wasn't anything complex, just some tea and a coke. We ordered hummus and that came before the drinks, it was delicious. We were offered more pita bread but then the waitress ended up bringing it to another table. Staff was incredibly disorganized, jumping from one table to the next with no consistency. Rather than serving current customers, it seemed the waitress' priority was to bus empty tables. When our entrees finally arrived 1.5 hrs later, most of them were quite tasty although I ordered the lamb tibs mild and it was incredibly spicy. It was also overcooked, tough and had bone fragments/cartilage in it. My sister, a vegetarian, loved the beets but her food was also too spicy for her. We were all incredibly frustrated with the service and questioned if we should leave many times. Also, in the menu the hummus stated it was 4.95 but we were charged 7.95 for it, we didn't dispute because we wanted to get out of there ASAP. Enjoni would really benefit from hiring a busperson or additional server, more front-of-house help was definitely needed. Also, the same song was looping over and over the entire time we were there. Variety in music would have been nice. Very disappointing, given the great reviews. We wont eat here again
First time eating Ethiopian, and I must admit my girlfriend and I were very happy patrons. We have lamb zigni and vegetable combination. We could easily tell everything was prepared without cutting corners.
I also appreciate owner's hospitality. It made the dining experience even more pleasant.
Lastly, meta lager is something you should try if you like honey...
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