Enjera Restuarant, Arlington VA, enjerarestaurant.com
A friend of ours grew up in the Ethiopian Foreign Service since his Dad was an Ethiopian Diplomat. He invited a big group of folks out to dinner at his favorite Ethiopian place so of course we went! The food was amazing. Much fresher flavors at this place than at other places where the curries can taste a little dusty and unimaginative sometimes. The food at Enjera had a nice fresh zing to it, and of course being Ethiopian there were some awesome vegetarian options. The food is always family style and it comes out on a huge pancake of Enjera bread, a chewy, spongy, sourdough crepe made from teff flour. All the little curries are piled on the enjera. No silverware allowed, to eat it you tear off a bite-sized piece of Enjera and pinch up a bite of the curry.
Only about 2 miles and an easy bike ride on the bike path from our place, Pupatella makes Neapolitan style pizza in a big wood fired oven. Prices are reasonable, pizza is amazing, and so are the salads and deep fried brussels sprouts with apples. Here you can drool over the pizza with mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula and parm; the pizza with mozzarella, anchovies, olives and basil; and the special of the day the pesto pizza with smoked mozzarella, and pine nuts.
Caphe Banh Mi, Old Town Alexandria, VA, http://www.caphebanhmi.comA tiny little Vietnamese cafe with a very normal menu but extra delicious food. Including plenty of veggie options like the vegetarian Pho with fried tofu, chunks of fake chicken and fresh mushrooms that Big H got, and the Banh Mi sandwich for me. We rode our bikes down to Alexandria one afternoon and stopped here for a late lunch before riding back home.