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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 10:00am–2:00am

Features Live music, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Falls Church, VA
5700 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, VA
(703) 820-2870
A letter to our favorite NoVA Ethiopian

Dear Meaza Restaurant,

Excellent Ethiopian that isn’t in a dump? You spoil us! In fact, you look downright pretty, though that may owe to the slightly uncomfortable absence of lighting in here. Who are you, Blanche DuBois? These are appropriately Southern sensibilities for Virginia, even if it is a little unsettling to eat great Ethiopian on nice furniture with painted walls (and those plaid chairs are decidedly Yankee). We still wish you’d insist on withholding forks from diners who resist the tradition of using your fantastic injera and their own fingers as utensils. Maybe the tablecloths make them nervous.

If this weren’t enough, you have a wider variety of dishes, some of which we can’t find even over in Shaw. Aren’t you the little overachiever! We certainly can’t get fish tibs in other places, and your kitfo is first-rate. Of course, your doro wat is a favorite of ours, as is lamb kikil, but that’s like saying Meryl Streep is our favorite actress. Greens like collards and cabbage are cooked fresh, so their texture is really great. And for all this, your prices are about the same as anywhere else, and your portion sizes as generous.

It’s right thoughtful of you to provide a full bar, though we prefer a simple beer with our alicha wot to a syrupy appletini. That, coupled with a circular two-tiered dining room and a bandstand that plays Friday through Sunday, gives us this ‘30s club feeling, as if gangsters and molls might be licking lentils off their fingers at the corner table. No wonder you’re so crowded on weekends. Since you’re being so ambitious and all, could you build a few more parking spaces?

We’re also excited about your adjacent café and its free trade Ethiopian coffee, which you roast yourself. And you host poetry readings, film screenings and dances, in addition to a Sunday coffee ceremony? That’s pretty cool. And a small food mart? Okay, now you’re killing us. We’ve never felt like such slackers in all our lives. Really, who asked you to be so fabulous anyway? No one likes a show-off. (Can you get us in this weekend?)


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