The last time I visited Desta, the doors were boarded up and flowers sat outside the entrance for the late owners, Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta. Both had been shot to death in front of their house on August 15, 2012. Now the Ethiopian restaurant is back up and running. Tizeta, Yayehyirad’s sister, says it’s been open for about a month already. She was caught during lunch service when I called her yesterday, but told me that her family is running the Desta operation.
Go eat some Ethiopian food tonight, SideDishers. Let’s do what we can for Desta.
I dropped by Desta last night to see what’s been going on with the Ethiopian restaurant ever since the owners, Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta, were found shot dead in front of their house after a long night’s work at their restaurant on August 15. For the past two weeks, mourners have been leaving fresh flowers in front of the empty Ethiopian restaurant, which is now temporarily closed until further notice.
DMN reported last week that a Dallas man named Abey Belette Girma, 37, is believed to have shot the married couple with a pistol because he claimed the two had “disrespected” him. Apparently, Girma was a customer at Desta.
Hopefully, the restaurant will be up and running again. Mac Mckennon, Executive Director of the Mutual Assistance Association For The Ethiopian Community, says the family is still hurting and figuring out what they will do with Desta. Mckennon plans to address the tragedy at the first Taste of Ethiopia this coming weekend at the Plano Centre, which will celebrate the Ethiopian food community in Dallas. ”We cannot not say anything about what happened,” says Mckennon. He’s right: Desta will be sorely missed during all the festivities.1 Comment »
The Mutual Assistance Association For The Ethiopian Community (MAAEC, Inc.) and The Ethiopian Day 2012 committee are putting on the first-ever Taste of Ethiopia, which will feature the “sights, sounds, and tastes of Ethiopia” at the Plano Centre on 2000 East Spring Creek Parkway on Labor Day weekend.
“The first thing we are going to do,” says Mac Mekonnen, the Executive Director of MAAEC, “is have the coffee ceremony.”
Mekonnen explains how Ethiopians have a unique way of drinking coffee – since the drink’s name did derive from the region of Kaffa after all – and the ceremony entails three steps: roasting, grinding, and boiling it in hot water. Then people just sit around drinking very strong coffee (most Ethiopians don’t add sugar). Sitting and drinking where the tradition part comes in.
“In Ethiopia, time is not money,” says Mekonnen. “They talk about their families and friends, and sit around. In this country, you grab and go coffee. It’s a very unique experience…”
After the coffee ceremony, food and samples from three Ethiopian restaurants (Ghion, Ibex, and Lalibela) in Dallas will be provided to guests. There’ll be dance performances, a fashion show, and short films during the entire program that runs from Sept 1-2, 11 a.m. to midnight both days.
Last night, Bolsa Mercado transformed into a delightful backdrop, playing host to founder Atti Worku and her non-profit, Seeds of Africa - an organization that provides a nurturing, educational community for young children and young adults in Adama, Ethiopia. Chef Jeff Harris prepared a four-course menu to approximately 60 Seeds supporters as I, an invited guest, witnessed this NYC-based non-profit introduce itself to Dallas.
Jump for more Desiree Espada photos.
Just in case you missed it in our current issue, we took a couple pages to declare our love for all things Ethiopian in Dallas. BBQ expert, Daniel Vaughn, wrote to me just now with the following tip:
I was looking through the recent CO’s for the City of Dallas and found that a new Ethiopian place has received their certificate of occupancy. Not sure if they’re open yet.
Sheba’s Ethiopian Kitchen
8989 Forest Ln. (NW Corner of Forest and Greenville)
Now Dallas has 13…
I feel a drive-by sleuthing coming on.4 Comments »