Breakfast is a more intimate meal than lunch or dinner, and a breakfast menu is a sure sign of connection with an emigre population.
Outside private homes, a platter of scrambled eggs, kinchea, and chechebsa ($8.25) is not to be seen in New York. Even in the Washington, D.C. area, with its far higher demographic density of Ethiopian-Americans, kinchea (steamed cracked wheat) and chechebsa (broken-up berbere-laced flatbread, also typically made from wheat) are uncommon finds. Both are prepared with spiced clarified butter, but I suspect that my dishes were tamed for an unfamiliar face in the crowd; they were milder than I would have liked. And though the platter was accompanied by rolls of injera, this spongy flatbread was intended only for the eggs; kinchea and chechebsa are among the few Ethiopian dishes usually eaten with a spoon.
Bete Ethiopian Cuisine & Cafe
811 Roeder Rd. (Fenton-Spring Sts.), Silver Spring, Maryland