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“A great example of Ethiopian cuisine” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Meaza

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Meaza
5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA
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Ranked #136 of 311 Restaurants in Falls Church
Cuisines: Ethiopian
Restaurant details
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A great example of Ethiopian cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

I took my three kids here....my youngest son is adopted and from Ethiopia. We've had Ethiopian food before so my kids knew what we were in for.
As we sat down, we were warmly greeted, and we all ordered something different. My daughter is vegetarian and she ordered a veggie dish. My oldest son was bold and ordered the whole fish with rice. This is a kid that used to not like food touching other food on his plate, and to order a whole fish with the bone and head was a pleasant surprise. My youngest son ordered the lamb, and I ordered the combination ground and cubed beef.
All the food was very tasty including the vegetarian dish, and although we ordered everything "mild", I have to tell you that ground beef was supposed to be mild, but it had a kick to it.
Service was great, and the food was wonderful. I learned from the waitress about the two types of injera I had some injera not too long ago and it was sour, and I thought I got some bad injera. LIttle did I know that was the more favorite injera amongst the Ethiopians and the injera we were served was the more "common" injera.....ok, I'll stick with the common stuff!
If you want real authentic Ethiopian cuisine, come here.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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11 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“If you're not in a hurry...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We gave this a shot because it was listed in Washingtonian's "100 cheap eats" issue. This is relatively upscale for an Ethiopian restaurant (I was surprised to read about the other reviewer's cockroach experience) and the food is better than the average of what we've experienced in this category. There were a lot of "natives" there, including some laughing it up with the staff (regulars?), which is a good sign. What distinguishes it is that the side vegies are actually nicely spiced (and hot in some cases), which is unusual in our experience. However, it appears that unlike the others these don't automatically come unless you order a vegie or seafood entree. Otherwise if you want what is normal in other places you have to order an extra entree of vegies. This would make it more expensive than the norm and not such a "cheap eats." I purposely wrote "it appears that" because we weren't absolutely clear on this, as our server's English was not too good.
Service is characteristically for this type of restaurant leisurely. But as another reviewer noted others (manager? owner?) stop by your table regularly, and I was able to take advantage of that when we wanted to get the bill and leave.
I'd suggest you pass on the desserts.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Virginia
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Glad we returned”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

This was our third visit to Meaza. We had the Key Wot (listed only as "beef stew" on the menu) and the #7 combination vegetable platter. I've eaten a very few dozen times at about a dozen Ethiopian restaurants. I'd rank Meaza among the best, and it's currently one of my two favorites, along with the Nile Ethiopian Restaurant in Richmond. The Key Wot was spicy, but with only moderate heat. One of the vegetables in the combination was very hot, and I used it to heat up the Key Wot. The other vegetables were mild. Everything was very good, and I enjoyed the contrast between the items which were spicy hot and the rest. This time I forgot to order the slightly more expensive (and more authentic) version of the Injera, but their standard Injera was very good. We also had unsweetened ice tea and hot tea, both pleasantly spiced. At around 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon the restaurant wasn't very busy, service was just a bit slow and very gracious. Someone who appeared to be the owner or manager came by to ask how we were enjoying the meal. The decor is very good with interesting paintings on the walls. All in all, a pleasant meal in all respects and we will definitely return. I would note that the service has been a bit slow on all three visits...so I would suggest visiting when a relaxed pace is an asset rather than on a day that's tightly scheduled.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Herndon, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good food... until”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

I came here with a couple colleagues for lunch one day. We were all looking forward to eating here because we love Ethiopian food and we were very hungry. Overwhelming concern flowed through my colleagues and me as we were the only patrons dining. We walked in and were literally the only ones there (aside from the staff). We decided to proceed with lunch anyways. We all ordered different things and as our food came and we started eating, our concerns began to dissolve because the food turned out to be pretty good.

... that was until the end of the meal came and a reasonably sized cockroach was found crawling on the tabletop. We were immediately disgusted and it became clear why there wasn't anyone else dining. They have some serious sanitation problem that need to be addressed. When we raised this issue to our server, she apologized and explained that they clean regularly. What shocked me though was that there was no offer to discount our meals or any sort of resolution to compensate for our sub-standard experience.

Needless to say, I will not be returning. It's a shame because the food did, in fact, taste really good.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“really good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I had never eaten Ethiopian food before but so glad I tried it. There was a large selection of dishes and we opted for what I would describe as a platter. I am not familiar with the names but it was a large platter with a variety of cooked meats, cooked vegetables and spices served alongside a type of soft dough-bread similar to pita bread but softer.

my initial impression was that it was very spicy but as my taste buds adjusted I could taste the various meats cooked or marinated in spices.

Like the other reviewer mentioned, service was patchy but the restaurant itself had a constant stream of diners coming in. Apparently it's where the local Ethiopian community go to eat. Food was plentiful and reasonably priced and I would certainly eat there again if I was in the area.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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