At Ibex Ethiopian, the Dishes (and the Vibe) Are Communal

And the menus, thankfully, have numbers.

Kitfo is the Ethiopian tartar of minced steak. Ibex's version uses ground chiles and butter that lend a gritty texture to the dish. That texture can be tricky. So can its appearance. It may arrive warmed through if the waitstaff senses you're a novice, but you still may wonder: Is this cooked? It's not. It's completely raw. Have them heat it further if you like, but you're not eating kitfo anymore — more like overcooked taco meat. At that point you're better off with the tibs, kitfo louder older brother. Flavored with awazé, an acrid chili sauce that lands heavy on the palate, the pleasantly chewy strips of meat are cooked so that even the most stringent health inspector would smile approvingly.

Order the ye-beg wot, a simple lamb stew. You'll recognize the flavor if you've tried the doro, but tough, rustic cuts of lamb, still attached to the bone, make for a more deep and rich sauce. The dish was so good it temporarily converted a vegetarian on one of my trips. She couldn't resist dipping a little injera in the red-tinged oil left behind when no lamb remained. Then she did it again.

Injera can be off-putting for the uninitiated. The large, floppy pancakes have a springy texture, laced with a tapestry of holes that soak up any liquid exposed to it. Ibex's isn't made in-house. That's typical for most Ethiopian restaurants, but it's a shame. It's not as sour as it could be, and it seems slightly lifeless and under-leavened compared to Desta's chewy, tart version. But all that becomes a distant memory when the quiet but attentive waitstaff arrives, heaping dishes onto a platter lined in the bread.

Ibex's food is easy to enjoy, even if the restaurant isn't so easy to spot.
Sara Kerens
Ibex's food is easy to enjoy, even if the restaurant isn't so easy to spot.

Location Info

Map

Ibex Ethiopian Restaurant

12255 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX 75243

Category: Restaurant > Ethiopian

Region: Garland & Vicinity

Details

Ibex Ethiopian Cuisine & Bar
Kitfo $11.99
Awaze tibs 11.99
Veggie combo $9.99
Ye-beg wot 11.99
Doro wot $11.99

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Every peasant cuisine invents its own way to recycle unused starch. Ibex's timatim fitfit, a salad based on shreds of leftover injera, comes seasoned with so much lemon it sings. I loved the salad, but others at my table found it soggy, preferring the unadulterated bread served on the side.

It's a move worth emulating. Tear off a piece. Hold it with your thumb, fore- and middle fingers. Take a pinch of kitfo and drag it through the sauces mingling on the plate. Grab a little ayib, a soft, housemade cheese that cuts through heat, or a sliver of jalapeño from your salad if you want to go the other direction. The kitchen may be done cooking, but flavors still shift, every morsel tailored as every diner sees fit, one bite at a time. Be greedy. Eat until you're full. There's no need to save room here.

On the back of the menu, there's one more landmine. "Try our delicious tiramisu," it pleads, but the suggestion's a tease. I tried to order the dish over three visits and was denied each time. Dessert isn't popular in Ethiopia, and there's none available here. Linger over another drink instead. If it's late on the right night, the music will start soon, pulsing from the oversized speakers in the back of the room. By midnight on weekends, a good 50 people will drink and dance and party till close. When expats find each other and beer is involved, a story always ensues.

You could join right in if you wanted. No need for training wheels here.

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3 comments
Gabrielespinello
Gabrielespinello

Ibex is one of the worst Ethiopian restaurant in Dallas. The food not so good. And the service is very poor. The owner is also an arrogant person that does not know how to deal with customers. So if you want to go to an Ethiopian restaurant go to Desta restaurant, that is very close to Ibex, Lalibela or Queen of Sheeba.

Love Eth2007
Love Eth2007

i totally disagree with you, i love ibex restaurant. i don't know where you get this from, probably u lost the taste of real Ethiopia food. i have been different Ethiopian restaurant in dallas but no other restaurant would compare like ibex, i pre much go everyday to enjoy the food, the place( the traditional decoration) also the service. As a customer i recommend to everyone to tryout ibex restaurant. the service is great and the owner is friendly and a business guy. i never had any problem. thanks

Rod Stasick
Rod Stasick

Thanks for the review. Eating Ethiopian food for 30 years. Had my eye on this place after having to leave Lalibela due to roaches on three different occasions. Love Desta, Addis Ababa, and Queen of Sheba. Being vegetarian, I'll stick with these others. I may try Ibex,but I'm not expecting much. Too bad the paper version kept spelling it "kifto." - LOL!

Rod

 
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