CLOSED: Emanu East African Restaurant

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 7 reviews )



6063 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 45213

Serves meat, vegan options available. Has a vegetarian dinner combo that's vegan and enough to feed 2. Reported closed July 2017.

Categories: Take-out, African, Non-veg

7 Reviews

First Review by Sprout

Permanently Closed - Edit

Needs to be removed from list. Looked good in promise but upon looking up restaraunt it is no longer in business.

Pros: Friendly, Large portions, Easily vegan

Cons: Closed, Not open, Can't eat there if not existing

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delicious meal very nice facility - Edit

I really enjoyed the food. The restaurant is nicely decorated. I was there at closing time and the service was rather informal.

Pros: Deelishis

Cons: had to wait for a menu and the check

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delicious food, friendly staff - Edit

This restaurant does not have a lot of options, but what they do serve is delicious. Nice atmosphere, good wine selection.

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Delicious! - Edit

I didn't know how good I had it! I've recently moved and tried out a local Ethiopian restaurant and it paled in comparison to Emanu. I have always had a good experience and perfectly spiced food. Their Vegetable dishes specify that no dairy products or animal fats are used. Get the combination plate it's to die for! Their food isn't greasy or overly spiced. It's had to find a well balanced meal anywhere these days. So, please have a bite in my honor :(

Pros: Kind owners, Local beer offered, Amazing food

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Delicious Ethiopian - Edit

I've been a long - time fan of Ethiopian & found the food here (the vegetarian/vegan mix) particularly tasty. There aren't many veg options but there aren't a lot of non-vegan options either - it is a small menu. The omnivores I went with said the veg food was much better.

For a non-vegan restaurant, this is a great vegan option.

Pros: delicious & healthy vegan food, Good price for portions

Cons: Only 3-4 vegan entrees, most non-veg

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Unique and Delicious - Edit

This family-owned and operated Ethiopian restaurant was originally known as East Africa Restaurant and was situated in a house up the street from the current location at the corner of Montgomery and Losantiville. Emanu, the restaurant's namesake, has developed quite a following since she left Africa and came to the United States in 1992, introducing her delicious, home made dishes to Cincinnatians.

There are two main components to Ethiopian cuisine: tsebhi/watt, which are stew-like dishes of vegetables or meat, and injera, which is a large, supple flatbread on which the tsebhi/watt is served. The helpful guidelines on the menu state that the injera functions as both the platter and the utensil; bits of it are torn off and wrapped around the tsebhi/watt so that there is no need for cutlery.

The menu is small but varied, with several vegetarian/vegan entrées to choose from:
Ahmelti (Gomen) - collard greens and lightly spiced cabbage with onions and peppers.
Ades (Misir-Watt) - split lentils stewed in a thick, mild red sauce
Hiwswas (Beyayneti)- a combination of ahmelti/gomen and ades/misir-watt, with the addition of creamy yellow lentils, and carrots with beans.

I opted for the Hiwswas/Beyayneti combination platter, which at $13 is a good way to sample all the vegetarian/vegan dishes the restaurant has to offer. Food is served family style on top of a single injera, so if there are meat-eaters in the group it is wise to request the vegetarian option separately lest the juices from the meat dishes mingle with and foul the vegetables.

Having never tried Ethiopian cuisine I wasn't sure what to expect, but I found the dishes reminiscent of southern soul food, which is not surprising given its historical nature, but also of Indian cuisine. The carrot and green bean selection, for instance, had hints of ginger and cardamom, while the ades/misir-watt was similar to a mildly spiced masoor dal.

The divergence of cultures lies in the bread. Instead of southern corn bread or Indian naan, here it is injera, which is unlike anything I have encountered before. It looks similar to a crepe, but is very stretchy and has a slightly sour taste. The odd texture may be off-putting to some, but the use is similar to a tortilla and I found that the various dishes had a wider dimension of flavor when wrapped in it than not.

Pros: friendly staff, unique, no corkage fees for byob

Cons: noisy

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tastey food, nice atmosphere - Edit

This was my first Ethiopian food experience, so I don't have anything with which to compare it, but I quite enjoyed the food here. We shared a combination of vegetarian (vegan) dishes, served on a large piece of injera, with a basket of additional injera. I thought the food was terrific and our group seriously considered ordering an additional serving--not because the portions were small, but because we enjoyed them so much. We had coffee afterwards, which was also quite good and with a nice presentation. We were disappointed that the coffee ceremony wasn't available. The service was great, everyone very friendly. Overall a great experience. I will definitely go back next time I'm in town.

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