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“Ethiopian Flavors Minus the Heat”
Review of Zemam's

Zemam's
Ranked #173 of 2,048 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Ethiopian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed April 30, 2012

We enjoyed four or five of the menu selections at this unique restaurant. They stress flavors without the spiciness of other Ethiopian eateries. We especially liked the lamb and the beef options. Be prepared to use your bread to dip into their large pizza-pan family style service. Everyone eats off one large plate. For folks with food allergies they will prepare special wheat-free breads. And the cardamom tea tasted delicious with our lunch selections. The building is somewhat crumbly, but the prices are great and the service very attentive.

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2  Thank culturevulture94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 - 94 of 101 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2012

Zemam's is a cozy place in a typical little house where you will find the exotic tastes of Ethiopia. Be prepared to eat with your hands, using the injera bread as a scoop. The food is fragrant and tasty, with a large variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Lentils are done particularly well here.

Thank Yanni_Pannimayoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Me and my husband are into trying new foods and discovering unexpected gems in restaurants. This is one of those gems. Every time we go to Tucson, this is one of our first stops.

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1  Thank A A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

What this place lacks in decor and atmosphere, it makes up for in food quality. Each dish is well prepared and tasty; the combination plate gives you an opportunity to try many (although not all) of the menu offerings. While the individual portions of each dish may appear to be rather small, they -- combined with the accompanying injera -- are plenty filling. No alcohol is served, but you can bring your own wine for an extremely modest $1.50 corking fee.

Service can be a bit slow on busy nights, especially if you aren't ready to place your order almost immediately upon your arrival. But Zemam's is definitely worth a return visit.

    • Atmosphere
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1  Thank MichiganBanjoMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

After the rush of the holidays it felt so good to catch up with friends while eating at Zemam's. We had a party of 8 and all the tables were taken. The ladies said it would be about a 40 minute wait, which usually I would not do, but for Zemam's I can wait.

Luckily for us a couple of tables in the side room cleared and we asked if we could put 2 tables together, which they gladly agreed to and we were seated in 10 minutes, not 40.

As usual the atmosphere was friendly, relaxed and inviting. I feel like I am being welcomed into a private home as a guest, not as a paying customer. We all opened our bottles of wine and beer, sharing and laughing. When our "wait-person" came over, with a big smile and wine glasses, we said just bring us enough food for 8 people with an assortment of meat and vegetarian servings. They always group the vegetarian food together, so we can figure out what is on the platter.

There were dishes of the Injera, which is the soft, warm flat bread, which you tear apart and use to scoop up the food, and bring it to your mouth. The flavors are awesome. I was almost tempted to request cooking classes to learn how to use the special spices that make everything taste so good. Maybe one day I will get up the nerve.

Our group always enjoys themselves while eating here. Between the food and the atmosphere we just relax and feel welcomed and cared for. The water glasses are kept fill without asking and extra Injera is brought to the table when needed as are napkins. There are no utensils, so be prepared to use the Injera. It is fun and a novel culteral experience. I always carry some hand sanitizer so I am not worried about eating with my hands.

The price is always right!!!! Parking is conveniently located in front of the restaurant. If you are new to Tucson, you will be happy to learn that parking is free in most restaurants in town, Zemam's is no exception, also If you are a first time visitor you may have a little trouble finding the restaurant after the sun sets. While driving East on Broadway from the Campbell direction, the restaurant will be on your left about 1/2 block before reaching Country Club. If you get to Country Club and Broadway make a "U" turn and go back 1/2 block. Once you find the restaurant the first time you won't have any problems.

Recommendations:
1. Bring your favorite wine or beer.
2. Dress casually and comfortably, but not sloppily.
3. Bring a big appetite, the food is very good and filling and you won't want to leave anything on your plate.
4. Be prepared to be wowed and wonder why you have not been to Zemam's before.
5. Come with great friends, you will enjoy everything more that way and you will have a wonderful time.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Foster7204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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