It's true: If you want a good ethnic restaurant, look for a place where people from that country dine. Langano brings out the local Ethiopian community in force. Most evenings the smaller front dining area, with about a dozen tables and colorful wall hangings, is full, and the dining crowd overflows to the larger rear dining room. There are always tables with non-Ethiopians, but the émigré community sets the tone.
Ethiopian restaurants tend to have short, almost identical menus. Here only 19 items appear. There is little ceremony in the presentation. No main course costs more than $9.50. On three visits, there was no sign of a dessert. On three visits, there was no sign of a dessert. Count on a one-course meal, although many diners dally over the strong, fragrant coffee.
Ethiopian food may be the most exotic of the area's ethnic cuisines. The base of the meal is injera, a spongy, crepelike bread served room temperature or a few degrees below. A server brings trays covered by large disks of injera and then slides the main courses onto different areas on the disks. Diners rip off small swaths of the injera from either the unused portions on the tray or from a bread basket, use them to pick up bite-size portions of the main courses, and consume the whole morsel in one swallow..." >>more
Food - Plan
Langano's mere presence in Silver Spring satisfies two needs that have been quietly nagging me for some time. First, it's an Ethiopian restaurant on the Maryland side of town, and not too many blocks away from the location of the last departed restaurant to hold that distinction for me. Second, and I have to grudgingly thank the Montgomery County smoking ban for this, it's not full of chain-smoking cabbies. I myself don't smoke and in fact, I'm hypersensitive to the stuff in a negative way, but my liberty-loving instincts _do_ sympathize a bit with those stinky and now-persecuted addicts. It's especially weird to go into a bar like Ri-Ra and find that visibility exceeds 10 feet. But - DAMN is it nice to be able to properly smell my food without their distraction..." >>more