What was once BaltimoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Chinatown is now home to a flurry of Ethiopian businesses.
ByÃ‚Â Baynard Woods
The red chinese flagÃ‚Â with its golden stars flutters in the wind on the 300 block of Park Avenue, the site of BaltimoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s historic Chinatown (Chinatown actually started a couple blocks away, on the 200 block of Marion Street). The flag hangs from the only Chinese restaurant left on the block, Zhongshan, which sits beside a lone Asian grocery, amidst what was until quite recently a rather desolate block.
Now, the red, yellow, and green of the Ethiopian flag dominate the newly burgeoning block as two restaurants, a cafe, and a market, all Ethiopian, have recently opened there. (Another establishment, Bouillabaisse Cafe, has also added to the blockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy, and just a block further down is Adventures in Music, one of the best record stores in town.)
In Washington, D.C., there are enough Ethiopian restaurants to make it something of a dining scene. There are high-end places like DAS, and then clusters of them around U Street and Adams Morgan. But here in Baltimore, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had few options. EdenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Lounge serves some Ethiopian dishes, but food is not the clubby jointÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s focus. For a while there was a place over in Pigtown, but the main option has been Dukem, which has led to uneven experiences. Read more