Quara Ethiopian Restaurant – A Gluten Free Option on H Street, NE
by Larry Janezich
The sparkling clean Quara Ethiopian restaurant opened last August on H Street, NE, after a yearlong permitting and renovation process. The restaurant – at 818 H Street, NE – is owned by Merchaw Senshaw who also owns the popular Quara restaurant in Adams Morgan.
Senchaw serves authentic Ethiopian food at a reasonable price – virtually everything features injera, the the national dish of Ethiopia. Injera is a spongy slightly sour flatbread which is used in place of a fork and a plate – diners tear off pieces which are used to scoop up meat and/or vegetables. It’s made from fermented teff flour which gives it – like sourdough – a slightly sour flavor. What many customers may not realize is that injera made from teff flour is gluten free. Senchaw gets teff based injera from a supplier, but says he also has a milder flavored in-house version containing wheat flour for those who prefer it.
Quara’s website (http://bit.ly/2A8py9b) says “all dishes are free from artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and artificial preservatives. We use olive oil and or vegetable oil in all vegetarian dishes. No butter, no eggs, no milk, and no honey!” And, Senchaw adds, he doesn’t think customers will find lower prices for drinks anywhere on H Street – shots of top shelf liquor are $5 and premium beers are $3.00.
Senchaw says he wanted to bring his Ethiopian restaurant to H Street because he’s lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and says he’s anxious to be part of the redevelopment of the commercial corridor.
The restaurant opens daily at 7:00am for breakfast, including traditional Ethiopian breakfasts which are largely injera based featuring eggs, vegetables, salad, or meat.