Last night I went to Bete-Lukas for the second time. The first time I went I was with friends, and this time I went with my parents, who had never been before. They are fans of Ethiopian food, though, and they agreed that this was the best Ethiopian food they have had in Portland. I’m not going to claim that I have been to ever single Ethiopian restaurant in Portland– I’ve been to Queen of Sheba, Dalo’s, Jarra’s (but it was ages ago) and E’Njoni. I’m not trying to diss those places because I really like all of them (except I don’t remember Jarra’s at all). But Bete-Lukas is my new favorite, for sure. I’m really bad at reviews so I’m just writing a top five list of why I like it.
5. Nice atmosphere. The building doesn’t look like much from the outside, but on the inside, it’s so cute and nice, with pretty curtains and nice table settings and Christmas lights everywhere.
4. Good/hilarious service. The owner is a total ham (don’t freak out if he says your credit card is declined– he’s full of shit). The other waiter we had was great and didn’t blink when we asked that a meat dish be put on a separate plate (I’ve had trouble with that at another Ethiopian restaurant in Portland).
3. All of the vegetarian dishes, except for one that specifically says “butter” in the description, are vegan.
2. I’ve had some amazing things there that aren’t available at other restaurants I’ve been to, like my two favorite dishes, the kale and the eggplant. A lot of Ethiopian restaurants use spinach for their greens dishes but Bete-Lukas uses kale and it is sooo good. And the eggplant dish is my favorite. It doesn’t come with the veggie combo so I recommend adding a side order of it if you’re getting that. Only order it if you can handle spice, though, because it does have quite a kick.
1. I love taking my parents to restaurants that I love and having them love it too. Maybe that’s a silly subjective reason but it’s enough for me to give something five stars.
Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant is at 2504 SE 50th Ave (just South of Division), Portland, Oregon 97206, on the second floor. It’s open for lunch on the weekends 11:30-2:30 and open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday from 5:00-close.