Food, Travel

Steer Clear of Tibs Firfir!

If you don’t like the sour Ethiopian bread injera, steer clear of “Tibs Firfir”! It’s number 50 on the menu at the National Cafe in downtown Addis, next to the National Theater and the big lion statue. In Amharic it looks like this: ጥብስ ፍርፍር. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I made a bit of a mistake ordering dinner tonight with a friend in Addis Ababa. We decided we both liked tibs, an Ethiopian dish with roasted meat and, sometimes, tasty sauteed vegetables. What we didn’t know is that the “firfir” changes the game completely! Your itty bitty pieces of meat come mixed with shredded injera wrapped in a huge, pancake-like injera!

I’ve eaten tibs a few times now, and every time it comes differently. I’m going to stop saying I like tibs until I speak better Amharic and I can explain that, “I want the one in the bowl with veggies, not wrapped in injera.” My friend and I had a good laugh when the food came, and we never let on that we were expecting anything different. We did our best to eat it, her continually asking for more water, and me asking for more bread. Add it to the list of “things I’ll never forget about Ethiopia.”

Live and learn… injera is not for me! Oh, and I need to learn Amharic if ILRI is going to be sending me to Ethiopia more often.

3 Comments to “Steer Clear of Tibs Firfir!”

  1. Jon

    Super stoked to hear about Ethiopia, Alan! It’s been my new favorite place after reading Kapuchinski’s The Emperor about the fall of Haile Selassie and (some parts of) Herodotus these last few months. One of the guys I was volunteering w/ in Mongolia also spent about a month in the North somewhere this summer and was telling me all about the injera and coffee. Great work on the blog and with the Linux proselytizing!


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